As Biola continues to improve cost efficiency, the purchasing department hosted two trainings on Feb. 23 and Mar. 7 for faculty to better understand how to place orders through special Amazon and Staples.
Best bang for the buck
Buyers for the purchasing department Grace Ng and Grace Ricafranca walked approximately 30 faculty members and a few students through placing orders on Staples Business Advantage and Amazon Business. By knowing how to operate these processes, departments can take advantage of special deals offered to them by Staples and Amazon.
“[Ng and Ricafranca] wanted to make sure everybody was really covered and they knew how to use our systems and knew how to get the best bang for their buck,” said Breanna Klett, purchasing manager. “So it was more about training people who haven’t used it before or maybe they have been using it and we want to do a little bit of tweaks with how they really look at how they’re ordering and what they’re spending and how we can come alongside and help them.”
Ng started the training by explaining how to place an order for office supplies to best utilize Biola’s relationship with Staples Business Advantage. By consistently placing orders of $50 or more, the buyer receives free shipping as well as increased discounts with Staples, saving money in the long run.
The training continued as Ricafranca walked through the process with Amazon Business. After Amazon Business launched in April 2016, Biola joined as one of the first universities, meaning the ordering process remains relatively new for a lot of the attendees. Similar to Staples, by placing orders of $49 or more, Amazon does not charge for shipping.
“Amazon Business has a pretty awesome system setup for Biola, and so they do purchasing with various other departments or even get approval really quickly, get orders shipped right to us,” said Persi George, junior international business major on behalf of the multiethnic outreach.
Ng and Ricafranca also talked about how to make lists and return orders through both vendors, as well as how to keep open communication with the purchasing department. Klett enjoyed seeing the attendees interacting with the presentations and hopes this will help smooth out the process and continue to improve the relationships with Amazon and Staples.
“It sounded like people had really good questions so that tells me that they were engaged and it wasn’t something that they were waiting to be over so I think they got some good information,” Klett said.
Kay Henry, administrative assistant for the school of education, enjoyed the training and believes it will improve her and her co-workers’ jobs.
“Something everyday like that should really be second nature and it just wasn’t coming to us second nature,” Henry said. “And also knowing our feedback is important so [Biola] can get better deals and help the vendors that are working with us to improve their service to us. And so I like to make systems efficient and smooth, you know, if it can be done easy, why not?”