Amazon Business has finalised a £400m contract with a procurement body made up of 13 councils which will see the online marketplace act as a one-stop-shop for public sector customers buying things like care equipment.
Amazon’s deal with the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO), first announced in July 2018, will be the online giant’s first major public sector contract in the UK, giving local authorities access to millions of products, which will include equipment for social care providers and care homes.
The pair have just launched a new framework with a sales managed service for local authorities. A dedicated account manager will assist the customer and support the account, as well as helping them to monitor their own level of compliance.
YPO’s customers will be directed to Amazon Business where they can set up their account and use the framework to buy products from both large and smaller independent suppliers in the UK.
YPO’s managing director Simon Hill (pictured), said that the new framework agreement represents a “forward-thinking approach to public sector purchasing”.
He said: “It offers brand new benefits in a first for a public sector buying organisation in the UK. Our recent customer survey showed that 80% of our customers already use Amazon so this will give them an opportunity to complete their list of requirements through YPO, without fragmenting their spend and threatening the ‘one-stop-shop’ proposition.”
“YPO will continue to sell its 30,000 products but many more business-related products will now be available, everything from agricultural supplies to medical equipment.
“Customers will also benefit from an enhanced offer in terms of value as well as service, such as competitive prices and delivery accessed through a single YPO route.”
The four-year contract is the first such deal made between Amazon Business and the UK public sector. Amazon already sells a wide range of care and mobility equipment direct to end-user and has made similar public sector agreements in the US.
In the US, Amazon has been criticised for making public sector procurement deals and accused of snatching business from local suppliers. But the company believes the business arm supports smaller, independent firms which can access larger customers via the marketplace.
Amazon Business launched in the UK in 2017 to spearhead the group’s move into the multi-billion pound business-to-business market.