Henkel Corp., the North American unit of Germany-based Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, a manufacturer of adhesives, beauty products, laundry and other home-care products under such brands as Dial soap, Persil laundry detergent and Loctite glue, has started procuring through Amazon Business many of the indirect goods and services it needs to operate and maintain its facilities.

About 200 of Henkel’s North American employees—a number that will increase to several hundred later this year—are purchasing through Amazon Business many of the “long tail” of items Henkel often needs outside of its replenishment contracts, says Ellen Nielsen, vice president of purchasing at Henkel.

Such purchasing can be difficult to manage, including ensuring employees are purchasing approved products from approved suppliers and within budgeted spending amounts. “Tail management is why we put Amazon Business in place,” she says.

Henkel’s team of buyers use “punchout” software in Henkel’s own global procurement software to link to Amazon Business, where they can view and purchase approved products. Henkel worked with Amazon Business team to integrate those purchases with Henkel’s procurement software and workflow process, which enables Henkel to ensure employee spending stays within approved product lists and budgets.

“The workflow was easy to integrate with Amazon Business; both companies worked well together and completed integration within a few weeks,” Nielsen says. She adds that the Amazon Business provides an “intuitive” purchasing interface that has been easy for Henkel’s buyers to learn.

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At Henkel, the manufacturer also works with Amazon to ensure that purchased products meet Henkel’s required specifications. “Sometimes we need products that are certified to have specifications, such as laboratory supplies, and that must be mentioned in product descriptions,” Nielsen says.

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