Amazon Business announces new services to help businesses with procurement
Amazon has announced that Amazon Business has launched a new set of features that it says are designed to better serve the procurement needs of businesses of all sizes.
Amazon Business combines more than one hundred million business-relevant products with a set of “unique features”, such as VAT-exclusive pricing, Amazon Business Analytics and Free One-Day Delivery, it said in a release.
“It’s everything that customers know and love about Amazon, but for business,” it added.
After launching in the UK in April 2017, Amazon Business now serves more than 90,000 companies of all sizes – from sole traders and small businesses to large multi-national organisations and FTSE 100 companies, as well as institutional buyers like universities, hospitals and non-profits.
The new features announced include:
- Pay by invoice – pay on net 30 day terms to help improve cash flow.
- Business Invoice – Improved search and filter features now allow business customers to quickly find offers from Amazon and Marketplace sellers who display net prices and offer VAT-inclusive invoicing for download.
- Catalogue Curation – Enabling businesses to configure the Amazon Business catalogue according to their procurement policies. Administrators can define approval criteria and set certain or restricted categories and products.
- Coupa Open Buy – Coupa Customers now have direct access to millions of Amazon Business products simply by using the search bar within the Coupa interface.
“We’re working hard to continually introduce improvements that provide even greater selection, value and convenience to business customers looking to streamline their procurement, enabling them to save time and money, and increase their productivity,” said Bill Burkland, Head of Amazon Business, Amazon.co.uk.
“The latest suite of Amazon Business features has been driven by the feedback we’ve received from our customers and are designed to enhance the efficiency, visibility and controls our business customers want in their procurement process.”
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”