February 18, 2003, 12:00 AM

Staples launches enhanced site to streamline purchasing for b2b customers

95% of Staples Inc.’s new business customers now do their purchasing online. StaplesLink 4.0 aims to squeeze cost out of procurement by saving time.


Staples Inc. has launched a new version of its b2b procurement site, StaplesLink.com, with site enhancements and a new technology platform that will boost scalability while giving business buyers an even more efficient–-and cost-efficient-–shopping experience, the company says.

StaplesLink 4.0, built on IBM’s new WebSphere Commerce Business Edition platform, already drives about 70% of Staples` contract division orders. An estimated 95% of Staples Inc.`s new business customers now do product procurement online vs. other Staples channels. “Taking time and cost out of the procurement process is our customers’ top priority and StaplesLink 4.0 does that,” says Lisa Hamblet, vice president of b2b e-commerce for Staples` contract division. “The new ease-of-use features and order management functionality will make purchasing more cost-effective for our customers.”

Enhanced cost-effectiveness in procurement is largely from timesaving process enhancements on the new site. Among the upgraded site features are increased navigational efficiencies based on customer input and usability studies, as well as enhanced order management: all orders, whether placed by phone, fax or online, can be tracked by purchasing managers in one location.

Additional new features include search filtering, which allows business customers to not only search by product type among some 80,000 items, but also filter search results by sub-categories such as recycled content products or those supplied by minority- or women-owned businesses. A new resource center on the site lets users access information about their company’s program with Staples’ contract division and offers information on how to save time and money through more efficient ordering practices within the program.


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