Heart Online (Image credit pixabay/Geralt)Elcom has published a whitepaper that looks at the use of smart technology within procurement, specifically within healthcare. The whitepaper, “How smart technology can revolutionise and streamline your procurement”, is available on the Elcom website and makes an interesting read.

The whitepaper is divided into several sections. The first two sections provide some background, including the recent legislative and political background for procurement. The report notes that with the ICS model operational, now is the time for health trust to invest in smart procurement.

The whitepaper goes on to describe how Source Pay (S2P) and Procure Pay (P2P) solutions should complement the ERP systems that healthcare organisations already have in place. The authors argue that there are three key areas where organisations should focus their attention:

  • Sourcing
  • Procurement
  • Inventory Management and invoicing

Most ERP solutions fall short of providing comprehensive solutions to their areas. The authors cite six areas where NHS trusts can improve procurement operations and beyond.

  • Better sourcing software for quicker supplier quotations
  • Contract management programmes which reduce wastage
  • Product catalogues shared across trusts
  • Integrated procurement software which interface with finance programmes
  • Inventory management with the ability to transfer stock between hospitals
  • Electronic invoicing for sending orders and receiving invoices

The solution

Elcom has the software and experience to help organisations meet these challenges. The whitepaper looks at several implementations where it has delivered operational inmprovments and greater efficiency. A collaborative in the North East of England is using the Elcom system. It is used to reduce the volume of invoices it deals with through consolidating orders across suppliers, reducing the number of suppliers and improving the efficiency of dealing with invoices.

Understanding why Elcom has been able to help organisations through smart procurement technology. Historically, deals have been done with larger suppliers. Often with the mistaken belief that these are cheaper and easier to manage. However, smart procurement tools can scale relationships with smaller suppliers, making procurement teams more agile.

The Authors also advocate that with the new procurement acts, adherence to standards such as those promoted by GS1 will become more important. They could become an important part of ensuring compliance with upcoming legislation. Elcom Systems adheres to these standards, making another reason for organisations to consider its systems.

The report also contains two case studies which demonstrate the advantages of Smart procrement. Elcom has helped NHS Wales by sourcing local suppliers. The second is the Scottish Government, where Elcom has been powering the Scottish Government’s PECOS P2P system for more than twenty years. Elcom estimated that the solutions are processing  32.3 million purchase orders, and the automation is saving around 55,000 sheets of paper annually.

The whitepaper is full of testimonials. Judy Gilmore (Deputy Head of Operations at  University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust), stated, “The Althea Managed Service coupled with ELCOM’s Inventory Management solution have freed up thousands of staff hours, reduced stock holding and delivered millions of pounds of cash releasing savings.

The report concludes with information about Elcom, its services, products and how it works with organisations.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

For a proof point of the Elcom solutions and services, this whitepaper will provide a useful background for anyone looking to transform their procurement processes. Elcom has a clear track record of delivering success at a significant scale.

This is not a whitepaper that offers a huge number of data points and insights about procurement. Perhaps disappointingly it does not even define what is meant by smart procurement. However, it does argue the case for organisations looking to improve their procurement processes to consider the wider picture and how Elcom can help with that.


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