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    Working with King’s College Hospital to end inefficient, costly procurement processes

    End inefficient, costly procurement processes

    In a busy hospital, 24/7 operational reliability can be a matter of life and death. It’s unsurprising then that spares and replacement parts are ordered in high volumes. Having full visibility and control of those orders can deliver a range of benefits, something that underpinned the strategy RS put in place for King’s College Hospital in London.


    Around 10,500 staff work there, and annually they deal with one million patients. It is an always-on facility, at any time of day or night someone is receiving treatment and care. It’s an intense environment and there is always scope for something to go wrong, break or simply stop working. Whether it’s a faulty power board or a door handle that has come loose, in a hospital it needs dealing with – fast.

    Problems arose from a number of key areas:

    • Site engineers took responsibility for finding replacement items
    • Several hours could be spent chasing the best prices and delivery options on a single, low-value item
    • Every purchase had to be accompanied by a purchase order – that created a significant admin burden
    • There was a lack of central control over stock
    • No one could be sure what had been ordered and what was already in stock
    • Purchasing was not broken down in a granular, auditable way

    RS helped develop a strategy to rationalise all MRO purchase processes including streamlined internal admin, robust supplier contracts, and compliance with those contracts.

    King’s College Hospital are currently partnered with Procure4, who are helping transform their non-clinical spend categories. Procure4 are an external Procurement Consultancy with a focus on ‘People Powered Procurement’. Procure4 developed, in conjunction with Kings’ staff, a new strategy for managing low value parts, setting a new process and engaging with all staff, from stores to engineers and directors, to launch the new system. Procure4 also helped the hospital’s senior finance employees agree a new spend threshold, allowing RS orders to be used on a ‘call off’, rather than raising individual purchase orders, which significantly reduced the admin burden of the process.


    Centralised spending means a purchaser can demand the keenest prices. But it also means they can start to develop a better, more strategic relationship – moving a supplier more towards being a partner. Day-to-day there have been significant time-savings, too. Under the old process, a single order could take around 79 minutes generating a huge admin trail – a PO had to be raised for each order. Whereas now, Engineers log on to RS PurchasingManager™ and straight away place their orders for next-day delivery. Fixed order values are pre-approved, removing the need for purchasing admin for low-value orders

    Significant admin cost savings have also been secured, including:

    • Before project: 79 mins process time / £66 process cost per order
    • After project: 47 mins process time / £39 process cost per order
    • Reduction in time taken to process orders by 40%
    • Reduction of 41% in process costs per order

    Based on annualised orders of 204 (May 2018-2019), this equates to an annualised time saving of 89 hours and £5,508 in process costs.

    How RS ProductPlus is helping our customers  

    With decades of expertise and trusted supplier relationships of our own, we are uniquely placed to cut through your complex procurement challenges. Find out how we enable customers to take control of purchasing.

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