Thursday 22 May 2014

The NHS eProcurement Strategy: What’s Not Mentioned in the Recent NHS eProcurement Strategy? (Part 3/3)

By Scott Pryde

Today I wrap up this series of posts on the NHS eProcurement strategy, if you've missed the earlier commentary, you can access the posts here: Part One, Part Two. Today I’ll be taking a look at Social Networking, Knowledge Sharing & the Virtual Procurement Landscape.

New networking and communication technologies are disrupting industries and empowering consumers. From social networking and Google, to Wikipedia and Amazon, access to knowledge and expertise has never been greater. The power of these solutions is yet to be applied to NHS procurement. Whilst ambitious in scope and scale, the eProcurement strategy says little about the adoption of new emerging information sharing solutions.

The most innovative trusts are already looking beyond the traditional procurement and eProcurement models to a virtual procurement landscape where access to not only data but also information and knowledge is a given. Where expertise is no longer in a single trust or hub but where the expertise of an individual can be more effectively shared throughout the system.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

It’s Not All About the Stats – Learn to Love Your Analysts

By Andrew Heywood

Statistics and reports are great for showing that you’re managing spend: True or False?

Churning out the same report month after month is all very well, but only if you’re actually doing something with what you’re seeing and those reports are actually monitoring the key risks and categories in your business. Figures for the sake of figures can be futile. Be honest, when did your management stats last change? And how often do you create them?

Tuesday 20 May 2014

The NHS eProcurement Strategy: Procurement Intelligence & Transparency - What’s in and what’s out? (Part 2/3)

By Scott Pryde

Last week, I published the first in a series of posts on the NHS eProcurement Strategy.

Today’s post will concentrate on Procurement Intelligence & Transparency - What’s in and what’s out?

In the past decade, the spend analytics, benchmarking and supply chain intelligence industry has grown apace across the wider private and public sectors. Core competency in analytics and procurement intelligence have been recognised as specialist capabilities and have delivered value in almost all other industries. Just imagine Tesco or Amazon running their business without comprehensive supply chain business intelligence.

Years of under investment, under resourced DIY efforts, commercial secrecy and ambiguous non-disclosure agreements with key suppliers, have meant that the NHS lags behind in adoption of procurement intelligence solutions. The NHS remains in the dark ages in comparison with these other industries.

Monday 19 May 2014

The Living Wage within Public Contracts in Scotland Debate

By Steven Low

Last week, a vote to enforce a ‘living’ wage into all public contracts in Scotland was defeated at Holyrood.  As part of an amendment to the Procurement Reform (Scotland) bill, Labour had hoped to make it a condition that companies who get public sector contracts must pay their workers the Living Wage - currently £7.65 an hour in Scotland.  To put into context, the minimum wage is currently set at £6.31 per hour for over 21s.  The living wage has been a talking point over the last couple of years as those lower down on the pay scale are still struggling to see any benefits from economic recovery.  While the minimum wage is a legal requirement, the living wage is voluntary although some suppliers have taken on the burden to give a wage that reflects some say more accurately, the actual cost of living.

Thursday 15 May 2014

The NHS eProcurement Strategy: A Practitioner & Solution Developer Opinion (Part 1/3)

By Scott Pryde

‘The problems we face are system-wide and demand system-wide solutions, delivered with urgency and vigour’

Both ‘Better Procurement, Better Value, Better Care’ and the new eProcurement strategies emphasise a 7.5%-10% savings target on £22bn of NHS spend, but the reality is that the imperative for savings and efficiency at the front line of health and social care are increasing even beyond this. The system is caught between rising demand from an ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles and increasing supply chain inefficiencies. Improving quality and outcomes across the NHS and its supply chain are even greater and more challenging objectives than hitting the savings target alone.

Across society, industries and supply chains, enabling technologies are stimulating revolutionary and disruptive innovation and efficiency. So of course it is fascinating to find out to what methods and technologies the Department of Health have chosen to emphasise for NHS procurement as we enter the next cycle.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

The Art of Reporting

The start of a new procurement project is an exciting, hectic, emotional and educational experience. A team is thrown together from all parts of the business and management provides them with motivational speeches and gruelling targets. The mood is: hit the ground running now if you're going to deliver what the stakeholder needs, when they need it.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Attitude Opens Doors

By Mickey North Rizza

George Palmatier said, “The biggest challenge is not getting people to change the way they do their jobs, but in getting people to change the way they think about doing their jobs.”  In the post, The Journey of Excellence Starts with Change, Jane and Jim illustrated that the way they each approached their jobs was directly related to the outcome.

Thursday 1 May 2014

The Future’s Bright, the Past is Orange

By Peter Ashford

“Although we've come to the end of the road, still I can’t let go; it’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you”
Boyz II Men

It may seem like a strange time to write a blog post, as I prepare to leave my own post at BravoSolution, but I think it’s sometimes a good idea, if you want to keep on eating cake, to take a step back and learn about the process that went in to making it.

Having worked as a carer, a security guard and a delivery driver, as well as completing a course to become a personal trainer, in the three years subsequent to finishing my Mathematics degree at the University of Manchester, (and graduating with a 1st class honours degree), my lack of ‘technical experience’ didn't leave me too hopeful of finding a job in the summer of 2011, when most businesses were carefully counting their pennies. Thankfully, BravoSolution's star was on the rise and they were looking for new employees to support their many clients.