May 17, 2020

NHS Supply Chain saves trusts £200m

Freddie Pierce
1 min
NHS Supply Chain has saved over £200 million

The savings have been achieved by improved product prices and efficient supply chain service delivery.

NHS Supply Chain provides the NHS with an end t...

The savings have been achieved by improved product prices and efficient supply chain service delivery.

NHS Supply Chain provides the NHS with an end to end supply chain solution that it estimates can save a typical hospital up to 10 percent in product costs if they switch to its lowest priced suppliers.

The supply of healthcare products to the NHS was outsourced to DHL in 2006. Since then, the company has invested in NHS Supply Chain’s infrastructure, IT systems and created over 800 jobs in eight distribution centers.

By complying with EU procurement regulations, it has saved, on average, £40,000 per contract.

Nick Gerrard, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Supply Chain, said: “We lift the administrative load felt by hospitals’ back office functions by combining all items onto a single invoice, this saves up to £1 per item when compared with ordering products separately.

“And as well as making tangible savings we are helping NHS trusts reduce their carbon emissions by consolidating deliveries which can save up to 40 separate lorries unloading per day.”

E-auctions can typically reduce product costs by 15 percent. Last year, NHS Supply Chain conducted 54 e-auctions.

Over the next six years, NHS Supply Chain aims to create efficiency savings of more than £1 billion.

Edited by Jennifer Denby

Visit the NHS Supply Chain website for more information.

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 


Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 

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