NHS difficulties procuring and accessing PPE during the coronavirus pandemic highlight the inability of a traditional supply-chain management system to respond to unexpected demands
It’s a sad fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed widespread flaws in Britain’s public service infrastructure and in particular that of the NHS to respond quickly to demanding challenges. The structure to respond to austerity has been built around a traditional model with cost reduction as the key driver. Recent developments have shown that disruptive entrants not only challenge this approach but deliver better service at a lower cost. These entrants use SaaS solutions that have flexibility and responsiveness at their core and CarrierNet is the leading player delivering such supply chain solutions to the UK market. The lack of PPE and difficulties getting it to the requisite end-users clearly demonstrates that this as an enormous problem for traditional solutions – especially in a nationwide (and worldwide) emergency like COVID-19. The solution is to adopt disruptive practices and employ leading solutions that are already being widely used in the private sector.
“All anyone in the NHS has to do is pick up the phone.” – Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, on how medical staff can access what PPE there is.
Really? To order vital and urgent protective medical equipment someone at the NHS needs to ring someone else up? Just how time-consuming and wasteful of resources is that? To say nothing of the resulting delays – according to Mr Hancock it takes two and a half days to deliver PPE, though he insisted the “…two and a half-day figure was an average for people who called the 24/7 PPE hotline, and that urgent cases were dealt with ‘immediately’.” However, if you wish to buy any normal form of clothing it can be delivered on the same day – there are many providers who will allow you to order in the morning for the product to delivered later that day.
It seems to us that in this day and age when, for instance, the major supermarket chains avail themselves of web-based applications for supply chain, logistics and transport management, that the NHS’s systems, so vital to the health of the entire country, are positively antediluvian. We would agree that risk avoidance suggests that proven technologies should be used but an innovative approach does not necessarily require the use of unproven solutions.
Of course, we rightly sing the praises of our NHS, but there is also no reason why it cannot achieve what is already being achieved as standard in the rest of the logistics sector.
Just for ease of accessing products alone, use of our own SaaS supply chain, logistics and transport management solution, CarrierNet, means: • everyone can order when they want without any hold ups – just log in and access what you want – complexity of where and how to order is already managed; • there are no restrictions on the number of stakeholders who can access the solution – – our website will not crash because of too many people logging in at one time; • all stakeholders can have their own views that are relevant for them – in the context of PPE, hospitals have their views of ordering and other facilities their own; • instant deployment without limitation across the UK or even globally – our workflow and rules based solution can cater for the complexity of all potential users; • all information is in real time and consistent without variation – there is no delay caused from the use of a telephone based system; • every action is recorded and audited – without anyone else being involved.
We’ll go into these additional benefits in future posts: • no additional infrastructure required on-site • rapid deployment • value for money – pay only for what you do and what you need today, not what you once needed or might need tomorrow
In the meantime, we can only hope that the current crisis will result in some sea changes in the way government departments operate in this area, most especially the NHS – there is no objective reason why it cannot adopt disruptive approaches and reap immediate benefits.
For more information about Deltion’s CarrierNet SaaS solution, please contact Bashir Khan – firstname.lastname@example.org.