Canterbury District Health Board
Canterbury District Health Board needed a low cost but highly effective system from B2BE to keep track of Purchase Orders and put an end to laborious manual faxing.
B2BE were able to automate Purchase Order distribution for the central purchasing department so they were able to order everything from bulk plastic bags and stationery to surgical gloves using the new B2BE automated fax and EDI approach.
Canterbury District Health Board is rolling out a low cost but highly effective e-procurement system from B2BE to keep track of Purchase Orders and put an end to laborious manual faxing…
The Board began a trial with a solution from B2BE (then called The ECN Group in New Zealand) to automate Purchase Orders from its central supply warehouse. Convinced of long-term efficiencies it is now adding its pharmacies and operating theatres to the system.
The solution was achieved on time and within a limited budget.
“We can track down the whole process from when the Purchase Order was sent to B2BE and when they passed it on to the suppliers and now have much better control over our inventory and the purchasing process”.
CDHB has been using the Chairman Finance and distribution system from Logical CSI. It also upgraded the system to print Purchase Orders using JetForm on laser rather than dot matrix printers.
Mr Reynolds reckons the board was sending out over 200 forms a day by fax which meant purchasing officers had to stand over the fax machine, key in the number and wait for confirmation that it had gone through. “We calculated that across the organisation the time taken amounted to about half a person a year.”
The following diagram illustrates the Board’s interactions with suppliers through the B2BE system.
While CDHB was aware of the problem, potential solutions such as having a fax server and software were too expensive until it heard about B2BE and discovered it could do everything the Board wanted for a lot less investment.
As a first stage of going to e-procurement and moving away from manual faxing it began converting the order print files created by JetForm on the Chairman system to go out over the internet to B2BE. “Those suppliers who are integrated with B2BE e-commerce gateway get the orders direct over the line and others are served through an automated fax process.”
The orders are received by B2BE’s web server using Https (secure http) and then either translated into formats accepted by major suppliers, using electronic formats such as EDI, or through an automated fax service.
Initially CDHB was simply going to attach the Purchase Order as an email and send it through to B2BE but was concerned that emails can go missing. “We needed to be sure they received the orders so our IT division put together a process where a confirmation was received from B2BE and allowed us to interrogate B2BE every five minutes to verify the status of that order.”
Starting in January the central purchasing department which provides general supplies for the Board were able to order everything from bulk plastic bags and stationery to surgical gloves, needles and scalpel blades using the new automated approach.
“This has saved us an immense amount of time and so we’re now rolling out to the pharmacies and operating theatres. We’re also looking into the possibility of using the B2BE system to receive shipment and Invoice information back in to our systems from suppliers,” says Mr Reynolds.