10 November 2009 | Jake Kanter
The UK's largest private health firm, General Healthcare Group (GHG), is redefining the role of buyers as part of a procurement shake-up.
Under GHG's three-year purchasing transformation programme, which began in 2008, individual buyers are leading efficiency projects in areas of the business including catering, facilities management and hospital decontamination.
Purchasers have taken on responsibility outside the traditional procurement remit, using project management skills to redesign processes and generate revenue.
On catering alone, procurement has this year delivered savings of £1 million on a spend of £15 million after standardising the hospital menu, cutting labour costs and lowering food prices. In addition, purchasing has set up five new coffee shops across GHG hospitals, earning the company £200,000 a year.
Matt Oxley, group procurement and property director, told SM: "Historically we [procurement] haven't been that effective here at GHG. We reviewed how we're going to deliver our service, in terms of procurement and supply chain, but also in doing that we saw opportunities to improve the operating efficiency in other areas, not through better buying, but through better management."
More details will appear in the 19 November 2009 issue of SM.