NHS improves relationships with suppliers through cloud platform

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has more than halved the time taken to pay NHS suppliers, it has announced today.

As a direct result of moving to cloud-based business platform just over a year ago, suppliers who use it are now paid in an average of 24 days instead of 42 – a 43% improvement in their payment time.


Having a positive impact

The NHS has 175,000 suppliers and processes 7.2 million invoices a year, accounting for £170 billion of spend.

By transitioning from paper to cloud-based electronic invoices, NHS SBS says it is now significantly more efficient; less resource is required to push an invoice through the payment process, reducing the burden on NHS resources and allowing public money to be redirected to more valuable services.

Other successes achieved by the organisation since implementation of the Tradeshift platform include:

  • The number of invoices electronically processed per month has grown from 5,000 (May 2014) to 50,000 (October 2015)
  • The average number of days from invoice date to available for approval has reduced from 14 days to 3 days – a 79% improvement. Accounts payable are now able to access invoice details and workflow straight away, instead of waiting for 3 days processing after it has been scanned
  • Because of the e-invoicing process, there is a 15% reduction in the number of query calls from suppliers because of upfront validation rules


Improving relationships and saving money

Stephen Sutcliffe, director of finance and accounting at NHS SBS, said: “It’s important for NHS SBS to constantly strive to improve the quality of the NHS, not only to conserve our own resources and improve the relationship with our suppliers, but also to save public money.

“Managing the supply chains of over 300 NHS bodies is a huge task, which is why it’s so important to have back office processes streamlined and working as efficiently as they can.

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