Can money be saved in the procurement department by keeping your foot down and barking at suppliers like a pit bull terrier? “You can’t get any successful saving done with a pit bull mentality. The only way to create win-win agreements is by investing in good relationships with your suppliers,” says Procurement Team Leader Daniël van Someren of Sophia Revalidatie in The Hague. Van Someren has achieved huge savings for Sophia through the Accezz method.
Lean procurement in health care
When thinking about Lean, industrial firms and trade companies rather than care institutions might come to mind. But there are also valuable stocks in healthcare agencies; and we don’t just mean office supplies. Sophia Revalidatie provides customised services for children, teenagers and adults who require specialised rehabilitation care. As Sophia deals in specialised care, its purchasing requirements are similar to those of a hospital. In any care institution, a sound procurement policy positively impacts the work processes of other departments, as is the case with all businesses.
A considerable target
Services manager Henny Renne explains that a considerable savings target compelled the procurement department to bring in Accezz and make structural improvements in quality. Accezz always performs its analysis free of charge, and it revealed that big savings could be achieved. “The beauty is that by optimising the procurement department, we have also had a positive influence on the spending of all other departments. Accezz and Daniel van Someren and his department have made substantial savings that have been achieved without cuts and without compromising on quality. That’s some achievement,” says Renne.
80% of savings target achieved within five months
Some 80 per cent of the savings forecast by Accezz were achieved during the collaboration period alone. “Thanks to the new procurement system implemented by Accezz, we now have better knowledge about our suppliers. By reducing the number of suppliers, we have gained more negotiating room and have secured better contracts. We are not only on course to achieve the remaining 20 per cent savings target, but the effects over the next few years should not be underestimated,” says a satisfied procurement team leader.
New challenge in procurement
“Our department has now positioned itself to be an advisor and sparring partner and does not engage solely in operations and execution. We discuss with others what is best. For example, it is possible for nurses to place orders themselves, which helps us to achieve a smoother procurement process,” says Daniël. For him, one of the best ‘side effects’ of the Accezz programme is his greater job satisfaction: “I have learned to push the boundaries more and stick by the rules less. I have developed a better sense of leeway and find my work more challenging and stimulating as a result of my ability to negotiate successfully. Moreover, I have noticed that our suppliers, if they can provide more products from different categories, certainly also regard this as a win-win situation.”