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NHS Supply Chain acheives highest service level to date

Monday 2 February 2009

After two years in existence, NHS Supply Chain has outperformed initial key performance indicators and the newly developed ‘on time, in full’ (OTIF) measure to achieve its highest service level to date in 2008 at 98.58%.

The contract between the Department of Health and DHL Exel Supply Chain began in 2006 and bought together NHS Logistics and some of the scope from the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA).

Since then the organisation has successfully expanded its network capacity and improved service levels across all regional distribution centres (RDC). In 2008, the organisation opened its seventh RDC in Rugby to alleviate pressure on the network and enable the number of catalogue and stocked products to increase.

Eddie Aston, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Supply Chain said “In its first year, Rugby RDC has provided an impressive service level of 98.52%, and opened with no impact on service to customers.

The efficient management across all sites in 2008 meant that whilst facing an increase in sales volume and product lines, NHS Supply Chain maintained its service levels throughout such a demanding year.

Already maintaining on time delivery performance well in excess of 99%, 2008 saw inventory availability reach its highest level to date at 98.58% – both measures contribute to OTIF which is measured at a more stringent order, rather than line level.

During November 2008, the key stocked product OTIF reached 87.49%, against an inherited figure of 81.18%, above both target and the benchmark established for this type of measure.

During the busy festive period (weeks 31-39), the organisation achieved a service level of 98.91% - a major improvement on the slight dip in levels in December 2007. Following the performance in 2007 an operational seasonal plan was implemented; this along with additional storage and stock build pulled forward, helped underpin one of the biggest sales weeks ever in December 2008 and 99.75% of deliveries arriving on time.

In 2009 we endeavour to improve service levels across all sites, and make sure that our high standards are maintained by continuing to offer 99% product availability”


Media enquiries

Joanna Morrison
Tel: 07776 457201

Andrew Brentnall
Tel: 01773 724196

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain is a 10-year contract operated by DHL Exel Supply Chain on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Its aim is to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS so that resources are released for customers to focus on quality frontline patient care, manage costs and achieve sustainable value. NHS Supply Chain provides its services to over 600 NHS trusts and private healthcare providers and offers over 600,000 products. NHS Supply Chain can manage the entire tender process, including Official Journal of European Union processes, and act as single point of contact between trusts and suppliers.

  • procurement
  • supplier
  • logistics
  • Supply Chain consultancy services
  • patient services

All underpinned by world-class IT and ecommerce. The range of 600,000 in-scope products support the patient pathway: diagnosis, intervention and patient care:

  • theatres
  • nursing
  • food and facilities (including office equipment)
  • clinical markets
  • capital equipment

NHS Supply Chain HQ address: Cotes Park Industrial Estate, West Way, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 4QJ
Phone: 01773 724000
Fax: 01773 724229

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations. For further information, visit

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