Transforming procurement transparency and efficiency for one of the largest ICSs in the country

05 December 2023 by Mat Oram

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The challenge  

As the Managing Director of North West London Procurement Services (NWL PS), Lee Jackson faced the challenge of ensuring transparency in procurement activities across nine partner trusts in North West London. When Lee joined the Integrated Care System (ICS) in November 2021 there was no way of identifying the total spend across the ICS. Some trusts were using three different Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and others did not have any system in place to properly measure procurement activity. 

The primary concerns were related to obtaining insightful spend analytics, identifying opportunities, enhancing operational effectiveness, and improving process efficiencies. The need for a comprehensive, integrated system to handle data from multiple NHS trusts was crucial for addressing these challenges. The aim was to set up a new shared procurement service for NHS partner organisations in North West London to deliver increased value from procurement services and support the development of new commercial opportunities across the region. 


The solution  

To tackle the transparency and efficiency issues, NWL PS partnered with AdviseInc to provide a one-stop shop capability for spend intelligence across the nine partner trusts. Its Platform+ solution was successfully integrated helping to create a solid foundation for the team to analyse total spend, purchase orders and invoices. 

AdviseInc’s provision of spend analytic capabilities and reporting enabled NWL PS to outsource these functions, allowing their team to focus on delivering value and actionable intelligence. AdviseInc also collaborated with NWL PS on new procure-to-pay (P2P) capabilities to identify process opportunities such as tracking key KPIs from requisition to receipt and invoice, further enhancing the partnership. 

Adviseinc’s approach not only involved pulling together the spend data and providing a single view for the ICS, it also engaged with local teams to understand the nuances, supporting NWL PS in their shared service approach. Dedicated support time from the AdviceInc team helped NWL PS to dive into analysis and ask any questions. 

The platform’s benchmarking and clinical variation capabilities, along with monthly support and collaborative meetings, contributed to addressing the unique data needs of NWL ICS in setting up its shared service along with its partner trusts. 


The result  

The collaborative partnership with AdviseInc has yielded significant results for the ICS. For example, NWL PS was able to benchmark its trusts against the rest of the country and identify approximately £4million of Cost Improvement Programme (CIP) opportunities. AdviseInc’s unparalleled understanding of NHS data led to instant savings in areas such as medical, orthopaedic, cardiology and surgical procurement, further solidifying their position as a trusted partner. 

Both organisations have established a responsive and mutually supportive relationship. For example, AdviseInc worked with the local chief financial officers to look at the movement of pricing by product, supplier, cost centre and organisation, providing a single view for the ICS and allowing it to spot trends before they become a problem.  

Thanks to the collaboration with Adviseinc, NWL PS has effectively tackled the challenges of transparency and efficiency in procurement activities. The ICS has established its own dashboards, integrating data from AdviseInc to encompass all of the ICS’s strategic KPIs, service level agreements, and operational metrics. 

Given the ICS’s operation across three different ERPs, AdviseInc’s data has now become a crucial digital capability, not only enabling processes but also seamlessly integrating with NWL PS’s dashboards. Additionally, AdviseInc’s partnership with the Shared Prosperity Fund has facilitated the automation of these feeds, significantly reducing the labour intensity involved in the process and allowing Lee Jackson and his team to operate more efficiently. 

Looking ahead, NWL PS anticipates the need for coordinated collaboration across the supply chain and actionable intelligence at a national, regional, and ICS level, with AdviseInc poised to play a crucial role in enabling these developments. 

With plans to develop intelligence at a pan-London level and a focus on longer-term category-based planning, NWL PS expects to leverage AdviseInc’s capabilities for identifying common suppliers, driving sustainability initiatives, optimising processes, and aligning with the strategic objectives of the ICS.  

The work with AdviseInc helped to lay the foundation for sustained value delivery and strategic alignment with the evolving needs of the NHS and the broader healthcare ecosystem. Going forward NWL ICS would like to leverage their work with AdviseInc and the shared service to work closely with the other four ICSs across London. This will enable a picture of spend across all ICSs in the region, which collectively represents 20% of total spend in the NHS. 


Lee Jackson, Managing Director at North West London Procurement Services, said: 

“The analytical depth and insights offered by AdviseInc have empowered us to delve into our data, pinpoint cost saving opportunities and provide actionable insights to our sourcing teams.  AdviseInc has played a pivotal role in developing our shared procurement service, supporting the establishment of our business case and enabling our team to deliver tangible results in less than 11 months.”

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