Digital Workers Keep Orders on Track at King’s College Hospital
When the supplier’s response comes back, the digital worker immediately scans it to see which purchase order it relates to, and then figures out which department and person is responsible. This has enabled us to keep better track of overdue orders.Sam Proposch RPA Lead, Technology and Innovation Team
KFM was created by King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the UK as a wholly owned commercial entity. KFM provides the Trust with a broad range of procurement and support services. However, keeping one of the busiest teaching hospitals in London well stocked was a challenge, and knowing which invoices among the many were overdue was even more difficult. So, instead of requiring employees to complete the task, KFM gave the job to Blue Prism digital workers.
Commercially driven, KFM’s primary function is to manage services for King’s College Hospital, including procurement, supply chain management and other clinical support services. The Trust is one of the largest teaching hospitals in London; as such, it constantly requires high volumes of medical supplies to operate. With so many orders being placed, and with almost as many suppliers,
KFM’s employees were struggling to quickly determine when an order supply was overdue. Where most organizations might see an unanticipated resource scarcity as a mere inconvenience, in a hospital, avoiding situations like these is a priority. KFM needed a way to know when orders were falling overdue and to quickly determine delivery dates.
Since KFM was logging thousands of orders daily to keep the hospital running smoothly, they deployed a Blue Prism digital workforce to help manage the volume. Now, when ordered goods haven’t been received within the specified time, a digital worker automatically contacts the supplier requesting an update. Upon reply, the digital worker determines the relevant department and forwards the supplier’s response for follow up. It’s an ingenious and highly efficient system that’s reduced the time between order and delivery from eight days to just three. What’s more, the system identifies when a supplier’s invoice exceeds the agreed purchase order amount. At present, the digital workers are rejecting about 10 such invoices every day, saving KFM around £365,000 per year.