||United Kingdom : Joining the NHS Supply Chain Family
||Since signing the contract to deliver the Logistics Service for NHS Supply Chain in August 2018, Unipart have worked closely with DHL (the existing provider) to make sure that healthcare organisations experience a smooth transition.
We caught up with Frank Burns, Managing Director of Unipart Logistics and the man about to be at the helm of the Logistics service. We explored his personal reflections on what it means for Unipart to be joining NHS Supply Chain, the Unipart Way, and the perspectives and innovations Unipart will bring from their previous experience. We also considered the types of changes customers might expect to see once Unipart takes over service delivery and how Unipart will know that they have been successful.
What does it mean for Unipart to be part of NHS Supply Chain
Frank's response: The NHS is very important to Unipart and to me personally. The transformation to the new NHS Supply Chain provides an opportunity to deliver innovation and improvement through collaborative partnerships.
Unipart has done a great deal of transformation and improvement work with some of the most demanding organisations in the world, both in the private and public sector. We bring a fresh pair of eyes to NHS Supply Chain while building on the many years of experience that we have had working with NHS Trusts to improve processes such as bed management and scheduling. For Unipart, our role in NHS Supply Chain represents an exciting role for our Group. Many people in Unipart feel strongly about their personal commitment to supporting the NHS where ever possible.
I share that commitment. As soon as I heard that Unipart had been awarded this contract I told our chairman I wanted to run this service and make this a great success. I relinquished my role in the manufacturing side of the business to focus on this. The new operating model for NHS Supply Chain is an opportunity to bring improvements to customer service through innovation and value added activity and it is great that Unipart is now part of it and has this opportunity to make a real difference.
What perspectives and/or innovations can Unipart bring to bear from the other sectors in which you operate
Frank's response:I would like to start by recognising the contribution of existing NHS Supply Chain people. As I walk around the distribution centres I see highly motivated teams doing a great job. Unipart has great respect for what NHS Supply Chain people are doing today and what they are achieving. We have a culture which enables our company to provide opportunities for these employees to suggest how we could build on their excellent work and improve ways of working and the service to customers. We will approach this methodically and we will also be seeking innovative ideas for meeting the significant challenges on the horizon.
What NHS experience can Unipart bring to bear in delivering the Logistics service for NHS Supply Chain
Frank's response: We are not a traditional logistics company. Our heritage is in manufacturing and in the automotive sector, which is respected as one of the most efficient and complex sectors. Weve often transferred the learning between our clients in different industry sectors but the common theme for us is the way we work with people. Any organisation can import tools and techniques, the difference that leads to outstanding performance is the attitude of the people and the commitment from highly skilled, highly motivated people to solve problems at their own level.
Let me give you an example. Just the other day I was at the NHS Supply Chain site in Rugby and got introduced to an employee driving a truck. What was fantastic was that she wanted to tell me about how she could improve a process, even though she was working very efficiently and achieving her KPIs on that route within seconds. Then she told me how it could be improved, I did not tell her. The Unipart Way is all about recognising the potential and capability of individuals to make improvements. It is a philosophy of working that we developed many years ago and brought from Manufacturing to Logistics.
As we are a private company- the whole of Unipart is owned by employees and managers. We are able to make decisions taking a long term view. We want to contribute to the long term view of delivering best value, reliability and efficiency for the new NHS Supply Chain.
What changes customers can expect to see over time
Frank's response:We see our job at Unipart as understanding the customers real and perceived needs and delivering them better than anyone else. First thing we will do is spend time understanding those needs and then analysing our own processes reversed from supply-chain all the way though warehousing and transport etc. then well link them together.
Uniparts view is that the overall result for NHS Supply Chain is what is important. We want to see the whole NHS becoming even more successful than they are today, not overly emphasising what we are responsible for, but making sure that the end customer is treated with complete respect, and that we know their thoughts, views and concerns. Some of our existing customers involve Unipart in their long term strategy meetings. We do have a reputation for spending a lot of time with customers to properly understand their needs. We are interested in their long term plans, their needs for tomorrow as well as today, and servicing those needs.
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