Control and cost-savings with Esize procurement platform
Supplying the best healthcare, of a good quality and at the right price. That is the ambition of the VGZ Cooperation, one of the largest health insurers in the Netherlands. Of course, adequate purchasing is an essential factor in that respect. Not only does the sum of the procurement strategy and the procurement policy have to work, the execution is a decisive factor well. This is the domain of the Group Procurement department, which coordinates the procurement of all non care-related products and services. Up until recently, the team worked with a diversity of separate, outdated applications for the purpose of supporting the purchasing processes. Not exactly an ideal situation and reason for the organisation to look into acquiring one single procurement system that can replace the existing applications and that links up with daily practice. IT-partner Esize was responsible for the realisation of a complete solution for e-sourcing, contract management and buying on a single integrated procurement platform. This way, the Group Procurement department of the VGZ Cooperation expects to be able to take the next steps in its further professionalization towards improving control on costs and the performance of its suppliers.
“Procurement software is not exactly a subject that procurement professionals immediately take to. Having your system in order and up and running is, in fact, something that goes without saying”, says Dennis Eker, Manager Group Procurement of the VGZ Cooperation. “But we had already had to deal with problems for some time in the past due to the many separate systems that we used to keep matters up-to-date and particularly with problems regarding the stability of some of these systems. We faced the choice: either upgrade the existing applications or opt for a huge step forwards. We then initiated a study into a total solution that would support our entire procurement process on a single online platform. That resulted in Esize”.
The advantages and the user-friendliness of an integrated procurement platform, but also the strength of Esize as an implementation partner were ultimately the decisive factor in the choice of the VGZ Cooperation. The start of the annual sales campaign was a fatal deadline for going live with the new system. The DM department – responsible for all of the printed materials and mailings – plays a crucial role during the campaign period. They use the ordering application to manage all of the printed products of the VGZ Cooperation and they had no desire – understandably – to implement a new application during their busiest period of the year. Which is why this department was the first to switch to the new system. Dennis Eker: “This approach was so to our liking that we subsequently rolled the platform out phase-by-phase in the rest of the organisation as well. Our own project team demonstrated its commitment and its ownership of the process right from the start. This, in combination with the excellent manner in which Esize addressed its role, made us exceptionally strong and enabled us to complete the project so successfully. I wish everyone a project like this one”.
Insight and control
“We are convinced that the solution will provide us with more insight into the utilisation of contracts and budgets, among other things”, says Dennis Eker. “Seeing that the information on suppliers and contracts was laid down in various sources, we sometimes lacked insight into the agreements that had been made, or orders were sometimes placed outside the ongoing contracts. This also made it difficult to gain comprehensive insight into the right information with which to steer and/or adjust processes based on the most recent data. We expect to gain more control of our processes and expenses in this way”.
“We are proud of the project and the cooperation with the VGZ Cooperation”, says Paul van Rietschoten, Commercial Director Esize. “We know from experience that an implementation project involves more than software alone. An implementation touches on all of the processes in an organisation and is all about change, an adequate understanding of the operational processes and the people who work with the systems. Our aim is to interlink people, business and technology in the best possible manner. We successfully achieved our aim together with the VGZ Cooperation”.