Jan Culshaw, Category Manager, Payment Solutions, explains how greater use of procurement cards can save the health sector time and money this winter.

The usual winter pressures, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, means the pressure on our health sector is growing day by day. More than ever before, using finite resources as efficiently and effectively as possible is an absolute necessity. 

At CCS, we’re here to help you do this. 

This winter there is a clear and urgent need for solutions that can rapidly provide impactful and tangible results. Solutions that, almost overnight, can save you time and money.

For this reason, we encourage all of our health customers to consider how to extract the maximum possible benefit from every purchase they make by paying through procurement card via our Payment Solutions agreement. 

Why not benefit when you buy? 

The Institute for Government recently reported that in 2018/19, the Department for Health and Social Care spent around £70 billion on procurement in England alone. The vast majority of this was NHS spending, with nearly £6 billion spent on consumables such as gloves and syringes. 

The frequent purchasing of quality goods and services, at the best possible price, is clearly fundamental to delivering a world-class health service. Indeed, NHS Supply Chain manages over 4.5 million orders each year.

With the widespread use of our Payment Solutions agreement, that’s 4.5 million opportunities to save time and money, strengthen your supply chain and enjoy enhanced financial control. 

Procurement cards – the power is in your hands

Whatever you’re buying – from consumables and cleaning products to print and PPE – can be purchased through a procurement card. This unlimited scope means you can enjoy the following benefits every time you buy: 

  • save time and money purchasing with a procurement card means your finance team doesn’t need to raise POs or process invoices, freeing up valuable resources, while using a card typically saves around £5 per transaction compared with traditional methods.
  • strengthen your supply chain – suppliers get paid within 4 days by the card provider meaning your supply chain and business resilience are strengthened. Something that’s especially important during COVID-19. Furthermore, the faster payment isn’t at your expense – the cards work on a buy now, pay later basis.
  • actively generate funds – prompt payment generates impressive discounts from suppliers who, on average, are willing to offer a 3% discount for being paid just 15 days earlier. You receive an annual rebate from your card provider and the more you spend, the more you recoup.
  • enjoy more control – you can easily set or update transaction limits for both staff and suppliers, while a bespoke reporting suite allows you to monitor purchasing in real-time. Meaning you can monitor every penny that’s being spent.

Start benefiting today 

Anything can be bought on a card, meaning you have unlimited chances to benefit, while the benefits increase exponentially the more purchases you make. 

Whether you’re already using procurement cards but want to further harness their power, or if you want to introduce them into your organisation, you can quickly and easily start seeing the benefits. 

Already using procurement cards?

If, like most, your organisation already uses procurement cards, our category experts recommend that you conduct a review of all current and future purchases to see where there’s opportunity to spend more on cards.

Despite their unlimited scope, many organisations use cards for a narrow set of purchases – every purchase not made by card is potentially losing you time, money and control while weakening your supply chain.

We also recommend that you work with your Finance department and card provider to integrate payments into your existing procurement card programme and talk to all of your suppliers. If they don’t accept card payment, highlight that they will be paid earlier and ask them to speak to their bank to enable card payments. 

You may also find our Payment Solutions webpage useful. It’s packed with detail – including an interactive infographic – on how to get the most from procurement cards. 

New to procurement cards?

If your organisation is not currently using procurement cards, or are interested in switching providers, contact our team today. You can also find out more about the agreement on our Payment Solutions webpage.

It’s quick and easy to integrate procurement cards into your organisation. You can start saving time and money, strengthening your supply chain, generating additional funds, and enjoying increased financial control within weeks.