Nationally Contracted Products (NCP) Initiative or Transformation?


Here at Clares we are extremely proud to be working with over 30 NHS Trusts to help them consolidate their purchasing power, reduce spend and increase efficiencies. The Trusts we are working with have chosen a direct procurement route, rather than the NHS Supply Chain and national savings programme. That’s because we have been able to demonstrate that far greater savings and efficiencies can be made with a bigger picture/more strategic approach.

We fully support the NHS’s commitment to reducing costs and are delighted that so many Trusts including Acute, Community and Mental Health Trusts, from across the country, have chosen to work with us. Our specialist procurement solutions focus on office supplies, printing and related services. Our job is to work with Trusts to review their current requirements, usage and spend, and to demonstrate where significant rationalisations and efficiencies can be made, without compromising the quality of patient care. 

Our bigger picture approach is transformational

Where the NHS Nationally Contracted Products (NCP) initiative is focused on driving incremental savings at sub category levels, our ‘bigger picture’ approach is focused on reducing lifetime consumption by reducing volumes. 

Take copier paper as one example. It appears to be the only ‘stationery’ item currently on the NCP list. Reducing spend on copier paper by pence per ream is fine, but our approach is to aim higher. We won’t just look at the grade and cost of the copier paper your Trust is procuring, we’ll look at different ways you can reduce the volumes of paper it uses per quarter and per annum. That may mean looking at how your printers are set up and ensuring they print double sided. We may look at eliminating letters being posted or sending large print jobs to a factory press. There are various ways and means, and in total we could shave up to 60% off your Trust’s paper spend. In fact we’ve come up with over 50 ways to help a Trust to reduce spend.

Copier paper is just one example, so imagine what could potentially be achieved if you review all aspects of your office supplies, printing, stationery and related services, such as post, document storage and solutions. This ‘bigger picture’ approach is what we’ve termed our Model Office service. And it really does drive significant cost savings.

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Take North East London NHS Foundation Trust for example. We’ve saved them £903,335 over five years. That’s a 48% reduction in non-core spend - on office product supplies alone. We’ve also worked with the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and saved them 49% with a print service and solution. 

Here’s what Alan Hoskins, Director of Procurement and Commercial Services, South of England Procurement Services had to say about our services…

South of England Procurement Service Case Study

South of England Procurement Service Case Study

 “Clares Business Solutions are very aware of the NHS challenges and offer solutions that are aligned to national initiatives and direction. I have worked with them on a number of projects over the last 5 years and they continue to be a valued supplier to the NHS South of England Procurement Services. They have delivered significant savings working with my teams on process efficiencies and innovation.” 

More than just cost savings

We’re not just in the business of driving cost efficiencies; our services also focus on making processes such as monitoring and ordering of supplies easier. It’s little solutions like our remote monitoring software that tells us when you have a printer that is low on toner. We’ll receive an automatic notification and dispatch a replacement direct to the device. 

Simple solutions to save spend

We’ve based our Model Office service around four categories – office products (paper, pens, pads etc.), managed print (procuring and maintaining your printer and copier fleets) hybrid mail (email, print and postage options) and document management (scanning, storage and shredding). 

We know from experience, that the biggest savings can be achieved when, rather than looking at each category in isolation, they are reviewed together. That way we can create a bespoke strategic plan to dramatically reduce lifetime costs, and to deliver additional benefits and efficiencies across a Trust. 

So what would you rather do? Make incremental savings on individual sub categories and products, or drive transformational efficiencies and savings with a ‘big picture’ strategic approach? It’s an approach that will evolve as your Trust evolves. With quarterly reviews and reports over the course of your contract, we’ll work hard on your behalf to make sure you and your staff enjoy a seamless service that’s continuously optimised for your requirements.

Why not get started by downloading our top 20 savings checklist that highlights the key areas you need to look at in order to maximise savings.



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Gary Stevens