Zorgservice XL helps hospitals save money with e‑commerce

Denise Castillo
June 2, 2017
Zorgservice XL

In 2016, Zorgservice XL revamped their ERP system and e-commerce solution. Their new setup, a powerful combination of SAP and Sana Commerce, lets them provide even better services to the six hospitals that depend on the company for their purchasing, logistics and invoicing services. We spoke to Zorgservice XL’s Gani Gashi about how Sana Commerce is helping both the company and its clients.

Zorgservice XL: Unique purchasing and logistics services for hospitals

Zorgservice XL was founded in 2009 when three Dutch hospitals decided to join forces to optimize their purchasing and logistics processes. By the time the first company decided to make the switch to SAP and Sana Commerce, another two hospitals had already joined the fold.

Zorgservice XL is unique in the Netherlands as the only company that takes care of the complete logistics process for hospitals, from ordering to delivery and invoicing.

“Traditionally, hospitals preferred to manage purchasing in house,” says Gani Gashi, Manager of Finance, Controlling and IT at Zorgservice XL. “There has always been a strong bond between suppliers and specialists, so specialists are often reluctant to switch.”

There is a lot to be won, however, by collaborating with other hospitals, such as ensuring that patients with the same conditions are always treated with the same equipment, regardless of hospital.

Zorgservice XL’s team does everything they can to ensure great service. “We have a team of professional buyers who listen closely to the specialists and other users in the hospitals. We make purchases based on specifications and use the specialists’ input to develop a standardized assortment that works for all the hospitals we serve.”

Meeting e-commerce requirements for health care

Zorgservice XL had previously used an e-commerce system to streamline the ordering processes for their clients. In 2016, however, they realized that it was time for a new system.

“The main reason was our former system’s limitations,” says Gashi. “The system was difficult to update and was behind the times. We didn’t have good visual content, for instance, and the online catalog could only be consulted if you already knew exactly which products and product codes you needed.”

A user-friendly interface wasn’t the only requirement for Zorgservice XL’s new e-commerce system, Gashi explains: “We’re not just a wholesaler — we also take care of invoicing. We provide transparency for cost centers and we safeguard procuration.” The web store currently boasts around 1,400 active users ranging from nurses, departmental assistants and managers to team leaders, budget holders and sector managers. Each role requires its own specific authorizations.

Advanced e-commerce for hospitals in practice

With all these requirements in mind, Zorgservice XL started looking for a new setup — and they found Sana Commerce.

“In Sana we saw an organization that was up to date on the latest e-commerce standards, technologies and possibilities. They also offered the perfect link with our preferred SAP-based back office.”

— Gani Gashi | Manager of Finance, Controlling and IT at Zorgservice XL

According to Gashi, it’s exactly this integration between Sana and SAP that makes the two such a strong combination because it lets Zorgservice XL make optimal use of the data stored in their ERP. “Now we can grant each of the hospitals we serve insight to their accounts payable, purchasing, and subsidiary ledgers. This was a challenge with most other systems.”

Sana’s e-commerce solution for medical supplies also provided a solution for optimizing Zorgservice XL’s online portal for a range of different users: “Authorizations have been adjusted for each specific role. Everything ordered is validated against procuration and the available budget, and the link with cost centers and administration lets us reflect each hospital’s structure and processes perfectly.”

The results

Thanks to the seamless integration between Sana Commerce and SAP, Zorgservice XL and their clients have seen improvements in efficiency across the board.

“We can access data much more quickly, and we can do more with it,” says Gashi. “Fast access to data lets us improve our supplier management. Analyses help us prevent potential shortages allow us to deviate from schedule if necessary. Furthermore, the entire logistic and purchasing process has been automated and completely digitized. It’s faster, flawless, and more efficient.”

The real win for Zorgservice XL has been the assortment optimization.

“We have fewer individual products, fewer suppliers, and a shorter lead time with less inventory. That means less risk. We now have an extremely stable environment that helps us reach our goals.”

— Gani Gashi | Manager of Finance, Controlling and IT at Zorgservice XL

It’s not just Zorgservice XL that’s benefiting, though. “Our clients are allowed more flexibility and they can work more efficiently than they could with an internal purchasing or logistics department, which allows for even more growth. We are able to realize considerable savings on operational costs for a hospital with a purchasing budget of 30 million euros. Hospitals that purchase through us are able to save 7–15% annually.”

The future of Zorgservice XL’s web store for hospitals

The future is looking bright for Zorgservice XL. They currently serve six hospitals, and it’s now easier than ever to expand their client base.

“It’s become relatively simple for new hospitals to join, as we saw when the LageLand hospital came on board in January 2017. It only took six months, and it was a hassle-free process. Clear instructions and good training beforehand ensured that users were familiar with the system and procedures before they went live.”

Zorgservice XL is also looking to add to their services. They recently added delivery to individual departments within hospitals, and they’re already planning their next step: “We want more insight into orders and backorders, and next year we want to implement delivery tracking so our clients can follow their orders online.”

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