Saving healthcare supply chains £1.3 million in the post-Covid era


In 2022, Unipart Consultancy undertook a study, engaging all 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICS) within a healthcare organisation. The Integrated Care System here being a statutory partnership of organisations that plan, buy, and provide health and care services and resources to an area. Key findings were the organisation’s low maturity level in inventory management, insufficient data and data maintenance leading to increased shortages, and untrained colleagues involved in inventory management.

Following the findings from the study, ICS-led improvement illustrated the potential for strengthened service performance and substantial savings reaching up to £11 million per ICS. This emphasises the role of effective inventory management as a core cost and performance driver.


We collaborated with the healthcare organisation to devise a pilot supply chain plan for a single ICS within the healthcare organisation, as ICSs were recognised as central in leading supply chain development at various levels.

The key outcome of the pilot development programme was to create best-in-class processes for inventory management that would lead to increased levels of inventory management maturity within the ICS, aligning their priorities and resources for enhanced patient care.

This pilot aimed to develop supportive solutions that considered the pressures of the ICS and the overall supply chain strategy. Another aim was to improve inventory management at a local level as this was found to be the most significant driver for enhancing quality and resilience.


Our support across this ICS development project helped the organisation to identify ways to achieve greater efficiencies and productivity, leading to some incredible transformation results:

  • Acute trusts saved £1.3 million on one-off capital savings
  • Further savings of £5-8 million per ICS were identified on one-off capital savings
  • Acute trusts saved, on average, £500,000 in ongoing operating costs
  • With £1-3 million savings identified per ICS in ongoing operating costs
  • Customised plan for improving supply chain processes created for each participating ICS
  • Priority actions identified for ICSs moving forward to drive inventory management maturity
  • Improved operational performance to optimise the use of resources and eliminate unnecessary waste
  • Inventory management processes identified to align future resource needs with rising demand for services
  • Optimised ICS processes and structures designed to improve performance.


Talk to us about how we can help transform your supply chain to meet your customer demands.