Public Buyers

Raising employer involvement in procurement at Gelderse Vallei

The regional hospital in Gelderland, Netherlands has around 400 beds and 3,000 employees. In the buyer department, Remco Lagerweij (senior buyer) and Youssef Razza (contract manager) are actively involved in the implementation of the hospital's contract management.


There was a desire to get the users more involved in the procurement process. There was also a wish to make the process more transparent for the whole organization.”, Remco begins. “It can sometimes be difficult to introduce or develop innovations. There is limited time, or people find it inconvenient to perform tasks in a new way. The purchasing department has started working in a different way, so that it is closer connected with the care process.

The basis for the purchasing department is transparency, according to Remco and Youssef. “With large projects in hospitals, it can quickly become unclear who does what. It's run through emails, it's viscous. You have little grip, but the choice you ultimately make needs to be well-founded. The employees define the requirements and wishes, then buyers translate these into the Mercell software and records this centrally. The entire purchasing file is therefore centrally available to those involved. We have now succeeded with purchasing projects, and we are now going to do the same with contract management.”

“Previously, agreements were not completely transparent and, for example, end dates were in an Excel file, or important documents were kept on a shared disk. But a local file is personal, while in the Mercell cloud software everyone can watch at the same time, with specific rights and roles. That increases involvement, transparency and ownership.”

By further professionalizing procurement and contract management, the buyer department has more control over its processes. “If you can include the entire purchasing process, you prevent hidden costs. Good contract management prevents you from being invoiced incorrectly, among other things. Such an invoice must be paid without any problems, without any questions. But if you do not know whether the price corresponds to the agreements, then you miss your target.” 

“As far as contract management is concerned, we are now keeping a close eye on a number of things. Of course, every contract has a start and an end date. We therefore run reports and receive automatic notifications when something expires, so you can keep control and take timely action to sign a new contract. If an invoice is incorrect, you can immediately check this online by including the agreements. When a certificate expires, the supplier now receives an automatic notification that a new one needs to be added.”


A small team makes you more adaptable

“Because we work with relatively small purchasing teams with a project manager, operational purchaser, assistant purchaser and senior purchaser, we can test and realize things faster. We are very practical and are reaping the benefits. The great thing is, because we just started doing this and use insights, you get noticed. Other departments are now watching us and are interested in how we have set this up. We see a contract as a collaboration between the department, we as buyers and the supplier. To make this collaboration measurable, we have KPIs that are becoming increasingly important. We have already set that up.”


Reducing costs with spend analysis and KPI's

“We have set up KPIs within a number of themes in our dashboard. So if there are missing reviews, for example logistics, we see that immediately. If there are any complaints about delivery times, we can immediately report it and take timely action. We need those KPI measurements for our accreditation and we also use them to determine the extensions. For accreditation it is important that we can demonstrate that a supplier does what it promises and performs. Departments must provide us with this supplier information." “Ultimately, good results lead to imitation. Of course, it is not easy to get everyone introduced to the software right away. But as soon as we show results, people show an interest. We did the same for the tender module."

“We are a regional hospital and do not have a tender obligation, but we do want to purchase maturely and professionally as a hospital. For example, a few years ago, we won the second prize during the Mercell Negometrix User Day. We want to keep up with the latest developments within our field and in our sector as much as possible. We're just a small team, doing a lot of this work on the side, and on behalf of the entire hospital, we are quite proud of that.”