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South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust Turns to Touchstone Group for Top Procurement Performance


South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SCAS) has signed a six-figure deal with the software and services company, Touchstone Group, to implement the web-enabled procurement application, PROACTIS.

SCAS was formed in 2006, following the merger of four individual ambulance trusts. Subsequently, there were four separate, non-integrated IT systems in use, which made efficient procurement problematic.

This prompted SCAS to investigate an e-procurement solution and the organisation turned to Touchstone Group for expert consultancy. Touchstone Group assessed SCAS’ existing infrastructure and considered its future requirements before identifying PROACTIS as the solution best able to meet SCAS’ needs.

PROACTIS from Touchstone Group will provide SCAS with a raft of benefits, including: operational, expenditure and management control; real-time performance management information capabilities to help inform the decision-making processes; and improved working practices to achieve cost savings that would ultimately benefit patients.

Touchstone Group won the competitive tender against other Office of Government Commerce-accredited (OGC) companies because of its extensive product offering and vast technical expertise. Also key to Touchstone Group’s selection was its long-standing experience working with public-sector organisations, affording the company an understanding that SCAS is accountable for its expenditure and must implement systems that deliver the best value possible.

According to Charles Porter, Director of Finance and Estates, PROACTIS will overhaul SCAS’ purchasing and forecasting procedures and allow the Trust to get the most from it budgets. Porter has been impressed with the excellent customer service and technical support from Touchstone Group.

Adrian McNay, Group Board Director, Touchstone Group, adds: “SCAS represented a significant challenge because we needed to bring together the disparate procurement practises of four previously individual trusts and unite them via one online, scaleable solution.

“Because we have so much experience and knowledge in this area, we can ensure smooth integration with SCAS’ existing systems, and make sure its core IT systems will not be disrupted.”

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