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In just 4 months NHS-ecat goes live

· 300,000 product lines up and available
· 1,500 main contracts added
· 3,000 supplier details loaded

“This is another step towards our future strategy for implementing a national eProcurement system for the NHS.”
Eric Jackson, Director of eCommerce NHS PASA.


London 22nd May 2003. Reqio, the UK based Product Content Management company announces that phase one of the NHS Purchase and Supply Agency (NHS PASA) eCatalogue project (NHS-ecat) has gone live on time and budget.

Of 128 initial responses received, it was Reqio that went on to sign a £1.3m contract in December 2002, the five-year deal is set to help the Agency modernise its procurement catalogue system.

In just 4 months phase one sees more than 300,000 product lines, 1,500 main contracts and around 3,000 suppliers loaded and available for the 400 NHS trusts and health authorities in England to use. Until today NHS PASA produced and distributed more than 3,000 CD Catalogues every month.

Reqio’s project management team, led by Mark Johnson, Chief Technical Officer at Reqio, worked with NHS PASA to scope the migration of product content from NHS PASA’s corporate Oracle database to the new NHS-ecat system. Having satisfied the migration process, phase one was broken down into several streams: Functional Requirements, Data Migration, Communications, Infrastructure and Training. According to Gary Allen, Project Director at Reqio, “The timescales of this project presented a significant challenge; choosing to break the project into several streams meant that we could run activities in parallel and manage the entire process efficiently.”

Joe Walsh, Associate Director of e-Commerce at NHS PASA oversees the project from NHS PASA’s perspective, he said “NHS PASA is responsible for £7billion spend every year, we expect our new NHS-ecat to account for around 50%; this makes the success of this project of critical importance to us.”

Within two months the migration of data and user acceptance testing were complete. At the same time customisations were developed to meet the specific requirements of NHS PASA.

The next major task was to ensure buyers, who are responsible for negotiating new contracts with suppliers completed the initial training programme; this was delivered by Reqio on site at NHS PASA. As the front-end of the new NHS-ecat is intuitive to use, the transition for the 400 or so NHS Trusts and Health Authorities was seamless. Reqio also produced a ‘quick reference guide’, as well as online help to ensure that requisitioners (authorised users) could use the system with confidence from go-live.

Eric Jackson, Director of eCommerce at NHS PASA said, “With phase one completed to budget and on time, we are confident that we have taken another step towards our future strategy for implementing a national eProcurement system for the NHS.”

Phase two, due for completion 1st July 2003, is already underway to incorporate some 100 rehabilitation contracts, with 22,000 additional product lines being added to the system.

Mark Johnson closed by saying, “From contract signing to go-live in 4 months is testament to NHS PASA’s commitment and Reqio’s ability. The new NHS-ecat recognises the key role that buyers, suppliers and requisitioners play and improves their experience by providing good quality and up to date information 24 x 7.



About the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency

The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency is an executive agency of the Department of Health.

It aims to be the centre of expertise, knowledge and guidance on purchasing and supply matters for the health service. As well as advising on policy and the strategic direction of procurement, the Agency also contracts on a national basis for products and services that are strategically critical to the NHS.

The Agency works with around 400 NHS trusts and health authorities and manages 3,000 national purchasing contracts covering both medical and non-medical goods and professional services. It influences nearly half of the annual NHS spend of £15 billion on goods and services.
www.pasa.nhs.uk


About Reqio

Founded in 1991, Reqio is a UK headquartered high technology vendor that provides rich and flexible Product Content Management solutions for e-commerce and e-procurement systems.

Backed by three of the UK’s leading venture capitalists MTI Partners, Advent Venture Partners and Quester, Reqio offers its customers a solution to maintain product information in one place, with robust and extensible support to bring new content into the solution whilst allowing almost any application to access and utilise product information across the business.

Today Reqio can provide support for all the leading e-procurement applications, portals, webstores, most CRM applications and ERP systems, as well as providing e-catalogues and CD based solutions.

Reqio sets itself apart as a Product Content Management Company with a proven track record in delivering eCatalogue and eProcurement solutions that enable companies to increase order values, reduce costs and enhance customer service. Customers include NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, Premier Farnell, IMI Norgren, Mitsubishi, Jewson & Wyko - all have benefited from Reqio's innovative approach.
http://www.reqio.com

Interview opportunities & photographs of Stewart Holness and Eric Jackson are available. For More Information Contact:

Stewart Holness – CEO
Reqio Limited Purchasing and Supply Agency
Tel: 01225 483083
stewart.holness@reqio.com

Sue Eyles / Angela Jones
BlueBird Associates Ltd
Tel: 01491 842940
sue.eyles@bluebirdmedia.co.uk / angela.jones@bluebirdmedia.co.uk

Janet Bullard
Communications Manager
NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency
Tel: 01189 808635
janet.bullard@doh.gsi.gov.uk



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