Our approach is a key success factor
As a customer of OBS Logistics, NHS Blood and Transplant relies on our CALIDUS Total Logistics Systems. These include Transport Management Systems (TMS) Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) Portals, Route Optimisation and Vehicle Telematics via TomTom Webfleet.
About NHS Blood and Transplant
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is a Special Health Authority and key to the operation of the NHS. Providing blood and organ donation services to the NHS means supplying enough safe blood to hospitals in England and providing solid organs and tissues to hospitals across the UK. Each year donors give about 1.6 million donations of blood and about 4,000 organ transplants are carried out – saving and transforming countless lives. Logistics is a crucial part of the NHSBT operation. Over 200 specialist vehicles are used to move blood and associated products between donation sites, processing laboratories and stock holding centres for final delivery to over 250 hospitals.
New TMS marks a step change
In 2015 NHSBT began rolling out a new Transport Management System (TMS) supplied by OBS Logistics. The system had been selected in 2014 after a rigorous competitive tender process which saw 9 companies bidding in competition with OBS Logistics and our CALIDUS products.
The new system is based on CALIDUS TMS, the core application that integrates a number of allied technologies. Interfacing with NHSBT’s existing ERP system, called PULSE, CALIDUS TMS integrates CALIDUS ePOD, CALIDUS Portal, a route optimisation system from DPS International and Telematics and Satnav from TomTom, into a single cohesive system. There are over 250 NHSBT drivers and each is equipped with CALIDUS ePOD running on an Android smartphone. Over 200 NHSBT delivery vehicles carry the TomTom telematics and navigation system.
Transport orders are captured by CALIDUS TMS to transport blood right from the start of its journey through the NHSBT process. NHSBT operates many donation sessions every day, most of these are community sessions and move to new locations regularly.
CALIDUS ePOD is able to scan barcodes associated with the transportation containers used by NHSBT, so that these and the units of blood they contain can be tracked as they are delivered back to one of four processing centres.
Once tested and processed (there are actually 49 blood derived products produced by NHSBT) the safe blood product is then moved to one of 15 Stock Holding Units (SHU’s). Again, these movements are planned and executed by CALIDUS TMS and tracked by CALIDUS ePOD.
Hospitals use PULSE to order units of blood for their local stock, both for planned surgical procedures and emergency consumption.
These routine orders flow from PULSE to CALIDUS via an automated interface written by OBS Logistics and are then planned against routine fixed hospital delivery slots. CALIDUS TMS makes best use of driver and vehicle resources by allowing the SHU most local to the hospital ordering blood to plan both deliveries to hospitals and donation collection stops at the same time.
Any other deliveries that are time critical (such as one-off emergency blood movements) are planned and executed separately.
CALIDUS Portal provides hospital staff with a self-service system enabling live tracking of blood deliveries versus the published delivery ETA’s.CALIDUS Portal also provides a separate transport order entry portal for movement of tertiary (non-blood) items that cannot be requested through PULSE.
For a number of years DPS International, as suppliers of route optimisation software, has cooperated with OBS Logistics as a key partner. Utilising CALIDUS TMS as the core system, DPS Logix is available to NHSBT as a fully integrated system designed to further refine the planning of both routine deliveries as well as collections from the ever changing community sessions. NHSBT also has access to the DPS Logix array of strategic transport analysis tools, enabling the organisation to better analyse and tune the performance of its network and resources for the future.
The TomTom Telematics solution is fully integrated with CALIDUS TMS. TomTom Webfleet is a back office application used by transport managers to assist drivers in constantly improving their driving performance. Webfleet is, as befits a transport application, based on a series of dashboards which graphically demonstrate how drivers are performing on a daily and cumulative basis against agreed targets. Managers can also access a wide range of reports showing, amongst other things, individual and corporate fuel usage. The system also measures acceleration, braking and cornering forces to analyse driving style.
Staying on schedule is even more crucial for NHSBT than most organisations. Modern traffic conditions make this a frequent challenge to which TomTom has an answer. The system includes a dashboard level sat nav that has the added benefit of an automated traffic avoidance function which pro-actively steers the driver around road congestion. All of this technology is fully integrated with CALIDUS TMS and ePOD.
NHSBT has made a bold move in equipping its Logistics division with the most modern tools to help do the best job that can be done. CALIDUS Total Logistics software, being fully integrated with the other components of the solution, has uniquely facilitated a very significant step change for NHSBT Logistics.
An opportunity to help
Blood is vital for patients in accident and emergency situations, patients undergoing surgery and receiving treatment for cancer and blood diseases, and women haemorrhaging in childbirth. Every donor can save or improve up to three lives each time they donate blood. If you are inspired to help, register to be a blood donor at www.blood.co.uk. Thousands of people in the UK, including children, are in need of an organ transplant. Three people die every day because of the shortage of donated organs. You can learn more about organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organ donation.nhs. uk. Please remember to share your decision with your family. After all, you never know, one day you may be very grateful for the dedication and efficiency of NHSBT and the kindness and generosity of a donor.