Case Study

Transforming Inventory Management at Cambridge University Hospital

Akeso collaborated with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to assess and recommend improvements in their inventory management processes, with a focus on people, processes, and technology. Project outputs led to a streamlined delivery model and significant cost savings, increased clinical time, and better supply chain visibility.


Leading acute provider, Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) appointed Akeso to conduct a review of supply chain and inventory management processes and identify opportunities to drive improvement, as part of a wider extended engagement.

The Trust, which is made up of two hospital sites, providing emergency, medical and surgical care, as well as specialist services across the region and nationally, has on average an annual spend of £13m across clinical supplies. Processes are fragmented and inefficient, with little visibility of supplies purchased, inventory holding and delivery status across the sites.

CUH required a partner to help draw down on current activity and develop a revised delivery model which would address the longstanding challenges faced across the organisation and meet Scan4Safety objectives.


Akeso worked alongside stakeholders, engaging with representation from clinical, operational and commercial, to understand current processes. Through detailed process mapping and analysis of inventory and transactional data, we develop a model of consumption and flow across the organisation, which we used to identify potential bottlenecks.

Through our analysis we found that procurement and handling of consumable stock was overly complex and inefficient – a further 20% was spent incremental to the purchase price on management of the stock internally through 3 different distribution models.

From our findings we developed a series of recommendations which we validated through external engagement with solution providers to test the ability of the market and understand innovative opportunities for development.

Following this, we designed a streamlined delivery model intended to reduce double handling, improve accuracy and provide end-to-end visibility of inventory from point of ordering through to point of care. In doing so we developed a detailed business case on behalf of CUH to seek investment for an inventory management solution.

Critically, through the transformation exercise, we provided direct support across stakeholder teams to maintain communication and engagement throughout the change process and upskill members.


The delivery of the inventory management transformation realised significant benefits, including:

  • £930k annual operating cost reduction through reduced consumption and tighter controls
  • Streamlining and improving the efficiency of the order processing and put away process resulted in a release of 250 hours in clinical time
  • Improved supply chain visibility through the implementation of an inventory management solution


What our clients say…

“It has been a real pleasure working with Akeso. As an organisation, we have greatly benefitted from their transformational thinking and their keen insights into the possibilities. Our processes and functions are in a vastly better state as a direct result of Akeso’s input, and they will be my first port of call in the future.”

Chief Executive Officer, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust