EDICOM’s e-procurement solution includes mechanisms that automate data transformation into the PEPPOL or GDSN standard. The tool is 100% compatible with any ERP and language in the market.


    EDICOM, as an accredited PEPPOL Access Point, provides a solution for direct and secure transfer of documents between partners through the PEPPOL network.


    EDICOM has a Data Pool approved by GS1 to operate in the GDSN network. Through our Data Pool service, we guarantee real-time integration of product data in the DoH GS1 repository.


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NHS e-Procurement: the strategy

In April 2014 the NHS published its e-procurement strategy. The report was driven by the need to optimize and align existing e-procurement practices across the entire NHS.

The strategy states that adopting e-procurement will produce annual savings of between £3 million and £5 million for a typical 600-bed hospital and aims to help the NHS overall save £1.5 billion annually.

The United Kingdom Department of Health requires NHS Trusts and their network of suppliers to use GS1 and PEPPOL open standards and communication networks.

The rollout schedule for the new system consists of different phases that extend up to 2018. The first mandatory implementation steps are carried out during 2016.

NHS e-Procurement Strategy Benefits


  • Economic savings of 5000 to 8000 pounds per bed.
  • 10% less product wastage.
  • More accurate information on use of products.
  • Enhanced efficiency and productivity.
  • Greater protection against counterfeit products.
  • Improved product traceability.


  • Cutting economic costs.
  • Automation of processes.
  • Higher productivity.
  • Enhanced security.
  • Fewer errors.
  • Traceability of products and messaging (invoices, purchase orders and shipping notes).
  • Speedier receipt of payments from the NHS.
  • Ease of switching to e-commerce.

How does it work?

The e-procurement system being developed by the NHS uses the international standards developed by organizations such as GS1 and PEPPOL as the basis for data transfer.

The British National Health Service bases the development of its e-procurement platform on EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) technology. Through this technology, NHS Trusts and their suppliers can exchange business, logistics and tax information which is in their information systems. The key to optimizing the exchange of transactions is the adoption of common and open standards by the entire supply chain.

  • GS1: For product coding, location coding and data synchronization

  • PEPPOL: For purchase order, advice note and invoice messaging


EDICOM, a worldwide partner

EDICOM is the leading developer of electronic data exchange solutions in Europe, with extensive experience in implementing B2B2G projects for the healthcare industry. This is why we can provide the British National Health Service hospital network and all its suppliers with an e- Procurement Solution 100% certified and fully compliant with GS1 and PEPPOL standards.

EDICOM NHS Solution: Features

Advanced Mapping Module

We translate the data generated by your ERP into the GDSN and PEPPOL standards required by the e-procurement strategy. The source language used (.txt, .csv, idoc, etc.) is not important, as our data transformation feature “Edicom Mapping Tool” lets you manage any data structures.


PEPPOL Network Module

As an Access Point accredited by PEPPOL, we can connect to any British Public Health service. This platform achieves secure and direct exchange of transactions, centralizing communications with multiple partners from a unique data sending and reception point.


GDSN Standard Module

EDICOM has a Data Pool approved by GS1 to operate in the GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) and fully guaranteed. We export the product data from your article master record and upload them to the NHS GS1 repository. This way, synchronization is achieved between your article master and the NHS products database and automatically updated whenever you make any changes.


International Platform

The solution is totally scalable for other B2B2G projects anywhere in the world.

Centralizing operations

Control transactions from a single solution integrated with your central ERP.

Certified platform

Platform prepared and certified to operate with any standard (GS1, PEPPOL, EDIFACT…etc.).

ASP-SaaS platform

Cut costs by operating in the cloud, avoiding in-house hardware and software.

International Helpdesk

Engaging any EDICOM solution grants you access to a multi-language support service adapted to different time zones to ensure the best coverage.


Our platform is permanently running in the cloud, with service availability guaranteed 99.9% of the time.


Frequently Asked Questions about NHS eProcurement Strategy

The e-procurement strategy set out by the Department of Health for the National Health Service has a schedule for gradual adaptation of the systems of suppliers and hospitals to the technology platform developed by GS1 and PEPPOL. The deadline for the electronic initiative to come into force is March 31, 2017. Nevertheless, the backlog already built up in the first stages of implementation has prompted the authorities to work on a new timetable that is more realistic and takes into account the complexity of the technological leap for public and private businesses.
All hospitals, health centres and trusts belonging to the National Health Service. All suppliers and manufacturers providing the National Health Service with goods and services.
Electronic ordering or e-procurement is the managing of relations with suppliers and purchase of goods and services through the use of electronic data transfer systems. The widespread use of this type of technology, known as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), lets you automate the exchanging of business and logistic documents between partners throughout the supply chain, improving the distribution of goods and cutting costs.
PEPPOL (Pan European Public Procurement On Line) is the culmination of a multi-year project co-funded by the European Commission and 11 member states. It provides a set of messaging standards that enable procurement documents (such as purchase orders, advance shipping notes and invoices) to be electronically exchanged without manual intervention between buying and selling organizations through commercial PEPPOL ‘Access Points’. Through the XML standard proposed by PEPPOL for supply chain data transfer, suppliers and NHS trusts can exchange orders, delivery notes and invoices.
A provider approved by the PEPPOL organization to supply connectivity services through its communication infrastructure.

Access Point providers typically connect to their customers through their existing networks and use the PEPPOL Access Point to exchange documents with other access point providers. So, the PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure can be considered as providing a ‘gateway’ o ‘bridge’ between specific e-procurement communities or service platforms. We call this federated network of access points connected to each other using a common set of standards the PEPPOL community.

The NHS e-procurement system uses this PEPPOL Network to set up a point-to- point connection with the EDI solutions of the partners, and it is necessary to use communication services that only an accredited Access Point can provide.
The electronic invoice is an equivalent of the paper bill, with the same legal value and providing new security conditions. In addition, it is considered one of the key documents within a purchase-to- pay process, as it affects the accounts payable administration of thousands of suppliers to the administration. In this regard, the automation provided by electronic billing systems constitutes an added control and a huge reduction in payment collection times for businesses, and in management costs for public administrations.
GS1 is a global non-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of norms and standards that improve supply chain efficiency and the relations between businesses and trading partners in any production sector.

In the case of the United Kingdom public health sector, the Department of Health has opted for the use of the product standards and encoding (barcodes) proposed by GS1 to quickly identify products, goods, locations…etc.

The two codes to be used by all stakeholders in the supply chain are:

GLN: Global Location Number – the GS1 identification key used to identify companies and locations. All project stakeholders, suppliers and hospitals must assign the company and its administrative structure a location identifier or GLN.

GTIN: Global Trade Item Number – the GS1 identification key used to identify any product line or service that may be ordered, priced or invoiced at any point in the supply chain Suppliers must have a GTIN for each of their products at each level of the packaging hierarchy, from a user unit to a box or pallet.
Global Data Synchronization Network – The GDSN network deploys rules and processes for the exchange of information resident in the data pools interconnected worldwide. This way, information on a product listed in an e-catalogue is shared with any data pool connected to the network requesting it.

Main components that make the network run smoothly:

GPC (Global Product Classification):

Worldwide product classification that brings the information on products together uniformly under the same criteria.

Electronic data catalogue (Data Pool):

Repositories of structured information on products, connected to the data synchronization networks to be able to share information with any trading partner.

GS1 Global Registry:

Worldwide record of all product references published in the GDSN network through the different approved data pools.

The NHS e-procurement initiative takes the GS1 GDSN network as the technological base for synchronization of the product master files of suppliers with the stocking systems of public hospitals and health service trusts Real-time data synchronization takes place through interconnected databases that share access to the information, known as Data Pools.

Both NHS Trusts and their suppliers must engage the services of a GDSN-certified Data Pool to be able to interoperate with them.
It is not a mandatory requirement to start up your e-procurement solution and connect with your partners in the NHS supply chain, whether public or private. Nevertheless, it is highly recommendable due to the technological challenge involved in approaching all the project component phases with assurances.

Implementing a solution aligned with the needs of the NHS e-procurement platform requires a high capacity and technological expertise in different EDI standards and communication protocols.

This aspect, along with the need for different official certificates to operate in network such as GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) or PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online), greatly complicates the options for developing a 100% operational platfor internally for NHS trusts, hospitals and health centres alike.
The health sector encompasses a large number of international companies accustomed to EDI in their normal business relations. It may be the case that you already have an EDI solution for the transfer of B2B data with your partners. In this sense, you already have part of the work done, especially if you work with an EDI integrated solution that connects your internal management system with the solution. However, the NHS initiative calls for the use of specific messaging and communication protocols.
To this end, you will need to prepare your EDI solution to generate the new XML messages and forward them to the recipient partner through the PEPPOL network. Connectivity, for which will need to hire the services of an accredited provider or Access Point.
Additionally, although you have an electronic data interchange solution, you will still need to cover the product data synchronization side through the GDSN network. At this point, you must be able to generate the product files with the fields and structure defined by GS1 and register all this information in a GDSN-certified data pool.
Summing up, you may partially develop the solution, preparing your systems to integrate the messages, but you will always need at least the services of a certified partner to be able to connect with your trading partner through the networks set up in the project.



© 2016 - Edicom - E-Procurement Strategy | Legal note