Title: Boxed up and locked up, safe and tight! Making the case for unattended electronic locker bank logistics for an innovative solution to NHS hospital supplies (UK)

Authors: Gavin Bailey; Tom Cherrett; Ben Waterson; Liz Breen; Robert Long

Addresses: Transportation Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, SO17 1BJ, Southampton, UK ' Transportation Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, SO17 1BJ, Southampton, UK ' Transportation Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield, SO17 1BJ, Southampton, UK ' School of Management, University of Bradford, Emm Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD9 4JL, UK ' School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, SO17 1BJ, Southampton, UK

Abstract: The lack of separation between urgent and non-urgent medical goods encourages sub-optimal vehicle fleet operations owing to the time critical nature of urgent items. An unattended electronic locker bank, to which individual urgent items can be delivered thereby separating urgent and non-urgent supply, was proposed for the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, UK. This concept was quantified using 'basic' and 'intuitive' hill climbing optimisation models; and qualitatively using staff interviews and expert reviews. Results indicated that a locker bank with a fixed height (1.7 m) and depth (0.8 m) required a length of 4 m (basic model) and 3.63 m (intuitive model), to accommodate 100% of urgent consignments for a typical week. Staff interviews indicated the wider benefits such as staff personal deliveries.

Keywords: SCM; supply chain management; medical supply chains; bullwhip effect; optimisation; out-of-hours deliveries; hospital logistics; unattended locker boxes; electronic locker banks; unattended locker banks; stockless inventory; procurement management; UK; United Kingdom; NHS; National Health Service; hospitals; health sector; healthcare industry; urgent medical supplies; non-urgent medical supplies; fleet operations; hill climbing optimisation; modelling; staff personal deliveries.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2015.066290

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2015 Vol.8 No.1/2, pp.104 - 125

Available online: 11 Dec 2014 *

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