Interview: NHS Supply Chain

Name: Michael Lyons

Job Title: Inventory and Supplier Performance Manager

Company: NHS Supply Chain


How long have you worked for NHS Supply Chain?

10 years

How long have you worked as a Inventory and Supplier Performance Manager?

7 years

During your time in this field, what changes have you seen?

There has been a move from manual process to electronic and automated information flow.

Is it very different from when you first started out? How has the industry changed in regards to supply chain planning?

There has been a dramatic change internally from when I first started out however the core discipline has remained the same, which is that NHS Supply chain provides the best value for money and the highest level of service that it can afford, given the financial constraints.

A good example is that my team has removed £23 million of stock from our part of the supply chain over the last four years whilst improving service levels for customers.

How has your job changed as a result?

The challenges I face are always new. The balance has changed with the focus moving from internal resolution of issues to externally - whether it be customers or suppliers. The next frontier!

What is your opinion on the future of Supply Chain Planning?

Better integration across systems to enable costs to be removed and services to be improved.

What personal challenges do you face on a day to day basis in your job?

Keeping on top of emails.

Also, the integration of systems with key suppliers.

How do you overcome these?

Using B2B tools such as integrated ERP systems and web based technology

What software packages do you use to assist you with your job?

What is your hot tip to others who do a similar job to you?

Talk! Open and constructive dialogue across all parts of the supply chain where appropriate.

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