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Fresenius Helios

At HELIOS, high medical standards go hand in hand with an efficient, economically sound management of available resources. The HELIOS purchasing concept defines binding regulations and standards that have proven themselves effective especially with regard to cost-intensive materials such as drugs, medicinal products, medical technology as well as operational and administrative needs. Some of the important regulations are:

  • Teams of medical experts and committees set binding group-wide quality requirements and define product standards together with the procurement officers. Thus, the HELIOS purchasing department combines the expertise of its doctors and nurses with the commercial competence gained in other areas from the various hospitals and disciplines. This capability and our standards of medical quality are channeled into all procurement decisions.
  • All purchasing decisions are transparent and easy to understand: HELIOS publishes all decisions made by the medical expert groups and corporate purchasing on the internet and the intranet.
  • The respective HELIOS employees from the pharmacy, purchasing, medical technology, the laboratory, catering, etc., – so-called product managers – are responsible for coordinating purchasing activities for their product groups across hospitals.
  • The corporate transparency rule applies to all employees of HELIOS hospitals. Clear instructions and guidelines shall prevent all types of influence on purchasing decisions. HELIOS expects all external partners to acknowledge and support this corporate rule.

The HELIOS purchasing concept was expanded in 2011 to also include the areas fleet, food, laundry, and laboratory. Based on first analyses, we already achieved synergies in these areas.

Today, over 85% of our medical supplies are standardized Group-wide at HELIOS. A system of more than 850 product groups promotes transparency, planning efficiency, and competition. The aim of this standardization is to optimize quality. Due to the binding product standards, HELIOS can bundle large volumes and is thus in a very good position to negotiate excellent procurement terms. The hospitals that HELIOS most recently acquired especially benefit from this.

To keep the high standard of medical quality, the HELIOS clinics place value on close cooperation with their suppliers. Their strategic selection by our supplier management also serves to minimize risks in the sourcing process. Only suppliers that have an adequate fault management process, a convincing fault and defects reporting process, and a low risk of business failure can be considered as a business partner for HELIOS. We introduced the HELIOS partner rating system with the aim to review the business relationship between HELIOS and its suppliers from the perspective of both partners. The results provide feedback on how to improve the partnership. The 2011 ratings are due out in the first half of 2012 and will also be published on the company’s website.

Hospitals’ energy requirements are a key cost factor. In 2011, HELIOS spent a total of about €55 million on energy, water, and fuels (2010: about €55 million). HELIOS has created a web-based sourcing platform, enPortal, which provides transparency on all utilities at all clinic locations. Variances in consumption and costs are promptly detected and directly acted upon. HELIOS monitors the latest price trends on the energy exchanges on a daily basis. The enPortal platform, to which more than 380 energy utilities in Germany are linked, is used by other Fresenius business segments besides HELIOS. For 2011, the price of electricity increased by approximately 4%, after we had achieved significant savings for 2010 compared to the previous year. We also achieved good results in our natural gas sourcing and are now covering requirements until October 31, 2012. The cost of natural gas was reduced by about 7% for the 2011 supply year (October 31, 2010 to October 31, 2011).

Globally increased food prices did not have a significant impact on HELIOS in 2011. One reason is that they only make up a small part of the overall purchasing volume, and therefore a small part of the total cost of our hospitals. Another reason is that we concluded price agreements.

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