Do you supply goods or services to NHS hospitals and Trusts? If the answer is yes, you’ll probably have heard about PEPPOL, also known as Pan European Public Procurement Online. This is a standard of electronic messaging that all suppliers to the NHS and NHS Trusts must adopt in order to comply with the NHS eProcurement Strategy.
As connecting to the PEPPOL network will soon be compulsory, choosing the right PEPPOL provider is of the upmost importance. Here are our top 5 things to consider when choosing the right provider.
1. Is it a managed service?
There are some major differences in the types of PEPPOL services available that you should be aware of. For example, is the service provider you’re considering able to provide a fully managed service, or are they just providing access to the PEPPOL network?
If it’s not fully managed, you may find yourself without the support you need should you encounter a technical problem with your connection or run into problems on-boarding your trading partners.
2. Do they provide integration?
Whether or not your provider can integrate your PEPPOL messages into your existing ERP system is an important point to consider and could make a massive difference to how beneficial the transition to PEPPOL is for your organisation.
Integration means you will be able to view and manage all your data, including your PEPPOL messages, from one platform. Your two systems will communicate seamlessly with each other and everything will be updated in real-time.
If you don’t think you need integration at this stage, bear in mind that you may want to go down that path at some point in the future so find out whether your PEPPOL provider can scale up your service to include integration at a later date.
3. Is it a scalable solution?
Leading on from the previous point, you should look for a solution that is easily scalable in general. Will it allow for easy growth of your business? How difficult will it be to add new trading partners further down the line?
Make sure you don’t find yourself in the inconvenient position of needing to switch PEPPOL providers when your company grows.
4. What’s their experience and track record?
You should look for a provider with a proven track record of successfully implementing and managing a PEPPOL service and one that understands the particular challenges involved in the supply chain for the NHS.
The best way to check whether a PEPPOL provider is as good as they claim to be is to have a look at who their customers are and what they say about them. Are they trusted by industry leaders to provide their PEPPOL service? Have a look to see if they have any testimonials or case studies on their website or if you can talk to one of their current clients.
5. Is the price clear?
You will have been quoted a price but it’s important to make sure that you understand exactly how you will be charged and what’s included.
For instance, is full 24/7 support included in the price, and will you have to pay extra to add more trading partners to your PEPPOL network? Some providers may decide to charge installation fees as well as service fees, so always remember to check on this.
NetEDI is the leading provider of PEPPOL solutions in the UK and is the chosen PEPPOL solution provider for NHS Supply Chain. We are part of the Department of Health’s working group for PEPPOL and are committed to increasing the uptake of PEPPOL throughout the industry.
Our team of EDI and PEPPOL experts provide 24/7 support for our clients, ensuring that the electronic exchange of documents over the network operates smoothly, and the connections remain completely secure. As well as ensuring you remain compliant with the NHS eProcurement Strategy, connecting to the PEPPOL network with NetEDI will allow you to exchange crucial business documents with your partners in a secure, automatic and efficient way.
If you’d like to know more about our accredited and fully managed service, then don’t hesitate to get in touch using one of the options at the top of the page.