Launched by brothers Steve and David Wood from their mum’s garage in the Wirral 30 years ago, Parity Medical now operates from the 13,500 square feet premises on the Wirral International Business Park with 50 staff.
The business is on the NHS’s national framework for procurement of IT hardware, software and services. However, providers and commissioners of NHS services have different workflow patterns, local practices, environmental considerations, decision-making processes and hierarchies, which means every customer has bespoke requirements.
Steve said: “Our first challenge as an organisation is getting hold of the right people and getting a meeting in the diary to discuss potential solutions. This means travelling anywhere in the UK with a van full of kit to demonstrate.
“Once an order is agreed, our sales executive must transcribe the order to sales support, which could take days or weeks, depending on workload. A Bill of Materials is then generated for the production manager who will manually look at material and workforce to schedule the build. The product is stored, ready to go to the customer.”
With so much manual intervention, errors creep in.
“Sometimes mistakes are spotted after manufacture which means we have to start the process again,” Steve said. “Then there are the occasions when they reach the customer before the error is realised.”
The current process means the sales cycle is long, costly, time-consuming and logistically challenging.
“Our current system works, but it needs to work smarter,” Steve said.