KENYA – The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has unveiled an electronic Local Purchase Order (LPO) generation process as part of its transformation journey to further the Authority’s ethics and integrity assurance strategy.

KEMSA is a specialized medical logistics provider for public health facilities and programmes under the Kenya’s Ministry of Health whose mandate is to procure, warehouse and distribute medical supplies.

It is the first point of call for procurement, warehousing and distribution of Health Products and Technologies listed in relevant essential lists at various county referral hospitals.

It is mandated to ensure supply chain excellence for Health Products and Technologies to ensure positive health outcomes such as Information Technology solutions that provide limitless opportunities.

The state agency has automated its medical supplies procurement process which includes integrating information technology systems and eliminated manual procedures that require human intervention such as the issuance of LPO.

The Authority has advanced use of Information Technology Systems to support organizational agility and simplify business processes to improve the Order Fill Rate of medical wholesale orders.

KEMSA has made significant progress on this front, with the order turnaround time reducing from 46 days in February 2021 to 16 days at the end of February 2022,” confirmed the KEMSA Acting Chief Executive Officer John Kabuchi.

He further disclosed that the electronic Local Purchase Order will be encrypted with a unique password for security purposes.

In the revised procurement process, the certified electronic LPO would be sent to the supplier via email in three days after signing the contract,” said Chief Executive Officer John Kabuchi.

Automating the LPO process will ensure that KEMSA eliminates the time spent for suppliers to pick the physical copy before making deliveries of medical supplies to enhance the Authority’s efficiency levels.

The electronic process also eliminates the need for human intervention in medical supplies procurement and deliveries which has been a key organizational integrity risk area.

Moreover, all LPOs will have an expiry date to prevent the delays witnessed when suppliers take too long to deliver under open-ended delivery timelines.

John Kabuchi had an engagement session with the Federation of Kenya Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (FKPM) officials where he explained that KEMSA has prioritized the automation of various supply chain processes to improve end-to-end visibility.

During the contract signing, the supplier and KEMSA will agree on a framework model to allow for the staggered delivery of supplies as part of the adoption of world-class inventory management practices,” he said.

He asserted that the authority intended to also automate contracting where suppliers would be emailed contracts for their perusal and signing before submitting to KEMSA as opposed to going to the KEMSA offices to sign the contracts.

Automating the contracting process will reduce the delays that occur when the signing parties are not available at the same time,” the KEMSA Acting Chief Executive Officer emphasized.

He further challenged the FPKM members to ensure their product portfolio is aligned with the Kenya Essential Medicines List to benefit from the opportunities reserved for local manufacturers.

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