Kemsa’s new inventory plan to streamline supplies, choke off graft deals
The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) has adopted a new inventory management policy, in a bid to enhance its organizational integrity and efficiency.
The new inventory management policy is wired to ensure adherence to optimal stock holding levels and will as well see the agency’s stockholding exposure cut from Kes14 billion to Kes9 billion worth of health products and technologies (HPT).
Kemsa CEO Terry Ramadhani said the policy has been benchmarked against world-class inventory management practices is aligned with the Ministry of Health National Health Products and Technologies Supply Chain Strategy 2020–2025.
She said the move is also part of the Kemsa three-pronged reforms and corporate transformation which focuses on driving operational excellence, enhancing customer experience, and repositioning the organization that has previously been entangled in graft scandals.
Kemsa has this fiscal year dispatched Kes25.5 billion worth of Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies (EMMS) and National Health Strategic Programs (NHSP) supplies to more than 8,741 health facilities countrywide.
Last week, over 235 healthcare centres in Makueni County received Kes37.6 million essential medicines from Kemsa following a consignment flag-off witnessed by governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana.
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Ms Ramadhani added that the new policy would accelerate efforts to transform the central Nairobi warehouses at Embakasi into a fully-fledged national distribution center.
The Embakasi hub, she said, will feed HPT supplies to regional outlets in Mombasa and Kisumu as the authority moves to decentralize operations.
The authority has also prioritized the automation of various supply chain processes to improve end-to-end visibility.
“We are happy to celebrate the reduction of the order turnaround time from a high of 46 days in February, last year, to an average of 12 days as of last month,” Ms Ramadhani said.
“These developments have been facilitated by the recent adoption of a revised inventory management policy and strict adherence to the key warehouse and logistical processes outlined in the policy.”
Kemsa is also stepping up the use of the framework supply contracts model, allowing for the staggered delivery of supplies as part of the adoption of world-class inventory management practices.
By adopting revised Just in Time (JIT) inventory management procedures, Ms Ramadhani said, will help curb the risk of holding slow-moving stocks that lead to wastage as short shelf-life products expire.
As part of its transformation journey, which includes integrating information technology systems, Kemsa has unveiled an electronic local purchase order (LPO) generation.
The automation of procurement is also part of the authority’s ethics and integrity assurance strategy that is also billed to fight corruption in the business.
“Such automation also eliminates the need for human intervention, which has been a key organizational integrity risk area,” she added.
“Soon, we will also automate contracting so that suppliers don’t come to Kemsa to sign the contracts, but rather they shall be emailed to them for their perusal and signing before submitting to us. By doing this, we will reduce the delays that occur when the signing parties are not available at the same time,” she explained.
Further, all LPOs will have an expiry date to tame the delays witnessed when suppliers took too long to deliver under open-ended delivery timelines.