ActivePDF Toolkit Helps Bring e-Billing In-House, Dramatically Reducing Costs 

Company Overview 

The NHS Logistics Authority is the main supply channel for consumable healthcare products to the National Health Service in the UK. Formed in April 2000 as a result of a Cabinet Office review of purchasing and supply in the NHS and supporting their customers from a network of modern distribution centers, NHS Logistics supplies healthcare products to all trusts and other health bodies in England on a non-profiting making basis. The role of the NHS Logistics Authority is to bring order and supply chain management to the current supply channels into the NHS and thereby create and develop the integrated supply chain of the NHS. 

As an integral part of the NHS, NHS Logistics Authority is the main supply channel for consumable products into the NHS and is working with trusts and other health-related bodies, to expand the volume throughput of this channel to an optimal level. The Authority provides advice and leadership to trusts, helping them to pinpoint opportunities to synchronize their own internal supply channels to realize efficiencies and cost savings. 

The NHS Logistics Authority provides a logistics service to around 400 Hospitals and primary care trusts from its eleven distribution centers, with over £500 million sterling (pa) of products delivered to over 10,000 delivery locations. 

Business Challenge 

David Rabjohns, Information Systems Manager at NHS Logistics reporting to the Finance and Performance department, manages a small development team whose primary role is to provide and support systems to disseminate management information both internally (within the NHS) and externally (NHS hospitals and healthcare centers). David outlines, “We are essentially a development resource. Our main aim is to provide efficient and accurate information systems”. 

Prior to the purchase of ActivePDF Toolkit, NHS Logistics had been paying an external service provider to provide e-billing services for their customers at considerable expense to the company. Treated documents include invoices, credit notes and statements and are used by the customer’s finance department for billing and credit information purposes. The end user accesses the PDFs via the Web.

David Rabjohns was approached by senior management and asked if it would be possible to perform this task inhouse in a more effective and cost efficient manner. After  investigating and testing a number of products, including PDFLib, FOP and text2PDF, David decided to implement ActivePDF’s software. “In a short time I investigated and downloaded ActivePDF Toolkit and within 48 hours I had replicated the basic nuts and bolts of our previous e-billing offering using Toolkit.” 


  • A catalogue range of 25,000 individual health care products 
  • Daily delivery service throughout England 
  • Eliminates the need for end users to order direct from suppliers 
  • Consistently high service standards reduces the need to hold large quantities of stock in hospitals 
  • Significantly reduces administration and process costs 
  • An emergency service for critical care products 
  • Assists the NHS to achieve value for money in the NHS supply chain 
  • An integral part of the NHS operating on a non-profit basis 

User Acceptance 

“The overall benefit is that we can very easily and quickly reproduce our current e-billing service. We were previously paying a third party to deliver this for us at considerable cost. active PDF Toolkit allows us to create PDF documents on the fly with the information directly from our database”, says Rabjohns.  NHS Logistics stand to save a considerable amount of money in not paying for an external service provider to carry out this task for them. “From all the other PDF tools investigated, ActivePDF Toolkit enabled me to do what I wanted in the shortest time scale’, say Rabjohns. “The functionalities available in Toolkit and its very reasonable price tag made my decision much easier in choosing a PDF tool to suit my needs”.