Northern Italy was hit hard by COVID-19 in March 2020 and much-needed emergency medical supplies were not reaching hospitals and doctors in an efficient manner, if at all. An estimated 9 to 11 percent of COVID-19 patients needed intensive care, pushing many hospitals to maximum capacity and creating shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment.
Custom DXC enterprise applications and SaaS in days
The City of Milan’s Civil Protection Department desperately needed to improve the tracking and distribution of essential equipment to communal facilities.
Stefano Marcon, project manager for the City of Milan, says the initial manual approach was highly inefficient and provided almost no control of stockrooms: “At the very beginning, everything was tracked with the help of basic spreadsheets. Missing data and incomplete or unreliable information could seriously compromise our operations.”
Working in collaboration with the City of Milan and ServiceNow, DXC Enterprise Applications and SaaS experts developed and implemented a custom ServiceNow solution to track and manage the receipt and distribution of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, protective suits, and thermometers. Given the urgency of the situation, the team worked around the clock. The solution went live in just 6 days.
The team took an existing ServiceNow instance and developed a custom configuration that was tailor-made to fit the city’s emergency procurement environment. The system closely monitors the receipt of materials arriving in warehouses and tracks shipments as they are sent to recipients. All items are now tracked step-by-step much more efficiently.
Manlio Torchia, DXC account delivery leader for the North Italy public sector, says, “Working with ServiceNow, DXC was able to implement the customization that was required. We were able to track the movement of all the equipment from starting point to delivery.”
Working amid a crisis
The DXC Enterprise Applications and SaaS project team worked on the solution amid a quickly growing health emergency. “We were in a crisis, so the timing was very important,” says Alessandro Zamperioli, a Milan-based IT service delivery manager at DXC. “Milan and northern Italy had the biggest number of cases, so everyone was pushing hard to do their best. It was tough for us, but we really supported each other.”
With the solution in place, the City of Milan can efficiently track the receipt and distribution of hundreds of thousands of pieces of medical equipment to more than 500 facilities in Milan Municipality.
Distribution was made easy and trackable, Marcon says. “Through the application, the staff working in the warehouse had the exact information needed to prepare the equipment for shipment.”
Once the system was up and running, the team made tweaks and improvements to the application each day. Marcon says a clear picture of the current status of medical equipment has become available to all stakeholders in real time.
“Specific dashboards speeded up the procurement process in order to guarantee that purchases were aligned to emergency needs,” he says.
The ServiceNow reporting capabilities help the city identify what items are being received, what is stored in warehouses and what is being delivered. Reports are automatically generated that allow managers to track the movement of materials and decide where equipment should be sent. In addition, warehouse workers can access the system on multiple devices through a custom web interface.
Making a difference
Helping the citizens of Milan municipality fight the COVID-19 crisis and effectively serve the customer provided tremendous motivation for the DXC Enterprise Applications and SaaS team, Torchia says.
“This was a big crisis, so everyone was committed,” he says. “Everyone on the team felt that if we can help, we will do it.”
“The team was fully committed and implemented a solution in a very short time.”
Stefano Marcon Project Manager, City of Milan
Marcon is deeply proud of the teamwork and collaboration between his municipality and the two private sector technology companies. The application is scalable, and the City of Milan is considering extending it to other uses, such as delivering food to people in need.
“The team was fully committed and implemented a solution in a very short time. The quality of the solution also led to very fast adoption by the Civil Protection Department,” Marcon says.