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Stock Visibility System

In this section you will learn:

  • What a Stock Visibility System (SVS) is
  • How the South African National Department of Health implemented an SVS


What is SVS?

A Stock Visibility System (SVS) is a mobile application that enables the communication of medicine availability electronically from health facility level into upstream electronic stock management systems.

SVS is not a:

  • Stock management system
  • Demand planning or forecasting system
  • Short term replacement for the paper-based ordering or stock card system

Benefits of SVS include:

  • Improved stock availability which results in reduced medicine stock-outs, improved consumption data and inventory management
  • Real-time dissemination of information between different levels of government which distributes accountability
  • Data for demand forecasting and planning informs better selection and procurement processes
  • Improving communication between the different hierarchical levels of the supply chain
  • Identifying problematic suppliers

Implementing a SVS in South Africa

The South African National Department of Health partnered with Vodacom to implement an SVS. The SVS allows health clinic dispensaries to report on stock levels on the shelves through a custom-built mobile application. Based on data reported from the clinics, SVS then automates reporting via SMS and e-mail to sub-district, district and provincial management. This data allows pharmacy supply chain management to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the distribution of stock, which in turn increases access to quality medicine.

Through SVS, the South African National Department of Health has access to granular stock level data from the last mile.

Key benefits include:

  • Medicine catalogue management
  • Clinical profile and registration
  • Mobile stock level capturing
  • Data security and access
  • Reporting
  • Stockout analysis.

Summary of electronic Logistics Management Information Systems

The Outsourcing Toolkit has explored three eLMIS options. There are many others out there. The ones explored here were OpenLMIS, Logistimo and the Stock Visibility System. The last tool that will be explored in the Technology section of this toolkit is route optimisation.