eBay NHS PPE Portal Passes 1 Billion Items Shipped

Thursday January 14, 2021 | Posted at 8:27 am | By Paul Dicken
January 14, 2021 @ 8:27 am

As we enter the third UK national lockdown, this post updates you on the numbers behind the portal success. Back in May 2020 as we were exiting the first coronavirus-prompted lockdown, we blogged about the technology and expertise we’re contributing to the eBay-NHS initiative to set up a portal for healthcare providers to order the PPE they need for the pandemic. Little did we know that this would be the first of three lockdowns to date, as governments across the world rush to contain variant spreads and innoculate their population in parallel.

Volo is one of a number of partners in this important initiative and the Volo ‘Origin’ platform manages the PPE listings, orders and integration into eBay. In addition to our technology, We’ve also put in a lot of work to maintain the project as the item volumes ramped up.

In mid-July, Tamebay reported that the portal had shipped over 18.5 million items to 21,000 healthcare providers. By the end of September, eBay had committed to extend the portal to the end of March 2021, and we increased the capacity to process and deliver up to 200 PPE items per week.

By the beginning of November the portal had shipped 325 million items of PPE. In the week of 28th October to 3rd November, 51 million items were shipped. (For more detail on the kind of providers using the portal, see here.) By the beginning of December, the total number had reached 500 million.

With cases and hospitalisations following an uncomfortably steep trajectory, it’s no surprise that a month later we’ve passed the milestone of 1 billion PPE items ordered through the portal. Chris Farrelly, Volo’s founder and CTO, had this to say:

“We’re very pleased that Volo Commerce is an integral part of helping meet the single most significant threat to our health, wellbeing and economic prosperity in modern times. 1 billion PPE items is an almost unfathomable amount, but since the daily order volume is well into 6-figures, you can imagine how quickly we got to that number, and how quickly we’ll get to the next billion and beyond that.

“On a personal level, there’s obviously a good amount of pride and satisfaction that the Volo Origin platform has the robustness required to handle these enormous volumes. From the earliest days of Origin we built the system with comprehensiveness and resilience in mind. This has paid off for our private sector customers for a long time, and it’s great that the NHS, front line staff and ultimately the general public are benefitting too.”

On a final note, it was great for the portal to be recognised as ecommotors won the award for ‘Outstanding Innovation During the Covid-19 Crisis’ by the IAAF (The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation) at its recent 2020 ‘Pride of the Aftermarket’ Virtual Awards. (The Volo Origin platform is behind ecommotors, which is a full service ecommerce enabler for the aftermarket industry.)

Please do get in touch to discuss your ecommerce plans and requirements for 2021 and beyond.


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