Everything You Need to Know about the Italian NSO System
The Italian National Health System’s electronic ordering platform, called NSO (Nodo Smistamento Ordini), allows for the management of public sector purchasing, process automation, and supply chain optimization. The NSO makes Italy one of the most developed European countries in the e-Procurement space.
The National Health System (SSN) began electronic procurement with the NSO platform on February 1, 2020. It was a strategic step toward the dematerialization of supply processes for the Italian public health network.
Table of Contents [Hide]
What is the NSO – Nodo Smistamento Ordini?
The NSO is a platform for the electronic exchange of orders between the National Health System (SSN) and its suppliers.
Italian public health entities are required to manage their orders through the NSO. Their providers must be technologically equipped to connect and exchange data electronically through the platform.
How Does the NSO Platform Work?
The NSO connects the client – the National Health System entity - with its authorized suppliers. The health sector client automatically places orders for the supply of goods and services.
The connection to the NSO can be made in the following ways:
- Through the webservice protocol which is already enabled for electronic invoice processing. Every supplier of the Italian public administration uses this protocol to send invoices to the SdI (Sistema di Interscambio).
- Through the PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement OnLine) infrastructure.
On the NSO platform, orders can be exchanged in several ways:
- Simple order: The customer sends the supplier an order that does not require a response. Any other interaction between supplier and customer must occur outside the NSO platform.
- Complete order: The customer sends the order, after which the supplier may send an acceptance, rejection, or modification response. In turn, the customer can send a confirmation to the order response.
- Pre-agreed order: The supplier sends the previously authorized electronic order to the customer. This flow may include an optional order response from the customer.
The format of the documents transmitted through the NSO (orders, responses, confirmations, or rejections) must be aligned with the PEPPOL BIS specifications (UBL, Universal Business Language).
NSO Technical Updates
There have been several updates made to the technical rules throughout 2020, the aim being to correct errors and integrations. The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) published the latest version (4.7) of the technical rules for NSO electronic orders in December of 2020.
The updated version introduces changes and new obligations for suppliers.
Advantages of the NSO System
The NSO platform implementation brings significant benefits to both the Italian public administration and its suppliers, including:
- Cost savings from process optimization
- Elimination of paper throughout the supply chain
- Process and communication automation
- Improved order traceability
- Shortened payment terms
- Transparency in procurement processes. The NSO platform is connected to the National Database of Public Contracts (BDNCP) for verification of the CIG (Códice Identificativo di Gara - public tender), and to the Commercial Credit Platform (PCC).
- Market expansion. The electronic ordering system gives potential suppliers access to the National Health System by eliminating barriers with automation and a standard language.
EDICOM NSO Solution
EDICOM, a technology provider specialized in EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), has developed a solution that facilitates the electronic exchange of data between customer and supplier in a secure and fully automated way.
The solution is integrated with the user’s ERP. It extracts data and converts it into the required language for sending and receiving documents.
EDICOM's EDI platform allows users to centralize the entire commercial flow, from the hospital to the supplier and vice versa. This includes orders, shipping notes, and even invoices, since EDICOM can connect to both the NSO and the SdI.
Invoices are generated by capturing data from the user's ERP, which the EDICOM platform transforms into the format required by the MEF.
Traceability throughout the process is another of the benefits of EDICOM's NSO solution. The NSO sends issuing companies a series of notifications on order status which the EDICOM platform allows users to view online. They can also be automatically integrated into the ERP and managed internally.
The solution connects the EDICOM Public Administrations HUB to the NSO via its webservice protocol. It also connects to the PEPPOL network.
EDICOM ITALIA is certified as a Peppol Access Point by the Italian Agency for Digitalization (AgID). This allows private companies and public entities to access the PEPPOL network through the EDICOM platform for public procurement processes in line with European Union standards.
Advantages of Doing NSO with EDICOM
- EDICOM EDI solutions are scalable and adaptable to customer needs and the development of new scenarios. Suppliers with an integrated solution can adapt their systems quickly and easily. For these companies, the NSO is another step toward automating their transactions with the Italian public administration. It is an advantage for all parties that Italy is very advanced in B2B and B2G dematerialization.
- EDICOM constantly updates its technology to align with new requirements that public administrations introduce to optimize their electronic procurement systems.
All changes must be implemented immediately by both suppliers and public health entities. EDICOM solutions are kept up-to-date and adapted to new developments, always with the goal of minimizing disruption to the customer’s operations.