How Blau-Gelbes Kreuz eV provides medical aid to Ukraine using the ServiceNow platform

(Image taken by the author)

As the atrocities of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine persist and war continues to grip the nation, one of the top priorities of the international community is to ensure that the people of Ukraine have access to humanitarian and medical aid it needs. Getting resources to a country at war poses huge challenges, but one organization making progress in supporting Ukraine is Blau-Gelbes Kreuz eV (BGK).

BGK actually started its work in Ukraine when Russia invaded, then annexed, the Crimean peninsula in 2014. It is true that the war has been fought on Ukrainian soil since then. However, as we all know by now, Russia stepped up its invasion earlier this year – at great human cost – and the Ukrainian people continue to defend their regions, towns and cities.

BGK’s main focus now is to bring medical aid and assistance to people and hospitals in Ukraine as they continue to fight in the war. Since February, the organization has supported the delivery of more than 150 pallets of medical supplies, helping more than 10,000 seriously injured people in Ukraine.

The operation is complex and had to evolve rapidly. This week we learned how Kostya Bazanov, Managing Director and Principal Architect of ServiceNow at Teiva Systems Germany GmbH, used his contacts at ServiceNow to implement a platform solution to support the entire service chain. sourcing activity. Bazanov has 40 members of his own team in Ukraine, as well as family members, so this is a project very close to home.

Bazanov has volunteered with BGK for several years, but now works closely with the organization, supporting its efforts to get medical supplies and aid to Ukraine. He was speaking at ServiceNow’s Knowledge event in The Hague this week, where he explained how the Now platform supports operations.

Bazanov said:

This project started about two months ago. The most affected people are obviously in Ukraine, but it concerns us all. It is not only about the war in Ukraine, it has an impact on Europeans and the whole world.

BGK is a non-profit organization from Cologne, established in 2014. We focus on providing humanitarian and medical aid to Ukraine. When the war broke out in Crimea, the organization contributed to different humanitarian projects, but as soon as the full-scale war started in February this year, we focused a lot on medical aid.

This support is largely focused on the delivery of medical kits from Germany to Poland, to cross the border with Ukraine. said Bazanov;

When the war broke out, everything was very chaotic. The main objective was to bring help, different kinds of help, from Germany to Ukraine. Our team is made up of crisis managers, medical experts, air experts, logistics experts. We understood quite quickly that we had to provide very targeted medical support. We learned that we could provide effective aid by assembling medical kits.

The medical kit is a standardized set of medical supplies. A med kit fits on a pallet, which contains about 50 meds capable of helping with most combat injuries.

About 99% of injured people can be saved or helped by this kit. And then we went from one kit to multiple kits. And to grow, we needed a reliable solution to bring this help from Germany, through the hub in Poland, to different regions of Ukraine.

We were able to supply more than 10 hospitals with our medical supplies and aids. With just one kit you can help more than 100 injured people. We estimate that we have already helped over 10,000 people.

Get technology support

Bazanov said that when the team started assembling medical kits in February and March, the work was very unstructured and “quite chaotic”. Everyone was clearly doing their best, but communication was spread across different platforms and volunteers were using various apps on their mobile phones to get information between teams. He said:

They used Telegram, WhatsApp, wrote emails or simply called people and contacts in Ukraine, Germany and Poland. But they didn’t have time to sit in front of a computer and fill in Excel sheets. So everything was very unstructured.

Given Bazanov’s work as a ServiceNow consultant, he saw an opportunity to use the platform to digitize the entire process. He said:

My idea was to provide the technology to support this process, to make it more digital. I know that because of this manual process and some other issues, aid may be channeled to the wrong targets, or it would take too long.

So I came up with the idea of ​​introducing ServiceNow as a solution across the entire supply chain process. I have worked with ServiceNow for 12 years as a solutions consultant. I lead a team of 40 ServiceNow consultants in Ukraine, so my team is Ukrainian, so they’re affected as well. I knew ServiceNow could help, bring value and make the whole process more efficient. It was around the first or second of March.

Bazanov contacted ServiceNow to explain what he wanted done and said he got help from the company “within hours.” BGK had to go through security checks, as is the case with organizations providing support to countries at war, but the first solution was put in place within a week. Bazanov added:

From first call to ServiceNow, to going live, it took a week. Of course, this would not be possible without the passion and dedication of all participants. Including BGK, the people who prepared and sent the medical kits, they played the role of product owners. ServiceNow was involved as a vendor, but also provided professional services with dedicated people who implemented the solution, as well as some development and maintenance activities.

So all together in this very unstructured, but very flexible and dynamic situation, we were able to bring this solution in one week. And then we started building additional features, additional solutions, to add even more value.

Extend the use

Since going live, BGK has begun to expand the capabilities of its ServiceNow tool to include humanitarian use cases beyond the digitization of medical kit distribution. Bazanov said:

One of the greatest added values ​​we have provided since is an air rescue initiative in Ukraine. A team of pilots, who fly private jets, or own private jets, they transport medical aid across the border from Ukraine to Poland. And then also repatriate the wounded to hospitals in Germany.

Our solution helps this team to plan its flights and its pilots, because it is necessary to know which pilots are available where.

We are also evolving, we are bringing more solutions to the ServiceNow platform. We would like to put in place an efficient way to prepare documents for the supply chain, for logistics. There are dozens of documents that our organization needs to provide to different authorities in Germany, Poland and Ukraine, and we could speed up this process by simply getting all the data from one platform.

BGK continues its incredible work, securing medical assistance and support for Ukraine, but relies on donations and financial contributions for its work. You can learn more about contribute to the efforts here.