“Graduating” Through the Levels of Supply Chain Knowledge – Part 1

Tracy Chadwell

By Tracey Chadwell, Senior Director, Medical Surgical Advisory Solutions

Today’s market dynamics have made supply chains extremely complex and planning more difficult. The COVID pandemic has led to an increased focus on the supply chain, which has resulted in healthcare organizations seeing the supply chain in a new light and recognizing the value of making this area a strategic function.

One needs to look no further than the challenges of this past year, with the difficulties in getting PPE and other supplies, and now the complex distribution efforts around vaccine deployment, to understand the significance of the supply chain.

Organizational spend is comprised 25-35% on products and services and 15% in supply chain logistics and distribution. With nearly 50% of a facility’s spend tied to supply chain, it’s evident that the supply chain holds significant opportunities for savings.

Supply chain savings translate directly into increased operating margins for healthcare providers. Savings can be realized through both lower costs of acquisition and lower operating costs. An optimized supply chain can help a facility stay lean, manage costs and respond to fluctuations in demand.

12 best practices scm

Being such a large portion of hospital budgets, supply chain leaders must approach the supply chain’s role in ways that support and align with the goals of the larger organization, thus the importance of supply chain literally having a seat at the table.

Facilities must always be working to implement multiple solutions that improve efficiencies/processes, increase revenues and drive cost avoidance. A commitment to make supply chain excellence a core competency and to seek, implement and share supply chain best practices are keys to every organization’s success. But each healthcare provider is in a different stage or level of sophistication when it comes to supply chain. One way to look at it is through a supply chain hierarchy.

Basic Supply Chain – This area focuses on the important “building blocks” of a supply chain strategy. Depth and breadth of products, coupled with competitive pricing lead the way here. Organizations looking to bring excellence to the supply chain basics must also concentrate on:

  • Ensuring invoice accuracy.
  • Using spend analysis data to identify “low hanging fruit” and opportunities for quick and easy savings opportunities.
  • Standardization and reduction of duplication of products.

In our next post, we’ll progress through healthcare supply chain education to review Advanced Supply Chain and finally Graduate Supply Chain.

We Can Help. Intalere provides resources that can assist in every area of your supply chain, no matter where you are on your journey.  Reach out to see how we can help. Contact Customer Service at 877-711-5600 or customerservice@intalere.com or your Intalere representative.

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