The “Always-On” Supply Chain

The “2016 MHI Annual Industry Report,” developed in collaboration with Deloitte, looks at the key changes in supply chain. This year’s report covers a number of disruptive technologies affecting the supply chain and reflects the views of almost 900 supply chain leaders. 

The key focus of the report is the concept of the “always-on” supply chain, which is described as “an integrated set of supply networks characterized by a continuous, high-velocity flow of information and analytics, creating predictive, actionable decisions that better serve the customer.” The report points out that the always-on supply chain has the potential to deliver significant economic and environmental rewards, which should encourage further innovation.

I am particularly taken with this concept because it addresses so much of what comprises systemness, something I’ve written about before. I think that systemness, defined as “integrating all aspects of a health system’s governance, operations, and workflows—across all technologies, clinicians, and locations—to deliver seamless, cost-effective, high-quality care” has a tremendous amount in common with always-on supply chain. They both describe systems where integration and the use of technology ultimately deliver better service—whether to a stakeholder within a supply chain or a patient receiving healthcare. 

According to the MHI report, the innovations driving always-on supply chains can help optimize processes and improve operational efficiency, thereby driving measurable business outcomes. 

And that is exactly what we at MedSpeed seek to do for our clients. With health systems growing larger and more diverse, we all need to continue to look for better ways to utilize scale across these large systems to find more ways that intra-company logistics can be an even more vital contributor to systemness.

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