Lessons from Outside Healthcare: Turning your supply chain into a strategic asset

In this age of technology and disruption, we often look outside of our own industry for new ideas to make things better and more efficient. And, “while hospitals are not factories and patients are not cars, health systems can learn valuable logistics lessons from the automotive and retail industries,” noted a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review.

Outlined in the article are seven supply chain lessons gleaned from industries such as automotive, electronic and industrial production:

  1. Focus on real, value-added work
  2. Keep supplies closest to the point of use
  3. Eliminate or automate counting
  4. Manage inventory based on data
  5. Maintain visibility across the entire supply chain
  6. Ensure the supply chain works for everyone
  7. Adapt, don’t adopt (When learning from others, understand the problem they were trying to solve and adapt — not adopt — to meet your challenge)

Helping to make the supply chain into something that can strategically integrate sprawling health systems continues to capture our attention. Perhaps someday in the not too distant future, other industries will take some lessons from healthcare’s strategic use of the supply chain.

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