If it’s not your core competency: Outsource it

This third installment stemming from the round table discussion with supply chain leaders that MedSpeed recently hosted is focused on outsourcing.

In our session, participants reiterated what we have heard in previous discussions: healthcare is their specialty, not transportation. Operating an in-house courier network or managing multiple third party couriers steals valuable time and resources from a health system’s ability to focus on its core competency of high quality patient care. Moreover, the shift towards outsourcing in order to become more nimble and to more effectively manage resources is thematically applicable to other non-core functions within the health system.

In the words of supply chain managers:

“When I started, I separated the non-core from the core services and outsourced the non-core so we could focus our money and time internally and let people who are good at the non-core do it better than we can.”

“I’m a big fan of outsourcing everything other than patient care. We shouldn’t do things that we aren’t good at.”

“If it’s not your core competency: outsource it.”

“There are folks out there who know how to create pieces of this (big healthcare) puzzle, and have done it very successfully.  If we started finding the partners, and actually listening to them, it’s a good starting point.”

But, the group warned – not all outsourcing is equal. Finding the right partner is key.

“We’re looking for a player that can help us consolidate and not do everything the same in all of our markets, but help us figure out how to deal with those markets that are all different.”

“I would guess that if someone actually puts a system in that is consistent and dependable and has controls and measures around that, we could go away and give our folks a system they can trust. Then all the things we want to happen in a supply chain could happen.”

“If you outsource the right way, you never have an end of contract.”

“Outsourcing has to be done with certain guardrails, and certain core requirements. If you do it there, it can be a strategic asset.”



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