This week, October 4-10, is designated by AHRMM as National Health Care Supply Chain Week. It is so designated, among other reasons, to allow for recognition and appreciation of the healthcare supply chain professionals who, in their work, enable healthcare to carry out its vital mission. The purpose of today’s blog, first and foremost, is for MedSpeed to join in that chorus of appreciation. Thank you supply chain professionals for all you do!
You’ve read it here, and you’ve heard me say it repeatedly: supply chain (and healthcare transportation) should not be viewed through a transactional lens because done right, it is a strategic asset.
It was very gratifying, therefore, to read the same sentiment from John Kupice, CEO of H-Source, in Healthcare Finance’s 7 supply chain predictions for healthcare in 2019: “Supply chain is viewed today as a transactional model. That view needs to shift to one of strategy.”
I couldn’t agree more.
According to recent research from Gartner, only 27% of companies believe they offer superior service to their competitors, even though improving the customer experience is a priority for many CEOs. So where are CEOs looking for improved customer service?
The supply chain.
“The supply chain organization typically plays a secondary role to marketing in driving customer experience strategy,” according to Gartner research director Lisa Callinan. And while marketing certainly has a leading role, it is one that doesn’t supersede substance. The supply chain is all about substance, which is leading to change in forward-thinking organizations, “because the supply chain is uniquely placed to identify customers’ needs and drive better customer experiences,” Callinan continued.
A blog post by the chairperson of the American Council of Sourcing and Procurement Executive poses a very interesting idea. That the job of the chief procurement officer has changed so much over the past few years that the title is no longer accurate. Most who conduct this job today do far more than source, buy and manage the supply chain.
As a company that works closely with those involved in supply chain, we know firsthand that supply chain touches every area within an organization. As a result, supply chain has the direct ability to create value across all areas of an organization.
Historically, supply chain management has struggled to get the attention it merits. Over the years, it has been increasing in importance and a recent industry survey supports this increased focus.
The survey highlights opportunities for improvement and modernization in supply chain management. Most importantly, in my opinion, it found that outdated and manual healthcare supply chain management processes detract from care delivery. Frontline clinicians said that they spend a full two hours per 12 hour shift managing inventory issues. Nearly two-thirds of those frontline clinicians said they wish they could trade the time they spend managing supply chain for more patient care time.
Recently, I read a blog post in Healthcare Finance News that focused on the transformation of the healthcare supply chain. The authors discussed how different healthcare organizations were utilizing a number of technologies to enhance the effectiveness of their supply chain.
A clear focus on the value chain can deliver a significant return on investment. The authors point out that too often, hospitals utilize their own “homegrown” tools such as Excel spreadsheets, which can compartmentalize data and make it difficult, or nearly impossible to forecast or predict changes in supply chain demand.
Over the past couple of years, in this space you’ve seen the discussion about supply chain as a strategic asset for healthcare organizations, and how important it is that those in the C-suite understand and view it as such. A recent Dow Jones/Deloitte Risk & Compliance Journal report titled “How CFOs Are Reshaping Supply Chains” makes this case very compellingly.
The report notes that while both chief risk officers (CROs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) have long been involved with supply chain oversight, finance chiefs—with their eyes on cost controls, risk management and the levers of working capital—are increasingly involving themselves.