Most healthcare organizations’ value analysis leadership think of their value analysis process as their VA meeting’s workflow (i.e., the sequence of steps a new product request form passes through prior to approval or denial) as opposed to the number of scientific phases (i.e., understanding phase, investigative phase, speculation phase, analytical phase, planning phase, and execution phase) that are performed to vet their new or current products, services, and technologies. There is a big difference in the effectiveness between these two extremes. Let’s look at how this difference affects you.
Automating Your VA Requisition Workflow Isn’t Lowering the Cost or Improving the Quality of the Products, Services, and Technologies You Are Buying
We’re all for automating your VA requisition workflow process to speed up your VA work, but don’t be confused and call it value analysis. This automation doesn’t mean you are applying the classic technique of value analysis to lower your cost and improve the quality of the products, services, and technologies you are buying.
The only way these two benefits (lower cost and higher quality) can materialize is if your VA team(s) employ a defined value analysis process like SVAH’s Value Analysis Funneling Process™ shown above to vet the millions of dollars of products, services, and technologies your healthcare organization buys annually. This is what we refer to as a scientific systems approach to value analysis vs. a workflow tactic.
Value Analysis is the Study of Function and the Search for Lower Cost Alternatives
Your value analysis team’s whole approach to value analysis should be to identify your customers’ needed functions, elicit or specify their functions, and then buy only what is absolutely, positively needed (no more or less). In simple terms, every requisition you receive across your desk is being requested to solve a problem by providing a needed function or functions. So, your VA team needs to interpret what you customer is really saying to correctly define the functions they are looking for.
There again, the product, service, or technology requested just might not be the lowest cost alternative to solve a requester’s problem. Consequently, it’s a value analysis practitioner’s job to facilitate your VA process of identifying those needed functions and then search for lower cost alternatives to meet those functions reliably. It’s not how fast you can move a new product, service, or technology requisition through your workflow, but how you can cut the cost of solving a problem.
Think of Your VA Process, Not Its workflow, as the Secret to Your Ongoing VA Success
Efficiency is important with your value analysis requisition workflow; yet, the effectiveness of your value analysis process is the secret to your ongoing VA success. This is because you and your VA team’s job is to not add unneeded costs to your supply budget by approving too many requests, but instead to brutally disassemble, with functional analysis, what your customers really want, need, and desire to solve a specific problem.
You will find by modeling the approach we just discussed, that your VA teams can further cut the fat out of your new requests by as much as 26%. This concept is the essence of what we call Optimizing the Value™ of your value analysis process to ensure your ongoing VA success. Don’t take this survival tactic for granted!