Based on our observations, most healthcare supply chain operations can benefit from increased supply chain automation. In fact, a recent healthcare study stated that, “Almost half of the providers (surveyed) said manual supply chain tasks reduce workplace productivity”. If you aren’t aware of it, one of the secrets to increasing your supply chain productivity (or, yielding greater results, benefits and value) is to automate all supply chain activities that can be automated. Here are three actionable tips on how to do it:
- Replace Your Spreadsheets With Databases or Software: The best way to slow down a process is the use of Spreadsheets to perform almost any function. For instance, we know of hospitals, systems and IDNs that are trying to verify their GPO and local contract savings utilizing a Spreadsheet that is never up to date, accurate or intuitive. That’s why progressive supply chain leaders will opt to use databases and software as opposed to Spreadsheets to enhance, codify and operationalize their processes.
- Off The Self Software is The Fastest Way To Raise Your Productivity: We just had a request from a client for a quote to provide their members with a basing ordering system. At first, we considered programming this ordering tool, but after searching the marketplace we found several offerings that were faster, better and less expensive than anything we could have programmed ourselves. We are sure you will discover this to be true with your own search for most modalities of software solutions.
- Take “As Is” Processes and Change it to “To Be” Processes: Before changing over to a database or software to automate a supply chain function, make sure you have streamlined your current process or you will just maybe automating a cumbersome, outdated and uneconomical operation to be faster, not better than before.
I can’t think of a hospital, system or IDN that hasn’t automated their mission critical operations, such as, medical records, payroll, and accounting. Therefore, now is the time for these same healthcare organizations to automate the next tier of their mission critical supply chain functions so they can increase their supply chain department’s productivity, speed up their processes and enhance their service levels to their frontline customers.
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