Benchmarking – Lean/6 Sigma – Re-Engineering to Improve Supply Chain Processes

3 Ways to Improve Your Business Processes Across Your Healthcare Supply Chain Continuum to Get Better Than Just Good

Too often, we become complacent about how good we think we are regarding our supply, processing and distribution responsibilities.  If you start to feel this way, just remember what Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers great wide receiver says about complacency, “The battle of getting better is never ending.” To this end, the following three ways to improve your business processes across your supply chain continuum will keep you from taking anything for granted:

  1. Continuously Supply Chain Benchmarking in the search for new and better best practices: It’s been our experience to identify new and better best practices for our clients on a consistent basis through our ongoing supply benchmarking.  So, when we uncover a new and better best product, service or process practice we bring it to the attention of our client. Otherwise, how would they know they could get better? You, too, can identify these same best practices, if you are serious about continuously benchmarking.
  2. Employ Lean 6 Sigma to remove waste and reduce variation: If you form a Lean 6 Sigma team or teams to review all aspects of your supply, processing and distribution operations, you will lean your operations in no time.  For instance, I just read that a healthcare system had 66 spinal medical devices employed at their hospital, costing millions of dollars a year in unnecessary duplicated costs. Lean 6 Sigma is one technique to remove this unneeded waste and variation.
  3. Re-Engineering to get better than just good: Similarly, if you re-engineer (fundamentally rethinking and radical redesign) your supply, processing and distribution operations you will achieve dramatic improvements. For instance, in an interview in our current Healthcare Value Analysis and Utilization Management Magazine, Brian Shoenfield of Talon, talks about the re-engineering of a gulf coast regional blood center’s bulky mobile storage carts used for their blood drives into streamlined carts that saved 74.5 minutes of setup and teardown time per blood drive, while virtually eliminating previous high level of workers compensation claims due to injuries associated with their old bulky carts.

Continuously striving to get better than just good should be incorporated into your supply chain culture by developing strategies, tactics and techniques, like those above, to ensure that no one in your supply chain organization ever gets complacent. Accordingly, ensuring that you will always be on top of your supply chain game.