There is much debate over whether value analysis programs should be a team approach or an individual process. The noted authors Heinritz and Farrell believe strongly that, “value analysis is not in the mainstream of the buying process; it takes time, special attention, and special talents to conduct a program, and it is essentially a staff service to the buyer.” Further, they state that, “a purchasing agent (or department head) may undertake the dual role of analyst and buyer, but a full-scale value analysis program is most effective when provision is made…for communication and action with departments (customers) that make the final quality decisions,” as a team would.
Authorities on the subject believe that since no one person can know the functions, uses, and characteristics of all products, services, and processes purchased or utilized in an organization, it makes sense that a team approach would be more effective in the long run than an individual endeavor. It’s our opinion, after working with both structures, that a blending of each approach is needed for a value analysis program to be truly successful. Here’s why. A value analysis program is a full-time activity requiring hours of uninterrupted research to ensure timely and productive studies; therefore, it doesn’t fit into the mainstream of the hectic buying process, as Heinritz and Farrell so clearly pointed out. On the other hand, while the team approach ensures a synergistic process, a team can’t coordinate the complex mechanisms of value analysis due to the participants’ time constraints elsewhere. Now, if we blend these two approaches, a Value Analysis Analyst coordinating the value analysis program with the team managing the value analysis process, results will be highly organized and systematic, which only can spell success for those who adopt this value analysis model for their healthcare organization.