Healthcare Supply Chain Efficiency, Cost-Savings Remain Top Concerns for Materials Managers

Pie chart shows top challenges as reported by a sample of materials managers in healthcare at Premier Breakthroughs 2015

We asked, you answered – or one your peers in healthcare supply chain materials management did.

When my colleague and I attended the 2015 Premier Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition last month, we asked several materials managers about the top challenges and concerns they face in their current roles. Our goal was to gauge the alignment between what we have to offer and what our customers need. The result? To borrow a popular hashtag from the event, when it comes to optimizing savings and efficiency in your healthcare supply chain, Suture Express is #WhatWorks.

Here are some insights gleaned from our informal poll:

 

1. Top Challenges in Materials Management: Non-Stocks and Cost-Savings

When asked, “What the biggest challenge in your current role?”, many respondents listed more than one challenge, and the two most frequently named were eliminating non-stocks (mentioned by 60% of respondents) and lowering costs (mentioned by 40%). A complete list of top challenges in materials management according to our poll, and a brief explanation of how Suture Express solves those challenges, is provided below:

 

MATERIALS MANAGEMENT CHALLENGESSUTURE EXPRESS SOLUTIONS
Eliminating non-stocksImmediate access to the industry’s most complete line of suture, endomechanical and disposable surgical products: 6,000+ core and non-core items, all available overnight.
Achieving cost-savings20% average savings with low mark-ups, no hidden fees, inventory reduction support and industry-leading pricing accuracy.
Increasing efficiency/eliminating waste99.4% next-day fill rate eliminates hassles and rework associated with waiting on products, and it reduces wasted stock by eliminating the need to stockpile at your site.
Dealing with extra lead times when buying direct from manufacturer100% of the suture/endo items you order are available overnight, resulting in 24-hour lead times.
Reducing inventory/increasing turnsJust-in-time delivery empowers you to double inventory turns and reduce on-hand inventory up to 30% in just one year.
Reducing number of vendorsOne-stop sourcing across multiple manufacturers and thousands of products.
Figuring out complicated health systemFull support for supply chain innovation and excellence, with products, services and data that helps create smart supply chains with maximum efficiency.
Read the Banner Health-Suture Express Case Study

 

2. The Supply Chain’s Hottest Topic: Cost-Savings

In addition to their top challenges, we also focused on finding out what materials managers believe to be the single most talked-about supply chain topic today. Hands down, cost-savings garners the most attention, according to those polled. While many respondents again listed more than one topic, virtually all of them – a full 100% of those polled – mentioned cost-savings as a hot topic.

Efficiency came in a close second, making an appearance in two-thirds (66%) of all responses. Other supply chain hot topics according to our informal poll include eliminating non-stocks and drop-ships, and reducing on-hand inventory – much the same as the challenges listed in the table above.

Not surprisingly, today’s hot topics align closely with today’s top challenges. For supply chain professionals to accomplish their objectives (cost-savings and efficiency), it’s important to work with suppliers who understand their challenges and deliver solutions for optimal savings and efficiency.

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