Materials Managers Express Frustrations with Distribution Partners Due to Poor Customer Service, Product Backorders and Hidden Costs

RANKINGS FOR SERVICE & RESPONSIVENESS (2)One of the toughest elements of a materials manager’s job is choosing the right distribution partners. During the recent AHRMM15 Conference & Exhibition in Indianapolis, we surveyed material managers to learn more about their satisfaction level with their current distribution partners and those they’ve used in the past.

Here is some of the feedback we received: 

1. Buying direct from the manufacturer is frustrating.

    Survey Scores

  •  Service rating: 5.0 on a 10 point scale
  •  Responsiveness rating: 7.0 on a 10 point scale

Using this model can be discouraging for materials managers for a number of reasons. First, manufacturers are not set up to be distributors. They move slower without the flexibility and responsiveness to be the nimble partners many materials managers desire. Instead, manufacturers often take a less urgent approach to customer service that can result in delays and unhappy customers.

Many of the people we talked with also commented that the product lead time for manufacturers can be weeks, so they often have to find alternative solutions to meet the needs of their internal clients. This is made worse by the fact that many times manufacturers do not stock all of the products they manufacture. Additionally, if the product is not what they need, the product return process can be a hassle and customers are often hit with significant restocking fees.

2. Traditional distributor’s provider average service.

    Survey Scores

  •  Service rating: 7.2 on a 10 point scale
  •  Responsiveness rating: 7.4 on a 10 point scale

While traditional distributors can be helpful to health systems and IDNs because they carry a plethora of products, this can also be a detriment to the relationship. Traditional distributors that carry gloves, gowns, beds, office furniture, etc. in addition to more specialized medical supplies can lose focus on what’s most important to materials managers. It also can be hard to understand what you are paying for a particular product, as distributors often do not provide full pricing transparency. A lack of focus results in average customer service.

Suture Express, on the other hand, focuses on suture and endomechanical products and has one of the most specialized, dedicated distribution centers in the nation. An astounding 99.4% of SKUs ordered are always in stock across all product categories and manufacturers so materials managers don’t have to worry about back orders and delays like they do with traditional distributors.

3. Suture Express Provides Best in Class Service.

    Survey Scores

  •  Service rating: 9.3 on a 10 point scale
  •  Responsiveness rating: 9.7 on a 10 point scale

We heard from materials managers that specialty suppliers just do it better, especially Suture Express, which received the highest accolades in our survey for providing best in class service. Why? Because Suture Express provides simplified purchasing. Through one stop sourcing, we have over 6,000 SKUs in stock that are available the next day. We also help materials managers by providing savings to aid in meeting financial goals. There are no hidden fees as we always provide full price transparency and we offer an average cost savings of 20 percent. We also provide optimized inventory, complete orders and accurate contract pricing so material mangers can be confident in their budget.

4. Are you looking for a change?

Optimize your supply chain and eliminate frustrations with Suture Express. With superior service, full transparency and the best supply chain support available, choosing Suture Express isn’t just smart – it’s easy. As the nation’s leading specialty distributor in suture, edomechanical, mesh and energy supply, we excel at more than just distribution – we also provide supply chain management tools and resources to help reduce your costs and streamline your supply chain.

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