Optimizing the supply chain for healthcare, medical devices and pharmaceuticals

Fast Track Program to Transform the Healthcare Supply Chain

A new platform for hospitals and their suppliers is boosting resiliency, efficiency and collaboration across the supply chain

The global pandemic of COVID-19 put massive strains on healthcare supply chains. We saw severe shortages of products that were in high demand, like masks and testing kits, while a freeze on elective surgeries caused a buildup of non-essential products in the supply chain. In many cases, products that were in demand in one area, were available in another, but were not accessible to those in need.

Learn More: New Opportunities for Suppliers in Demand Driven Healthcare

One Network Enterprises and Vizient, the nation’s largest GPO, recently announced their new healthcare solution to bring increased resilience, transparency and collaboration to the healthcare supply chain. The platform increases performance across the entire supply chain. It improves service levels, increases efficiency, and strengthens customer relationships.

“Hospitals will be able to make better purchasing decisions that will reduce the impact of demand spikes and supply shortages, and will improve the overall service level and financial performance of the supply chain for all members of the community.” 
– Stephen Downey, group senior vice president, supply chain operations for Vizient

The solution is designed to help suppliers answer critical questions like:

  • How much inventory do all my health system customers have and where is it located?
  • When do they plan to re-order?
  • What will they order and how much?

The system uses data-driven forecasting and provides process automation, so suppliers can accelerate the replenishment process, and operate more efficiently at lower costs.

Hospitals and Suppliers can use data-driven forecasting to optimize and automate processes in the healthcare supply chain to replenish inventory more accurately and efficiently. Click To Tweet

For Suppliers: Delivering Visibility and Operational Efficiency

Hospitals and health systems connected to the network provide better information on inventory locations, quantities, and order forecasts. This near real-time information enables suppliers to:

  • Better optimize inventories and replenishment
  • Gain efficiencies and cost reduction in manufacturing and logistics, including reducing their reliance on premium freight
  • Identify potential issues early – before they become critical problems
  • Improve delivery performance and service levels
  • Capture every revenue opportunity and gain market share as a preferred supplier

Transacting over a real-time network enables health systems and suppliers to improve processes and more closely collaborate with each other to execute and resolve issues. It streamlines supply chains across the entire network.

For Hospitals: Less Risk of Stockouts and Improved Patient-Care

By providing suppliers with visibility to inventory and order forecasts, hospital networks are less vulnerable to demand surges and less likely to encounter supply shortages. They can operate more efficiently with better information to answer questions like:

  • How much inventory do I have and where is it located?
  • Exactly when will my orders arrive and will they be complete?
  • Do other network participants have available capacity where I have increased demand?

Supply chain resilience benefits not only patients but also enhances the safety of nurses, doctors, and staff by ensuring the supply of critical items like PPE.

Secure and Controlled Data Sharing for All

All healthcare network participants – suppliers, distributors, hospitals and their teams – are in control of the data elements they choose to share and who they choose to share them with. As an example, participants may choose to share:

  • Item purchases with their supply aggregation group
  • Inventory location information and available quantities with facilities across a health system
  • Order forecast data with key strategic suppliers to help ensure supply and rapid replenishment

New Resilience in Healthcare

Recent events are driving a fundamental change in the relationship between hospitals and their suppliers. A new collaborative “give-get” relationship is emerging.

Getting medical supplies to where they are needed with a real-time digital network for Healthcare - improves visibility, reduces delays, and lowers costs while improving resilience: Click To Tweet

In exchange for greater supply chain resilience, hospitals are willing to provide better inventory visibility, better demand forecasts, faster order placement, and greater collaboration with their suppliers. For suppliers and distributors, the benefits are substantial. Just as suppliers are held accountable on service levels and rapid replenishment, providers will be held accountable on order forecast accuracy.

This new “give-get” relationship has many dimensions. Fact is, in almost every industry, time lags, inventory buffers and costs have been driven out (and responsiveness dramatically increased) with collaborative supply-demand matching in a real time network. It’s not a new concept. Except in Healthcare.

Improving the Healthcare, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Start Fast and Grow

This “Fast Track” Healthcare Resilience Program is being deployed now by Vizient and One Network Enterprises across the US to provide access to the new solution. It’s designed to get suppliers and hospitals up and running fast, with minimal involvement of IT resources. The aim is to help manufacturers and distributors with new demand-driven processes to optimize internal supply chains, improve hospital service levels, optimize inbound systems, and lower costs – as it boosts supply chain resilience for hospitals.

The program is also part of One Network’s larger solution that offers greater end-to-end functionality for a demand-driven, patient-focused supply chain strategy in Healthcare.

Healthcare Network Control Tower

For example, One Network’s Healthcare Network Control Tower provides comprehensive multi-party end-to-end supply chain visibility, AI automated decision-making, plan-to-actual tracking, alerting, automated problem mitigation and KPI visualization. It enables supply responsiveness to doctor-driven product preferences with continuous adaptation to local hospital department polices, needs, and requirements.

The control tower includes automated decision-making and execution across all parties with the appropriate level of visibility, control and alerting across any combination of hospitals, regions, suppliers and even entire healthcare networks. It enables multi-tier tracking of assets, inventory, sensors, serialized items, workflow states, plans and transactions.

Complete Traceability and Chain of Custody Solution in Healthcare

A Chain of Custody solution is also available. It is designed to meet GMP, EMA and DSCSA mandates, and tracks the location and linkages between assets, orders, shipments, packages, serialized items, lots and documents.

You can learn more about all these solutions in the webinar: New Opportunities for Suppliers in Demand Driven Healthcare

Latest posts by Reddy Gottipolu (see all)