The Healthcare Financial Management Association says, “Long overlooked in (supply chain), the discipline of decision management and the tools of (value analysis) analytics are valuable best practices capable of stimulating swift action.” Need I say more…
If you aren’t identifying your best supply chain expense savings opportunities by employing the power tool of analytics, you are missing a chance to forecast, model, and optimize your supply chain expense savings.
All industries are using analytics to learn more about the habits and behaviors of their customers to serve them better. For instance, there is an analytics program to identify addicted gamblers so they can be helped to break this bad habit. This feat is accomplished by using a mathematical formula to tease out trends and patterns that addicted gamblers repeat over and over again.
In supply chain management, many healthcare organizations (large and small) are using value analysis analytics to identify their utilization misalignments (the new low-hanging fruit) and then working with their customers and stakeholders to eliminate these unwanted and unnecessary costs.
These progressive supply chain organizations are “deep diving” into their supply streams with specialized tools to ferret out their hidden savings by identifying unfavorable trends and patterns in their supply chain expenses.
Just as importantly, these organizations have found that their Spend Managers weren’t getting the job done, since these aren’t analytics tools; they are price benchmarking tools. Not that there is anything wrong with a Spend Manager, as long as you realize they won’t reduce your overspends in utilization. Spend Managers are just one tool you should have in your savings toolbox, not the only one!
I recently read that many healthcare organizations are asking their vendors to provide them with utilization data on their products. Well, that’s like asking a fox to guard your hen house because your suppliers are motivated to sell more, not reduce your consumption. What you need is independent, timely, and unbiased data to make your supply chain expense management decisions – not warmed over data.
Most hospitals have a materials management information system or a materials requirement planning system that supply chain professionals fought hard to get to improve their performance.
It’s now time to convince your C-suite that this technology alone won’t flush out your savings beyond price in the new healthcare economy because you now need to “dive deep” into supply streams with value analysis analytics to remove the new low-hanging fruit: Utilization.
This isn’t an unusual or unreasonable request, since your C-suite is jumping on the analytics train too. That is how they are managing the health of their patient population, since our healthcare industry has moved to value-based purchasing vs. fee for service. Don’t let this express train pass you by…
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