“If you want to lead, then you have to innovate. And, to innovate, you need to listen to the data,” is the advice of Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity. More and more, we are convinced, as Jones is, that the secret to your hospital supply chain success is in your data. No change should be considered without data.
By data we are talking about statistics, analytics, and analysis that can lead you to the answers to almost all of your healthcare supply chain challenges. Why are your storeroom stock outs so high? Why are there so many emergency orders? Or, where are your best savings opportunities? All of these questions can be answered, in part, by data.
When we are asked to assist a hospital, system, or IDN in helping them refine or reinvent their value analysis program, the first thing we do is “dive deep” into our client’s data (e.g., meeting attendance, number of team members, savings to date, missed savings opportunities, etc.) for answers to their challenges. Inevitably, this information helps us to listen to their data to design for them a new or refined value analysis program.
Listening to the data is a descriptive way of saying that the answers you are looking for are in your data, if you ignore your biases and truly believe what the data is telling you. Sometimes, this is hard to do if you already have a preconceived idea of what the problem is and how to solve it.
Clients often tell us about a problem and what they think a solution might be, only to find after sifting through their data that the problem is different from how they perceive it. Naturally, the real solution to our client’s problem is different too!
I hope you’re getting our point here: Data is your friend, your window to the answers to your challenges, and the starting point for all innovation in your hospital supply chain business. Listen to it and you will become a leader in our supply chain profession. Ignore it, and you will lose the opportunity for innovation.
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