May 14

Proof, Proof, and More Proof – When That is Still Not Enough

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“Even with all the right proof, case studies, and benchmarks in place, there are reasons why change does not happen.”

Isn’t it funny how any time you come up with a viable value-based, business and quality case for change for a product, service, or technology that makes sense from a 360-degree point of view, the end customer still does not want to change? It does not matter whether you have all of the evidence, case studies, benchmarks, and other proof that the end results are happening for other like-characteristic organizations. Even with all the right reasons in place, there are also reasons why change does not happen, and you need to be prepared for these and act accordingly.

Reasons Why Proof Might Not Be Enough for Some Customers

1. Too Much on Their Plate – This could be a viable reason for not changing something that could amount to a lot of legwork and resources in order to make this change. They more than likely do have a lot going on that could be tying up their time time. It can also be used as an excuse not to change and to have the change recommendation pass them by. Time is not your friend on these types of projects as it is a strategy to just string you out long enough that you will move on and forget about this recommendation after a while. When working on these types of projects whether it be with supply chain contracting or value analysis, you need to be patient and try to make the change as smooth and easy as possible. Remember, if they tell you their plate is too full you can ask them when a good time would be to implement this project. They cannot keep using the same excuse (though some try) over and over again.

2. Don’t Accept Knee Jerk Reactions to Your Changes – This should have been number one on this list as this always happens to me when I bring up a consumption/utilization increase that needs to be addressed. The end customers (clinicians and non-clinicians) will always internalize the reported change and cohort best practice benchmark range and then instantly give a knee jerk reaction as to why they are running high. Basically, they don’t even want to investigate this at all. They just want me and the supply/value team to forget about it based on that quick knee jerk reaction. This happens so often that I now expect and want this reaction to happen.

Why do I want to have them give me a knee jerk reaction? Simply put, they are giving us an opportunity to investigate their reason(s) for this being higher and if their reason is not correct, then we must delve further. If it is correct (90% of the time it isn’t), then we can just let this one go for the time being. But this is never the case and once we dispel their knee jerk reasoning, then we can get down into finding out why and how we can give them money back in their budget spend.

I have seen knee jerk objections from end customers to hundreds of thousands and even million dollar plus opportunities. They think that they are going to look bad in some way, shape, or form but the reality is that they end up looking good when we attain the hundreds of thousands or even million plus in savings in just a few short months.

3. Any Excuse Will Work If They Don’t Want to Change – Lastly, there will be those end customers who just don’t want to change despite everything you proof, provide, work with them on, etc. Sometimes those customers just get set in their ways and will block the change you are recommending no matter what. You need to recognize this as early as possible. It may be for the simple reason that they like a service level from a vendor (hello surgeons) or are just set in their ways and don’t want any change in that particular product or product category. This happens more than you think, and you don’t want to press this much further but instead put this in your short and long term follow up file and revisit it with them from time to time. They may change their minds on this but butting heads with them when they are the customer/stakeholder is going to be a losing battle.

There is a lost art in making savings happen. Granted, there is a challenge finding viable major savings in this day and age, but we do still find them. But just like climbing Mount Everest, getting to the Summit is half the battle – getting down is the finish line. It is the same with saving money. Half the battle is finding the big savings, the other half is professionally and artfully getting the savings changes made to get the results you are looking for. Plus, you will make your end customers look good in the process as it is their big win for savings as well. We hope this helps you further refine your strategies towards making positive changes happen!


Below are some similar articles that you may find interesting.

3 Mistakes to Avoid in Order to Maximize Your Benchmarking for Best Practices and Major Savings

3 Modern Things You Should Be Doing with Your Value Analysis Program

Is There Such Thing as Savings Automation?


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Tags

benchmarks, case studies, change, change management, evidence, healthcare, hospital, proof, savings, savings results, supply chain, value analysis


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