iStock_000019560492MediumAre your supply-chain costs going through the roof? If so, you’re definitely not alone: quite often, hospitals find that their supply chain costs are only second to their labor costs. If your staff does not have on hand the equipment or supplies necessary to treat your patients, it will create a problem for them, the patients, and the facility as a whole.

What can you do about it? How can you save some money?

By streamlining your supply chain!

Implementing Systems

Whether your facility is large or small, there are streamlining opportunities for your facility. Sometimes, further streamlining your supply chain can be as simple as automating your processes. For example, systematizing the purchasing of your supplies and equipment will help you lessen your overall expenses and possible delays. You’ll also enjoy the added bonus of simplifying the procedures you use for frequent inventory intake.

Chief Purchasing Officers

Many larger facilities might want to consider hiring what has come to be known as a Chief Purchasing Officer (CPO). Hospitals started doing this about 10 years ago, but smaller medical facilities saw soon enough the cost-saving wisdom in such a position and have followed suit. The main focus of a CPO – or the person who’s charged with overseeing all purchasing – is to reduce costs and standardize supplies. This focus also includes reducing the costs of the goods and/or services and equipment outside your usual supply chain.

Learn from the Supply Chain Authorities

As your facility looks to streamline your supply chain, you should consider taking a page from the supply chain “book” used by large retailers. They’ve reduced their own supply chain costs by reducing steps in the supply chain, purchasing in bulk (all the better to get volume discounts), and eliminating middlemen.

Several hospitals and other medical facilities started doing so in the 2000s, and found that streamlining the layers in their supply chain and buying in bulk for volume discounts could save considerable money and labor hours. Learning from large retailers and modeling your supply chain practices after them can really pay off. In fact, one large hospital reported that it saved about $20 million on surgical and medical purchases in only two fiscal years.

What’s going on at your facility? Have you heard about this trend of following in the steps of cost-conscious retailers by streamlining your supply chain processes? How has that worked for you? Have you seen cost savings? How difficult was it to do?

Let us know your thoughts; we’d love to hear them.

Have you bookmarked the Snelling Medical Blog yet? Be sure to so that you won’t miss next week’s blog topic, “Managing Your Facility’s IT Needs.” Contact us today to discuss how we can assist your facility with your staffing and recruiting needs!

NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.