Reflections on the Supply Chain – Part I

Yesterday we released the first article of our educational new series about the healthcare supply chain. Here’s a little summary of our main points, but we urge you to read the entire article here! In it we reflect on how the healthcare supply chain and inventory management functions are fighting an uphill battle to gain the status they deserve at hospitals, and how this contrasts so starkly with most non-healthcare industries where the C-suite recognizes the vital strategic role that the supply chain plays in enabling the competitiveness and efficiency of their business.

We suggest that one reason for supply chain managers being stuck at the bottom of the hospital totem pole is that so many hospitals are still functioning according to an older model where the clinical areas define them as institutions and determine their level of prestige, and so the hospitals pay little regard to all the key functions that make it possible for hospitals to run and take care of patients in the first place.

Times are beginning to change, though, and we are starting to see a new breed of trailblazing supply chain and materials management leadership who have mostly been trained outside of healthcare and are coming to the industry with strong ideas about technological innovations, change management, and new processes. They’re demanding a seat at the C-suite table, confident that they’re providing a tangible impact on the bottom line and the support to clinicians that is essential for enabling them to provide the best patient care possible.

It’s not a tidal wave yet, but the signs are there and they’re illuminating the path for others to follow.