Post-Pandemic: What to Focus On for Healthcare Supply Chain

The intensity of the pandemic is beginning to wane with the reduction of dangerous cases around the world. Many countries are loosening or outright removing restrictions on their populations. Hospitals are also recovering from the pandemic. But supply chain managers must focus on their supply chain as we move into a new stage of healthcare. 

One of the most crucial steps for a successful supply chain strategy is improving visibility and focusing on your inventory levels. By using supply chain analytics to find ways to provide inherent value to the supply chain process, you can ensure clinicians have the right supplies at the right time. 

Keep reading to gain insights into how hospital supply chains can use analytics to optimize inventory management in preparation for a post-pandemic world.  

What Is Healthcare Supply Chain?

Supply chains are complex in healthcare because human life cannot be measured. The term supply chain refers to how hospitals track their supplies and the accurate usage of each item. Healthcare organizations can benefit by using advanced data modeling techniques to get the most precise picture of how their supply chain is performing. 

Supply chains in healthcare also require a lot of integration and coordination. What are the issues hospitals face when it comes to supply chains? We have found that utilizing best practices in supply chain helps ensure patient safety during pandemics and other disease outbreaks.

Accurate supply chain processes also benefit public-private partnerships within the healthcare industry. What we commonly think of as a supply chain generally involves finding and receiving materials and resources. As a result, hospitals and health care supply chains are one of the most critical sectors of our economy.

Supply Chain Visibility

In this new world of Supply Chain 2.0, hospitals are looking into supply chain data analytics to increase efficiencies and to be able to drive better results, which means the supply chain is changing. The supply chain now serves as a distinct department of the organization and a core part of its strategy.

To better focus supply chain operations and management, you need:

  1. Supply Chain Visibility - knowing where items are in the supply chain at any point in time
  2. Supply Chain Visibility - when it starts, when it ends, when adding items to the supply chain (a.k.a., what's in the pipeline or production schedule).
  3. Supply Chain Visibility - who adds or removes to the supply chain (notifications of changes, who handles the changes, and so forth).

The total supply chain always needs visibility into its current state and cycle times for every item.

Supply Chain Data Analytics

Supply chain data analytics explain everything about the consumable items that move through a healthcare organization. You want to help optimize your supply chain processes. This is very important in healthcare because it determines how much budget to dedicate to supplies.

For every hour that an employee works, you would want them to be as productive as possible. Data analytics explain everything about the supply chain and how processes can be optimized. This is very important in healthcare because it also determines how much money they spend on labor dedicated to these tasks. It is also essential to know the facility's standard lead times during specific periods.

Supply Chain Data Analysis Methodologies

All the above helps save costs throughout the entire supply chain. Supply chain cost data and analysis needs lean methodologies to help provide process improvement. Otherwise, you are not always accurate in determining your total supply chain spend.

You need accuracy for even the machine hours you need to dedicate for each process.

Supply Chain Predictive Analytics

Your supply chain predictive analytics will provide returns. Your return on investment (ROI) analysis will grow and develop. Kanban systems coupled with data analytics provide you with essential insights into areas that need attention.

For example, the Kanban system's supply chain network optimizes and determines supply chain routing. It can do this with multiple suppliers. Its visibility helps with network design optimization.

In addition, the simulation supply chain tools optimize cost savings opportunities. The start and finish of the supply chain can happen at any point. That's why you need notifications of changes and who handles making the changes.

Supply chain predictive analytics use data-driven methods for planning and forecasting to encourage continuous improvement in evaluating and responding to changes that drive performance.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain managers have to overcome inefficiencies to produce the best results possible. Many supply chain managers make use of optimizing their supply chains by using key performance indicators (KPIs). So supply chain professionals should gather and analyze KPI data.

Gathering and analyzing KPIs helps keep track of how productive your supply chains are. Using KPIs always allows supply chain managers to find ways to reduce the supply chain’s cost continuously.

How Reliable is Your Supply Chain?

A good supply chain ensures supplies are readily available when people need them most. The use of supplies should not burden already taxed hospital staff. Supply chain financials also need to account for lead time, fill rate, and order size variation. 

Hospital inventory supply chains must focus on data and analytics. It is now essential to drive inventory planning and balance of surplus storage. There is no such thing as being too prepared when dealing with healthcare inventory for a potential pandemic crisis.

Supply Chain Inventory Analytic Solutions

After the pandemic has passed, hospitals can continue to use supply chain analytics to help in determining which supplies are most consumed and at what frequency. Using supply chain inventory analytic solutions allows healthcare organizations to prepare for any situation moving forward.

Every hospital or healthcare organization needs to be ready to handle whatever emerges next. If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, we need broad infrastructure adjustments prepared to handle these types of scenarios; hospitals being one component of that infrastructure.

Every hospital should utilize supply chain analytics to determine what inventory is needed now and in the future. Reach out to us. BlueBin provides the tools and methodologies you need if you are ready to deal with the complex flow of materials, labor, and information in your healthcare facility.

After that, you just may be ready for anything!


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