8 common supply chain blunders

Healthcare organizations face many challenges in managing their supply chains. But there are a few problems that supply chain managers can avoid to improve inventory management, standardization and efficiency to save money for their organizations.

Below are some of the top all-too-common blunders in the supply chain, according to Produce Blue Book, a provider of credit and marketing information for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry.

1. Operating in silos. Good supply chain management requires cross-chain collaboration and breaking down internal silos. Individual functions, like order fulfilment and inventory management and transportation, must be thought about as one process.

2. Haphazardly implementing technology. There are so many promising technologies in the healthcare supply chain. But technology adoption should follow a logical process to ensure it aligns with the organization's strategy, software-selection priorities and information-sharing priorities.

3. Resisting change. The mentality of "that's how we've always done it" will quickly fail. Traditional, manual supply operations will fall behind the modern approaches that could save time and money.

4. Overestimating internal expertise. Supply chain leaders must evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their processes, people and technology. Where expertise falls short, call in external resources.

5. Failing to collaborate. A lack of collaboration prevents organizations from sharing critical information and introduces unneeded barriers. Improving collaboration can improve transparency and efficiency.

6. Having too many or too few suppliers. Having too many partners diminishes the opportunity for relationship-building and collaboration, but having too few suppliers can make an organization overly reliant on one.

7. Ignoring forecasts. With the rise of technology in the supply chain, there is a greater volume of data and predictions available. Use the forecasts and data to make decisions, instead of relying on collective expertise, recollection of past demand history or pricing trends.

8. Blindly chasing revenue and savings opportunities. Potential revenue-generating opportunities or savings opportunities should be scrutinized before being pursued. Have data to back up why you are pursuing each strategy.

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