Top supply chain breakthroughs to learn from in 2022

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With supply chain leaders in the healthcare industry facing numerous challenges in 2021, it’s important to also highlight the successes from the past year as well.

Shannon Kelso, VP of Acute Sales at Cardinal Health, recently asked health system supply chain leaders to share the breakthroughs they made despite the ongoing obstacles in the industry. Here are five common supply chain breakthroughs leaders shared.  

  • Using forecasting abilities
    Building out models to forecast more accurately for inventory planning allows for health systems to better prepare for future demand and was extremely useful when planning for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and vaccine needs. “Leaders said that establishing a standard forecasting model can help create visibility for many different supply chain projects,” Kelso said. 
  • Building a strong team culture
    In these challenging times, building a strong collaborative culture can boost team morale. Staff burnout has become a major concern in the healthcare industry. Acknowledging these concerns and doing what you can to help, whether it be sharing resources or encouraging Paid Time Off (PTO), can improve a team’s culture and working environment. “While it may seem simple, leaders said that celebrating accomplishments and recognizing their teams’ hard work to provide quality care despite the ongoing challenges is more important than ever,” Kelso added. 
  • Focusing on conservation
    The constantly emerging supply constraints have led to a shift in the health system mindset from working only to get more product to a focus on conserving what is available. According to Kelso, leaders said this strategy has also boosted clinical engagement as clinical teams align with supply teams on how to make-do with less product. And increased clinical integration leads to greater optimization and efficiency.
  • Elevation of the supply chain function
    As product availability constraints emerged during the pandemic, the supply chain function has become more involved in important conversations with leadership. Kelso said that from her conversations, this has led to an opportunity to keep the supply chain function elevated and for health system decision makers to understand the importance of keeping supply chain leaders at the table.
  • The importance of supplier diversity
    “Supplier diversity has become a supply chain priority for many health systems,” Kelso said. Committing to supplier diversity in your health system has a lot of resulting benefits, but a major advantage is risk mitigation. Each supplier brings its own value, experience, and insights. This also broadens the range of unique products and services you have access to, improving your clinical outcomes.

As you move into the new year, Kelso encouraged looking at how these breakthroughs might apply to your organization and continuing to look for opportunities to celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Additionally, she encouraged leaders to share and discuss their own breakthroughs within their teams, as well as with their supply chain partners, to uncover new ways to improve strategies. “Cardinal Health is here is to support and empower our customers to achieve their goals – and the goals of their health system,” she added.

Future articles will dive deeper into these breakthrough areas. For more supply chain insights and solutions in the meantime, visit our Supply Chain Center

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