3 Best Practices to Improve Your Healthcare Supply Chain

Consistently ranking as one of the largest expenses for healthcare organizations, supply chain costs continue to be a drag on budgets. Unfortunately, this can also result in negative consequences to patient care and healthcare worker morale. As a result, leaders in healthcare logistics and supply chain management have been adopting new operating models that provide them with better visibility and improved efficiency within their supply chains. 

Healthcare Tech Outlook said supply chain expenses could be lowered by $23 billion dollars by implementing effective operational procedures and better management of inventory and spending. And most importantly, understanding the total cost of your supply chain and the procedures and focus it needs will put your organization in the best position for improvement. 

Below are three best practices to keep in mind while evaluating your supply chain for improvements.

Partner with experts

There’s a lot of focus, planning, and process implementation that goes into streamlining supply chain operations. Working with logistics partners who are experts in their portion of the supply chain will help you strategically organize and implement each component to ensure your process is completely streamlined. A strategic partner can additionally give you access to new tools that will give your organization more visibility into the pieces, for example, visibility into your deliveries.

More specifically, here’s what your strategic partners should equip your organization with:

  • Actionable insights from your logistics process on all areas of function that could be affecting the success of your efforts
  • A plan to change a traditional logistics model into a value-based model
  • Solutions to your delivery pain points
  • The professionalism that acts as an extension of your brand and tells your patients and partners that you value them

Optimize Deliveries With Analytics 

It’s best to take a step back from the day-to-day details of managing your supply chain and logistics in order to identify areas where analytics can help you optimize your deliveries. Using quality data analytics will not only allow your organization to work smarter but also arm it with the right resources needed to improve your supply chain operations.

Here are some important metrics you should be tracking:

Order Volume 

Have complete visibility into all of your deliveries in one centralized place. You’ll have a better understanding of your spend and you will have control over reporting and optimizing it.

Average Order Distance 

Get insight into how far your deliveries are going and determine if they are staying within the range you want to service.

Delivery Mix

Whether your deliveries are in STAT, 4-hour, or all day delivery windows, drive spend down by making sure your deliveries are in their appropriate time windows. For example, if you have routed deliveries that are marked as STAT, but they could be routed to a longer window, you should be notified by your strategic same-day delivery partner who can implement the change and drive down your expenses.

Driver Ratings 

Do you know what experience the drivers running your deliveries are giving your customers and their patients? Your strategic delivery partner should be able to provide you with ratings on the drivers running your deliveries. It will ensure you’re getting the best possible drivers on the road who operate efficiently and act as a professional extension of your brand. 

Use Technology to Gain Visibility 

As healthcare evolves to meet new demands, technology is shifting the way healthcare professionals think about their processes. Having complete visibility into your deliveries will help you gain a better understanding of which areas in your supply chain to target.

Using a platform (provided by your logistics partner) where suppliers, carriers, and their customers can share information and collaborate is crucial for streamlining.

Here are areas of visibility you should be able to benefit from on a platform:

  • Tracked deliveries occurring at a given time (and across multiple markets if you’re operating in multiple locations)
  • Deliveries assigned to the individual driver that includes a photo and contact information for better security
  • Turn-by-turn visibility of a delivery while in transit

The key to having complete visibility into your supply chain is having a centralized place where all stakeholders can go to make decisions, make real-time changes, and plan future initiatives.

Healthcare leaders should keep these best practices in mind when determining the right steps to improving their supply chain. 

Looking to improve your healthcare supply chain with a new logistics partner who can equip you with a strategy, analytics, and technology? Fill out our form to get in touch with a healthcare logistics specialist.

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