Managing the quality of communication within your healthcare supply chain is a complicated task that requires multiple tools and many moving parts. The answer? Supply chain social networks may hold the key to addressing many of these challenges for improved collaboration and transparency.
One fact is certain: the market for medical supplies is exploding and projected to grow exponentially within the next few years. Consider that a U.S. Department of Commerce study found that the medical device industry alone reached $110 billion in 2012 and is expected to hit $133 billion in 2016. The good news is that with this booming growth comes the opportunity for efficient healthcare organizations to diversify their supply chain.
Simplifying Communications with Supply Chain Social Networks
Changing prices, cold calls, and conflicting shipment schedules are a daily hassle for medical facilities. Unfortunately, these issues can have a direct impact on the quality of care. What if you could more simply manage a large pool of diverse suppliers? That’s where supply chain social networks come in, offering centralized information and configurable filters.
Clearly, your goal is to create efficiency when monitoring the ins-and-outs of supplier interactions. However, your supply chain may contain a multitude of companies and contact points. Or if you’re working with larger supply management teams, you may be duplicating efforts with minimal collaboration.
The upside of using supply chain social networks? Interactions can become optimized and very transparent for the supply chain management team. The latest information about new deals, bidding history, and negotiations mean that teams can better synchronize their efforts. The bottom-line: you get better quality supplies at a lower price point.
Configurable Cold Call Management
Let’s face it, your organization is getting bombarded daily with cold calls from suppliers offering the latest and greatest equipment, pharmaceuticals, and technologies. Filtering these cold calls can become a massive task, requiring excessive time to verify offers and product information.
Relying on email as your main form of communication with suppliers can not only be cumbersome but can also limit your opportunity for automated filtering. With supply chain networks, contact points are centralized and information filters are configurable. This means supply chain management teams can create customized filters that reflect the selection standards of your organization.
Extensive Information Archives
Another major advantage of centralizing information with supply chain social networks is the ability to archive knowledge. Information that is aggregated over time is stored within a single network account – no more personal notebooks and emails accounts.
For starters, creating an archive on supplier relationships and history can offer the supply chain management team valuable insight on bids. Without an archive, a departing team member can take this valuable history with them. When a new member is added to the team, they are left filtering through mountains of old emails and uncategorized notes.
Manage a Greater Diversity in Suppliers
At the end of the day, everyone wants to get the best deals at the lowest cost. The most effective way to leverage pricing packages is by creating greater diversity within your supply chain. This allows for more competitive opportunities to gain higher quality equipment and supplies at a lower price. However, introducing more variety in suppliers also makes managing new offerings much more difficult.
Sure, email, telecommunications, and other technologies have their place. But they’re inefficient in managing a larger scale of suppliers. Ultimately, combining the extensive configurable filtering options of supply chain social networks with archive history will provide teams with much greater leverage to land the best deals and ensure quality of care.
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Learn more about the latest supply chain social network tools with our webcast, Supply Chain 2.0: Using New Technology. This webcast is presented by guest speaker and Mazree founder Curtis McEntire. With over ten years of supply chain consulting experience, Curtis brings you best of the supply chain social network with Mazree.
 “The Medical Device Industry in the United States”. United States Department of Commerce. http://selectusa.commerce.gov/industry-snapshots/medical-device-industry-united-states.html