5 Lean Supply Management Hacks

So, you have discovered there's inefficiency in your hospital supply management; you know it's costing you money, but how can you fix it?

While the supply chain does have many moving pieces, you can take clear, confident steps to save money.

Let's explore 5 Lean supply management hacks you need to know that will help you better your supply management processes.

5 Lean Supply Management Hacks

1) Approach Supply Management Holistically

Don't get caught up in a single aspect of supply management. It's hard to look at the whole process when you obsess over one aspect. Instead, always look at the supply chain as a whole then dig deeper, it is inefficient to make changes in one aspect of management that decreases productivity somewhere else.

Make note of each moving piece in relation to others. Start asking questions to identify which area needs the most help and start there.

2) Ask Holistic Questions

What do your patient satisfaction surveys tell you?

Is your supply management meeting demand?

What perceptions do executives and/or employees have about supply management? As a whole, do they feel that they have what they need when they need it? What's costing too much?

Starting with these holistic questions allows you to identify any strong and weak points in your current system. It will help you to prioritize your attention. Start generating quick money-saving wins and an overall stronger supply system.

3) Tighten Logistics

Take a look at your logistics. Are inefficiencies costing your hospital money? For example, expedited, last minute ordering increases costs because of added charges. New techniques like two- bin supply management will help you know when new supplies need to be ordered without added fees.

One area of supply management may be adding inefficiency into your logistics and increasing transportation costs. Look for opportunities to work more effectively with transportation and supplier partners to save everyone involved money.

4) Know What Supplies to Use When

You'll find there's much more consistency to the supply cycle than you may think. Having a good system in place to ensure that supplies are used before going bad can be extremely beneficial.

An easy way to do this is to make sure that the oldest products are always placed before others, that way you are always grabbing the longest- sitting supply.

This can save your hospital money and time. You will save money because you won’t be wasting supplies, and time because you won’t have to go through and find the expired supplies.

5) Reevaluate/Renegotiate Contracts

It's easy for any hospital to get accustomed to working with one supplier for one type of order. Over time, that supplier's costs may have gone up. They may be less reliable when it comes to delivery. Or you just may be able to get a better price elsewhere.

Still, we stick with what we know because it takes time to research and renegotiate.

To save money, set up a regular schedule to reevaluate vendor contracts. Is the supplier keeping up their end of the contract? Are you?

If you like the supplier, renegotiate a reduced rate based on the fact that you order a certain amount and/or always pay on-delivery rather than paying on a 30-day cycle.

Demonstrate that it's a win-win for your patients, the supplier, and your health system.

If the supplier relationship has gone sour, start researching other options.

Lean Management Hacks Save Money

These hacks will help you start saving money almost immediately. Remember, start by looking at the whole. Then drill down and prioritize areas that need improvement. To find out how having the right warehouse storage systems can help you establish lean supply management, contact us today.