While it may seem logical to have a bucket of multiple vendors for finding medical parts and services, it can create major repercussions on your overall budget if not done efficiently. The number of service partners managed by clinical engineering can get into the hundreds, even thousands. Imagine managing each one of those relationships to get the best price, right quality and appropriate terms for your organization. There is a lot of time spent on the phone with these vendors – sometimes up to an hour per call. This can be significant when you look at the volume of orders. One person cannot manage that responsibility alone. By looking for ways to consolidate your vendors, you will reap the benefits from a budget and resource perspective.
These five reasons will explain why a single service partner will produce more efficiency within your health care facility:
One: Increased vendor accountability and established relationships
Collaborating with a single vendor creates a streamlined process. The vendor has the knowledge to consolidate order entry, management and reconciliation from all of your suppliers into one, consistent and simple-to-use process. By having this in place, you will gain a fully responsive vendor with unified accountability to contact when a need arises. It is why you shop at your local grocery store and go to the mall. It is a single accountable source with lots of products at guaranteed quality levels and consistent prices, and it should not be different in the medical procurement world.
Two: Simple administration and operations
Vendor management is non-billable work, and it can cause a lot of stress for one person, due to the sheer number of vendors. Therefore, it can take away from doing core repair work, which affects equipment uptime. To improve your operations, work with fewer suppliers to decrease the number of separate transactions.
The sourcing of every repair part can be costly when looking at labor cost and related overhead. The technology platform from a single vendor should help implement a standardized purchasing process and reduce supply chain costs. Because the technology platform implements change, it can affect the entire organization. The evolution of change in healthcare technology management starts from the ground up, and your clinical engineering department can influence this change.
Three: Integrated tools for optimal reporting
A health care system should consider the reporting and analytics a vendor could offer through their technology platform. The reporting should help you to validate savings and create visibility into the purchasing behavior of employees. When evaluating vendors, look to see if you will be receiving consistent communication for increasing savings, efficiency and tradeoff opportunities.
Four: Reliable and efficient processes
Reduced steps within your procurement process present the largest opportunity for timesavings. A single technology platform from one service partner can help with identifying opportunities for improvement with price, vendor selection, asset data and vendor benchmarking.
Evaluate the overall medical procurement process you currently use and consider the impact of managing multiple vendors. Every vendor works in a silo with its own individual goals and does not invest in your departmental strategy and overall success. Additionally, most suppliers do not focus on internal capabilities to provide parts and service. A simplified procurement process should help you to align your strategy with your vendor’s strategy.
Five: Increased discount potential
While you may have good pricing with your current vendors, you could be missing opportunities for leveraging potential discounts from one vendor. By leveraging the purchasing power of a single vendor who has relationships with many suppliers, you may have the ability to receive better pricing.
By integrating procurement technology into your asset management system, you can create audit trails. You will be able to create predictive budgetary guidelines by incorporating approvals within your procurement workflow when selecting a part or service.
A centralized vendor knows your processes and helps to streamline the entire workflow. The adoption of data-driven, purchasing technology has been slow because of the lack of awareness in vendor management. By increasing your knowledge on the amount of resources and cost that goes into managing multiple vendors, you will be able to evaluate service partners to help meet your organization’s needs for efficiency. Not only will you find a service partner, but you will also find a technology platform that best fits your procurement workflow.
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