This Is Not A Test: It’s Time To Digitize Your Demand Chain - Christopher J. O’Connor

Cristopher J. O’Connor — Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Digitizing the entire supply chain — from pattern making to last mile — using predictive analytics and the Voice of the Customer is no longer science fiction.

I encourage health system CEOs and board members to read this article in Forbes magazine. It is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s draws you to the airline industry and the absurdity it would be for the industry if it was not digitized. Specifically, imagine if Delta could not located their planes or it they could not predict how many seats were sold. Or worse, imagine if they couldn’t connect to air traffic control! It would never be accepted by the consumers.

So, I take you to the healthcare system in the United States. Although great improvements have been made in the health care supply chain, the line of sight for medical supplies typically does not go far enough. Group purchasing organizations, manufactures, and distributors have, out of necessity, digitized their supply chains all the way back to the raw materials, a significant amount of hospitals have not or cannot connect into that digitization. Consequently, they can’t effectively do predictive ordering and manage the inventories that they do have on hand. A spotlight was shown on these issues during Covid 19 as they would trying to manage both PPE and ventilators.

Supply chain executives know what NEEDS to be done. However, senior leadership needs to grow in their understanding of the healthcare supply chain to actually Get it done.

Christopher J. O’Connor

Driven by globalization, geopolitical upheaval, new technologies, big data, and artificial intelligence, supply chain management has become — and will continue to be — far more complex. Unfortunately, the way most enterprises recruit their supply chain talent has not kept pace with this reality.

So, I take you to the healthcare system in the United States. Although great improvements have been made in the health care supply chain, the line of sight for medical supplies typically does not go far enough. Group purchasing organizations, manufactures, and distributors have, out of necessity, digitized their supply chains all the way back to the raw materials, a significant amount of hospitals have not or cannot connect into that digitization. Consequently, they can’t effectively do predictive ordering and manage the inventories that they do have on hand. A spotlight was shown on these issues during Covid 19 as they would trying to manage both PPE and ventilators.

The time is now!! Never has the health care supply chain been more needed. There are moments in time when the world calls up to action. We are in one of those times in the health care industry. Although this call to action has been occurring for a long time, enter Covid-19, and the call has turned to shouts!

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