Clarkston’s medical device experts recently attended LogiMed 2023 in Palm Springs, California, “Bringing Together the Entire End-to-End Healthcare Supply Chain.” The annual conference welcomes supply chain leaders in healthcare systems, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) medical device companies, software and solution providers, and consultancies to discuss the evolving healthcare environment and best practices for improving the end-to-end supply chain, serving customers, and navigating the future of the industry.
LogiMed 2023 Takeaways
Below, we outline five key themes and takeaways from LogiMed 2023:
1. Supply Chain Leadership Dynamics
Now three years post-pandemic, the supply chain continues to be fast paced with a variety of dynamic challenges and evolving demands that need to be met. Supply chain leaders – those who were previously behind-the-scenes heroes – are now in the boardroom presenting strategies to ensure business continuity, strengthen customer partnerships, and improve operational results. Leaders also recognize the need for strategic partnerships and collaborations to build trust and relationships within the industry. For example, medical device OEMs are collaborating with their supply chain counterparts in healthcare, enabling stronger partnerships and improved problem-solving. Device suppliers who are competitors in the market recognize the opportunity to collaborate on key supply chain issues, such as resiliency and sustainability, to move the industry forward together. Further, there’s consensus within the industry on the importance of Quarterly Business Reviews to elevate partnerships beyond pricing to also include service and efficiency opportunities for shared benefit. In addition to the need for greater collaboration and strategic partnerships, supply chain leaders must also recognize the importance of caring for employees and prioritizing self-care to ensure sustainable engagement and avoid burn out.
2. Supply Chain Resiliency and Risk Management
The need for greater supply chain resiliency and strong supplier risk management practices remain at the forefront of conversation. As some companies look to move operations away from Asia following pandemic-related disruptions, suppliers are focusing on more proactive and data-driven approaches to supply chain visibility and resiliency, including for lifecycle management, event-based communications, stocking strategies, and business continuity planning and management. Additionally, supply chain leaders should be prioritizing collaboration and data integration across the healthcare system and up and down the supply chain, from customers to OEMs to Tier 1, 2, 3 suppliers – this not only enables greater resiliency but also provides transparency for customers. One example of a strong initiative in this arena is the Healthcare Industry Resilience Collaborative (HIRC), founded by providers and trading partners to champion and lead standards and best practices in healthcare supply chain resiliency.
3. Digitalization and Business Intelligence
There continue to be pervasive challenges across the industry with companies truly knowing their supply chains and dealing with a patchwork of processes and solutions. This is neither cost- nor time-efficient. Instead, organizations need to be more agile in their approach to problem-solving, embracing digital tools and solutions to optimize productivity and resolve critical issues at an accelerated speed. Part of this approach should include prioritizing better connectivity and analysis among healthcare systems. Take, for example, sharing valuable data about procedure schedules up the supply chain. Providers can share schedules up to four or five months in advance to help medical device manufacturers improve their service levels and their ability to better manage demand and inventory planning.
4. Field and Consignment Inventory
Consignment inventory in hospitals and surgery centers continue to seek efficiencies, particularly when it comes to the role of sales and operations processes and how they’re strategically structured. With current processes and procedures, many find it challenging to support their sales reps and enable them to do what they do best while also needing to reduce the burden of moving inventory around. Branches and agency partners continue to look for effective operations and inventory management solutions in this arena to optimize efficiencies and enhance current sales and operations processes.
5. Process Governance
Process development and documentation often starts with a catechistic event and requires an immense resource lift. Process governance is a method of sustaining these processes while also allowing for continuous improvement and cross-functional alignment in the organization. The benefit of process ownership and cross-functional knowledge across the end-to-end process or value stream can ensure more efficient ways of working and optimization of system capability. Along this same line, data governance is tightly tied to process ownership, and often the benefits are truly realized when managed together. As businesses change and evolve, so do their processes, technology and data. Ensuring process ownership and governance can allow for these changes to be managed end-to-end in a more streamlined and sustainable fashion.
Optimizing Healthcare with a “Triple Aim”
There’s a need for enhanced end-to-end partnerships and strategic collaboration with real value creation to advance and evolve the industry. Leaders from across the supply chain – healthcare providers, medical device companies, suppliers, and service and solution providers alike – are responsible for making the collective effort to optimize healthcare with a “triple aim” of improving population health, patient experience, and healthcare affordability.
As a leading orthopedics supply chain leader shared during the conference, supply chain leaders must “Be open to new ideas and changes and try to avoid the barriers that prevent us from doing the next thing better.”
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