What is a healthcare supply chain network?
26 January 2021
Written by: Herbert Güsgen
Are you a healthcare supplier, manufacturer or distributor looking for ways to improve efficiency of your end-to-end operations? Here we explain why joining a healthcare supply chain network is the way to go, and how exactly it helps your organisation improve your internal processes.
Simplifying the healthcare supply chain
From manufacturer to patient, we are all directly or indirectly affected by the process in which healthcare products make their way to hospitals. Products are subject to various rules, regulations and laws according to what they are, where they come from, and the patients on whom they are being used. This creates a supply chain with a complex structure and many boxes to check to ensure everything is produced, delivered and administered without error.
“The best way to fix the commonly fragmented healthcare supply chain is to create end-to-end visibility.”
The difference between having enough respirators or coming up short could be as simple as a mistake in inventory count or a missing number on the purchase order. So, how to make sure your hospital is stocked and ready for smooth everyday operations and prepared for unforeseen emergencies? The best way to fix the commonly fragmented supply chain is to create end-to-end visibility by joining a healthcare supply chain network.
What is a healthcare supply chain network?
Essentially, a supply chain network serves to connect companies with their business partners such as healthcare institutions, suppliers and logistics service providers. In the network, each party involved works according to their individual process and system specifications while all information is collected and viewed on a single interface.
Through this interface, each supply chain player is able to streamline distribution and processing of delivery notes, invoices, purchasing information, transport messages and payment advice.
It’s more than streamlining paperwork, though. When hospitals use barcode scanners for requisitions, the data is transferred directly through the network into the shared system. Suppliers then receive notifications to charge the hospital as well as automatically replace the used goods, ensuring stock is always balanced.
Benefits of a healthcare supply chain network
Through automated digital processes, your organisation, wherever it lies in the supply chain, gains visibility and control over operations while building stronger, trusting relationships with your business partners.
“Through automated digital processes, your organisation, wherever it lies in the supply chain, gains visibility and control over operations.”
The use of EDI technology makes the entire journey of healthcare goods trackable from the manufacturer to the patient, leading to time as well as cost savings and guaranteeing faster receipt of goods.
More benefits include:
Real-time visibility and overview of the entire healthcare supply chain
Master data synchronisation between buyer and supplier systems
Multiple levels of order checking and enrichment, depending on organisation requirements
Audit and enrichment can be imported into the sender system for data cleansing on request, improving the master data at the customer’s site
Automated conversion of transaction documents, according to recipient’s required format
Automatic notifications on delivery, receipt and goods consumption
Queries, which always keep two people away from the actual work, become a burden of the past
Process efficiency reduces complaints and returns while increasing customer satisfaction
Many networks, including the Pagero Network, are cloud-based and integrated so your organisation can get full benefits without changing ERP systems
Simply put, the network enables all connected business partners to exchange business documents from the entire healthcare supply chain.
What to consider
If you’re in the market to improve the overall functionality of your organisation, ask yourself these questions:
With which customers or suppliers does your organisation have the most:
Now think about how you cooperate with the customer or supplier. Could anything be improved with a tailored healthcare supply chain management solution?