It’s been a busy and often challenging couple of years for healthcare providers: ramping up critical care during the pandemic, ensuring employee and patient safety, and pivoting to hybrid working environments—all while managing volatile supply chains. 

The pandemic highlighted the need to create more agile supply chains that could adapt quickly to changes in supply availability and patient needs. A Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study finds that 95% of businesses experienced pandemic-related disruptions in their sourcing and procurement processes, and a Gartner study finds just two out of 10 healthcare executives described their organization’s supply chain as highly resilient. 

Without proper visibility into current inventory and supply chain gaps, procurement leaders in the healthcare industry lack the information they need to plan strategically for the future. They also run the risk of falling short on their savings goals. From 2019 through 2021 alone, total hospital expenses per patient increased by 20%, and costs continue to rise. Amid supply chain volatility, labor shortages, and surging demand, there’s a clear need for improved visibility into requisitions, inventory, and sourcing processes to better adapt to rapidly shifting priorities. 

Leaders who digitized their supply chain saw major benefits, including improved efficiency, greater savings, and more insight into their overall spend. Below we share stories from four Workday healthcare customers who helped their organizations remain agile and resilient by taking their supply chain processes to the cloud. 

Sharp HealthCare: Driving Strategic Savings Through Simplified Supply Chain Management

As a leading healthcare provider in Southern California with over 19,000 employees, Sharp HealthCare is on the cutting edge of patient care. To provide patients with the best treatment possible, Sharp HealthCare relied on multiple supply chain management systems and contract systems to support its clinicians. Together, these systems tracked around $1 billion in spend across 10 different departments, using manual processes to aggregate spend data. Because of these disconnected processes, the sourcing and procurement teams lacked critical visibility into supply chain operations. 

Sharp HealthCare chose Workday Strategic Sourcing to centralize sourcing processes in a single system that allowed its team to better track suppliers, contracts, and incoming bids for requests for proposals (RFPs). With all of the necessary information in one place, Sharp HealthCare was able to save $4.2 million in six months and reduce RFP cycles by four weeks.

“We’ve gotten tremendous value in greater engagement with our stakeholders—including suppliers—plus cleaner data and easier, real-time reporting from a single source.”

Ryan Koos Chief Supply Chain Officer Sharp HealthCare

Sharp HealthCare now has the capability to share the impact of more efficient supply chain management. With automatic reporting, the sourcing team is able to show its hospitals exactly how much they’re saving, and how they’re maximizing every dollar spent for a better patient and employee experience. 

ChenMed: Supporting Healthcare at Scale via Agile Supply Chains 

ChenMed is on a mission to deliver top-quality care to the most underserved communities, such as low-income seniors. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, ChenMed ensures its patients get the care they need by coordinating transportation assistance to and from facilities as well as offering on-site medication services.

Since early 2020, ChenMed has experienced exponential growth, opening more than 30 centers in less than two years. This growth challenged the procurement team at ChenMed to build agile supply chains that could continue to support clinicians’ needs while the organization rapidly scaled. 

Using Workday, ChenMed automated 80% of its purchase order (PO) and invoice transactions, giving clinicians more time to focus on what truly matters: their patients. Technology investments have not only resulted in time savings but have driven cost savings as well. For example, in its first reverse auction, ChenMed was able to save $70,000. This saved money translated into “an additional enabler in delivering affordable VIP care for our seniors,” says Gary Alicea, director of financial operations at ChenMed.

Workday has helped ChenMed maintain steady growth without allocating additional headcount in its finance organization. By completely automating its routine processes such as POs, invoicing, and expenses, ChenMed will continue to scale and reach more underserved patients.

Bon Secours Mercy Health: Creating Resilient Supply Chains to Overcome Volatility

As a $10 billion-per-year, not-for-profit healthcare organization with over 50 hospitals in the United States and Ireland, Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) is one of the largest healthcare systems in the U.S.. To maintain continuous operations amid pandemic-induced volatility, BSMH digitized its procurement and inventory processes for better visibility into its supply chain. 

Having a single source of data was critical for the team at BSMH to identify supply chain management gaps, collaborate with key stakeholders, and plan for the future. With Workday, BSMH was able to increase supply chain resiliency by unifying its supply chain management operations under one system. This gave BSMH increased visibility and enabled it to adapt quickly throughout the pandemic. Using real-time data, the supply chain management team was able to make more informed decisions and get necessary supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and life saving medications, to clinicians faster. 

BSMH also leveraged Workday to build a proactive supply chain management strategy. With real-time insights into current supplies and the ability to connect directly with suppliers, BSMH can plan ahead according to its inventory and strategically manage ordering. The ability to monitor supply chain activity via mobile devices ensures that the team at BSMH never misses a beat. 

South Shore Health: Innovating in Supply Chain Management

When Massachusetts-based healthcare system South Shore Health entered the pandemic, its biggest challenges were managing throughput and capacity. PPE was top of mind for South Shore Health to protect the health of its clinicians. Additionally, the healthcare provider needed to partner with new vendors to shore up its disrupted supply chains. The kicker: all of this needed to be managed virtually.

“We needed to evolve, and deploying Workday was key for our innovation momentum.”

Cara Babachicos Chief Information Officer South Shore Health

Deploying Workday enabled South Shore Health to adapt quickly to remote working and increase supply chain resilience using real-time data. Even while managing nonstandard and donated items, South Shore Health completed one of its cleanest inventory closes on record using Workday. 

Visibility and automation in the cloud were key contributors to South Shore Health’s success. The ability to view all requisitions and order statuses from anywhere, on any device, gave the team at South Shore Health a better understanding of total inventory and spend. This insight helped the organization anticipate future changes in supply and plan accordingly.

South Shore Health also empowered its clinicians by creating an automated reordering system, so they could get the right supplies at the right time without navigating complex processes and approvals. Using technology, South Shore Health has continued providing excellent care, relying on its resilient supply chains to support healthcare innovation. 

How Cloud-Based Supply Chain Management Drives Healthcare Excellence

When healthcare organizations prioritize resilient and agile supply chains, they ensure that their clinicians are empowered to provide top-quality care with the supplies they need.

Technology is a key factor in successful supply chain management (SCM). In fact, a recent IDC report found that 64% of healthcare IT leaders deem their SCM applications as “business critical.” Even before the pandemic struck, digitizing supply chains was a top priority, with 62.2% of U.S. hospitals increasing their spend on SCM technology. 

When healthcare organizations are equipped with visibility and automation, everyone benefits. Patient safety improves, and they’re given higher-quality care. Clinicians can optimize their requests and workflows for more efficient ordering. And the business benefits with reduced costs, tighter collaboration, and a resilient supply chain that can adapt to changing patient needs. 

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