Andy Nelson, executive director of Supply Chain Field Operations at Bon Secours Mercy Health, represented Advantus as a panelist at the recent The Business of Healthcare Summit, a gathering of Cincinnati-area health care leaders to discuss the industry’s toughest challenges. The event was held at the Duke Energy Center and was a partnership between The Health Collaborative and Xavier University.
Andy appeared with three other industry leaders as part of a panel that covered the topic “Supply Chain: Strategic Operations, Supply Chain Integration, and Saving Lives.”
Timing in Supply Chain Shortages
A main topic of conversation during the panel was about current challenges with supply chain shortages. Andy shared that given the recent supply chain shortages, timing is everything. “A lot of the time, the lag time of getting new supplies in is really what is causing concern now,” shares Andy.
Creating Transparency in Supply Chain
“With supply chain shortages, supplier transparency is going to be more important now than ever,” Andy said. “We need to have this transparency because we need to communicate to our hospitals and leaders why these shortages are happening, not just that they are happening.”
Importance of Relationships
Quality assurance of goods is at the top of mind for many leaders. Andy’s approach to ensuring the quality of products is to stress the importance of the relationships one has with their clinicians in the facility. “COVID-19 has really tested this, and we have come out with stronger relationships and better communication,” shares Andy. “As we’re dealing with these one-off supply chain disruptions, I think it’s easier to address them now than it was two years ago due to our increased connections.”
Future of Supply Chain
Andy and his other panelists believe that these supply chain disruptions are not going anywhere in the near future. “We’re going to be seeing this challenges for years to come,” said Andy. “All of the panelists up here have an agency labor challenge ahead of us and they’re looking to us to find savings opportunities.”
Improvement with Data Standardization
When asked what you would want to change about the current supply chain, Andy believes there is room for improvement with data standardization. “Right now, we don’t speak a common language with suppliers. If we can get to a data standardization system, I think we could achieve the level of analytics that we’re looking for,” shares Andy. “That’s why we can’t compare our supply chain to that of a grocery store or an auto-manufacturer. We act differently because our suppliers are different.”