Everyone is looking for an edge in their supply chain operations, especially in the new healthcare economy that we will be facing over the next few years. Most hospitals, systems and IDNs are already preparing for this eventuality, but may not be thinking about cloud computing as one ground leveling solution to the big challenges that are on the way.
Why I’m bringing this topic up is, that in all my years in supply chain management, the one overreaching problem that most supply chain professionals are universally experiencing is mastering, optimizing and exploiting the use of technology to innovate their supply chain operations. My observation on the root causes of this difficulty are that healthcare organizations don’t having enough time, money or IT support to drive supply chain innovation beyond a certain point so they let it languish in the twilight zone.
A good example of this phenomena is hundreds of healthcare systems who still haven’t installed an enterprise MMIS to connect their hospitals, clinics and alternate care sites to one central database. They are therefore flying blind on their price, standardization, business intelligence and data analytics opportunities. This doesn’t need to be state of supply chain management any longer.
Cloud computing to the rescue! If you aren’t familiar with the term cloud computing it enables you, on a pay-as-you-go basis, to utilize the internet to deploy and maintain all of your networks, servers, storage, applications and services without the cost of ownership.
Software and hardware that formerly took months to install can now be connected in a matter of weeks, thereby, empowering you to link all of your supply chain customers to one supply chain network with a flip of a switch. Best of all, since cloud computing is a software-as-a-shared-service, with countless users to spread direct and indirect cost, your return on investment is always optimal, from what we have experienced, with any and all supply chain organizations.
I can speak from experience when I talk about this topic since my firm has been cloud computing for 10 years with all of our clients and our own internal software applications. We made this change in our technology philosophy, since like most healthcare organizations we are a virtual and a dynamic company with clients in 38 states. Where it once took us months to install our hardwired software at a client’s location it now takes us weeks and our uptime has increased from 92% to 98.8% for our clients. Most of our client’s hardware and software issues can be addressed and solved in a matter of minutes — not days.
These milestones could of only happen by employing cloud computing to show us the way! I encourage you to investigate cloud computing to solve all or most of your own supply chain technology challenges, since you can’t really be innovative if you are wedded to the old ways of doing things. Cloud computing can and will give you that edge that you have been looking for even if you don’t have the time, money or IT support today to bridge the technology gap at your healthcare organization.
Robert T. Yokl
Chief Value Strategist
Strategic Value Analysis® In Healthcare