About Todd Larkin:
A native St Louis, Todd Larkin earned a degree in International Business through the University of Missouri’s dual degree program, after which he accepted a position with IBM in its Integrated Supply Chain organization. He initially worked as a buyer supporting customers who outsourced their IT to IBM. Later, he led a team developing e-procurement applications, and finally shifted into a consulting role. At IBM, he “saw firsthand how procurement and supply chain could become a strategic asset to the enterprise by driving value to the bottom line and to shareholders,” he says.
After IBM, he joined MasterCard, where he drove the implementation of category management and process improvements leveraging Lean Six Sigma principles. After MasterCard, he joined Express Scripts, soon after its acquisition of Medco. His team was responsible for managing non-pharma spend – packaging, logistics, call centers, IT, marketing, finance, construction, and overall operations.
He joined Intalere in 2017. As chief operating officer, he has responsibility for the overall supply chain capabilities delivered to clients. “While the core of this is our traditional Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) function, Intalere is expanding its integration with Intermountain Healthcare to not only drive value for our parent company, but also to capture Intermountain’s best practices – from supply chain to clinical outcomes – to help our clients become more effective at delivering care. Intalere continues to make investments in our non-GPO offerings and we’re seeing significant interest and traction in the marketplace in our offerings.”
As of Dec. 31, 2018, Intalere membership included 3,795 acute-care hospitals; 43,635 clinics; 13,338 long-term-care facilities; and 3,777 ambulatory surgery centers.
Most challenging/rewarding project in the past 12-18 months:
- Organizational change. “I joined Intalere in the second half of 2017, when the contracting organization was undergoing a transformation, primarily focused on adopting Intermountain’s best practices. One of the most rewarding aspects of that initiative was implementing changes to people, processes, and technology.”
- Integration with Intermountain. When Larkin joined Intalere, an initiative called Performance Acceleration was already underway. “Essentially, Intalere had – for the first time – fully committed to deliver savings to its parent company. We mobilized the teams, increased the level of integration between Intalere and Intermountain, and implemented processes to identify, qualify, and track initiatives over the remaining runway. Ultimately, this increased integration was able to exceed our value targets for the initiative and also benefitted our broader membership.”
- Improving relationships with suppliers, including contracting with one supplier that in prior years had refused to work with Intalere. “Our relationship with this supplier has improved so much that we are now having discussions with them regarding multiple strategic initiatives.”
- Process improvement. “When I joined Intalere, they had just completed a strategic sourcing event that had taken multiple months and resulted in contract awards for the next three years. Unfortunately, the nature of category’s volatility was dramatic, resulting in the value of the award eroding over time. The team recognized this quickly and worked to implement an agile sourcing process, taking a significant segment of the category to market via a mini-bid each month.”
Looking forward to:
“We are constantly focused on improving the competitiveness of our portfolio. However, this doesn’t just mean reduction in the price of a market basket of SKUs. Rather, we’re pulling different value levers [and] capturing and sharing clinical best practices from across our membership. Given our broad and diverse membership, we’re finding that we can capture best practices from throughout the healthcare continuum and share that information across our client base.”
How are you better at practicing your profession today than you were five or 10 years ago?
“I’ve been fortunate to work with some very talented people I’ve learned from. One of the key aspects I’ve focused on is building strategic plans across categories of spend and working with senior executives to find the best way my team can support their strategic initiatives. I think the key is to view every day as an opportunity to reflect and learn something new. It’s also important to constantly focus on what value you can provide and how that’s aligned with the larger goals of the organization.”
What are the challenges or opportunities facing the next generation of supply chain executives?
“The next generation will need to … be relentless in driving change. There is a lot of resistance to change in healthcare and it’s understandable when you have potential impact to patients’ lives. However, the next generation [cannot] become frustrated as they try to implement these new concepts and innovations. They’ve got to be relentless in helping to transform healthcare and capture the value of these new approaches and innovations.”