Having had enough of the pandemic, hospitals simply want just enough supplies | Prodigo Solutions
December 22, 2021

Having had enough of the pandemic, hospitals simply want just enough supplies

Publication by Healthcare Purchasing News

Back in the go-go 1980s, low-unit-of-measure (LUM) distribution concepts such as just-in-time (JIT) and stockless were emerging as quite the rage among forward-thinking, progressive materials management leaders.

For many, these “new” – at least in healthcare – methods were seen as perhaps the greatest process improvement since sliced bread. These days with supply chains strafed by pandemic-induced backlogs and shortages, more seem to view sliced bread as an expensive novelty and likely prefer sticky buns.

During his keynote address at the Association of Healthcare Resource and Materials Management (AHRMM) conference last August in Nashville, award-winning professor and consultant Randy Bradley, Ph.D., CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management and Information Systems, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Haslam College of Business, Department of Supply Chain Management, highlighted three distinct Achilles heels that threaten faith in – and perhaps viability of – JIT distribution.

Those three elements? They form an equation. 1. When you have a supply shock. 2. When you have a demand shock. 3. When you have a price shock from the supply and demand shock.

“We got all three – not just one,” Bradley said. “And when demand outpaces supply we try to overcorrect.” The resulting focus on stockpiling he billed as “JIC” for “just-in-case” as one end of a seesawing trend back-and-forth. “We will see more of this,” he predicted. “When things get good, you’ll swing back.”

What the industry needs is a new philosophy, according to Bradley, called “JE” for “Just Enough.” This “requires you to do demand planning, demand sensing and demand shaking,” he added.

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About Prodigo Solutions 

Prodigo Solutions is a healthcare technology company that improves providers’ financial control and reduces supply chain cost. Prodigo Solutions’ technology was purpose-built for healthcare by supply chain experts to deliver tangible results across a continuum of care. Customers who use our systems purchase more than $23 billion annually for the more than 700 hospitals they operate. 

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