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It's High Time for Supply Chain

Brent Johnson | Tuesday June 21, 2022

At the Spring IDN Summit this past April I had the privilege of moderating a panel of my past Intermountain Healthcare colleagues – Joe Walsh, Kreg Koford and Richard Bagley who all created their own supply chain legacy’s in other organizations around the country. 

What started out to be a discussion on changes in the healthcare supply chain industry turned into a recognition that there is a huge opportunity right now to make great progress and change. 

Here were some of the comments from the panel:

  • Every supply chain organization needs to have the right structure, strategy and operations
  • Key themes that need attention are talent, technology, partnering, measurements beyond savings, data and organization
  • COVID has been a catalyst for transformation
  • Everyone needs to know what a transformation looks like – it’s different from the past
  • It might require “organizational judo” to get the major pillars right
  • It’s not a matter of just being at the “table” but we must be vigilantly aggressive with action
  • We can’t keep admiring the problem with no action

Transformation in your organization will not happen unless we are LEADERS.  That’s different from being a manager.  Being a good manager does not mean you are good leader.  A leader innovates while a manger organizes.  A leader comes up with new ideas and kickstarts whereas a manager relies on control.  A leader invents or innovates while a manager organizes.

Leaders are considered as visionaries. They set the pathways to excel the organizational growth. They always examine where their organization stands, where they want to go, and how they can reach there by involving others. 

All of this applies to IDNs and suppliers alike.  We all share in the mission to reduce the cost and complexity of the healthcare supply chain while improving patient care.

There’s never been a better time to take advantage of the opportunity for supply chain transformation than now. As the coach of the USA 1980 Gold Medal Hockey team said before their trophy game against the Russians, “Now is our time”.  I believe it is our time.  It’s high time for supply chain. 

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