3 Things to Evaluate in a Supply Chain Provider — Other Than Price

Updated on August 29, 2021

By Gerry Romanelli, CCO of TRIOSE  

The sheer volume of gloves that hospitals need each day illustrates the gigantic magnitude of the entire hospital supply chain. Hospitals require at least five different sized gloves even before taking physician preferences into consideration. It’s no wonder hospital supply chains include more SKUs than any other industry, making them extremely complicated.

Hospitals tend to prioritize financial savings when selecting a supply chain provider, but oftentimes more significant savings can be achieved beyond the price of the service. To achieve true, lasting savings, hospital executives must evaluate their entire supply chains, and turn a particularly critical eye to the transportation segment. When health systems pay close attention to vendor managed freight charges in their supply chain operations and implement a freight management program, they can ensure efficiency, guarantee performance, gain visibility over costs, and return time and resources to serving patients. The following are the top three things healthcare executives should consider in a supply chain provider beyond rate costs.

Program compliance 

Hospitals focus on individual unit savings because of the large volume of SKUs they require, but when they widen their perspective and look at ultimate costs, they can identify greater savings. Hospitals should prioritize analysis of their supply chain efficiency and narrow in on vendor compliance. Typically, 10-20% of healthcare vendors turn over each year. If hospitals don’t have program compliance, the initial savings they receive from new vendors gets diluted year over year when they don’t adhere to their freight management program. 

The more vendors that comply with hospitals’ routing instructions, the more savings they will gain in the long run. While they may pay more or receive less of a discounted rate on goods, they can save 10s of 1000s of dollars overall, because 10s of 1000s of vendors are complying with their program. That’s why TRIOSE has a vendor relations group that works with more than 12,000 vendors to ensure they are complying with a hospital’s instructions for how they want supplies transported, delivered and communicated.

Human touchpoints

When performance is guaranteed, savings and efficiency are guaranteed — and humans are the only way to achieve this. Only people can effectively analyze ongoing monthly vendors, ensure new vendors are properly implemented, anticipate problems and oversee technology systems.  

Healthcare is a people-to-people business that requires human touch points every step of the way. Hospitals need a supply chain provider that is available, reliable and flexible. They need people supporting a process and technology, not technology alone. At TRIOSE, every one of our customers has a billing representative who is responsible for ensuring their invoice is accurate and allocated correctly, saving time and money along the way.

Dedicated backup plan 

The COVID-19 pandemic was a universal reminder to the healthcare industry that unexpected events are costly. When hospital systems rely on overseas suppliers and technology to receive vital equipment, emergencies can be even more difficult and expensive. Having a plan and people in place to anticipate possible supply chain disruptions and quickly solving for complications that arise prevents potential costly errors. 

TRIOSE is the only supply chain provider with a truly managed program that offers a hands-on process every step of the way. When something goes wrong, we have people on the ground to problem solve and execute creative solutions. Every TRIOSE customer is equipped with a dedicated account management team to ensure they get the most value from the relationship, and deliver solutions should the unexpected occur.

For health systems, there is much more to being cost effective than narrowing in on product price and discounted shipping rates. Finding a supply chain provider who serves as a partner to ensure compliance, guarantee performance, provide human support and execute a personalized backup plan is the key to lasting savings. 

Gerry Romanelli joined TRIOSE in 2016 and currently serves as Chief Commercial Officer. With more than 30 years of experience in transportation and logistics, Gerry plays an integral part in planning TRIOSE’s short- and long-term strategies, as well as introducing innovative products, services and market strategies to the TRIOSE portfolio.

Prior to TRIOSE, Gerry served as Vice President of Sales for Livingston International, as well as holding various leadership positions at UPS. Over a 28-year span, he led a number of UPS sales divisions including UPS Supply Chain Solutions, UPS Freight and Enterprise Healthcare.

Gerry is determined to partner with clients to modernize the healthcare supply chain. Utilizing his logistic experience from other industries and relying on innovative solutions to meet healthcare specific service requirements, Gerry aims to meet client needs and eliminate inefficient supply chain distractions to ultimately make a difference in healthcare.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.