Solving a Complicated Supply Chain Challenge

Updated on March 10, 2019

By Cindy Juhas

In the summer of 2017, CME stood at the foundation of what would become the newest 740,000 square foot New York-Presbyterian facility, the David H. Koch Center for Ambulatory Care. The facility would be home to twelve operating suites, six interventional radiology procedure rooms, and eleven endoscopic rooms. With such size and complexity, this project was just the type the CME team has come to enjoy.

While a medical center located on York Avenue and 68th Street would be beneficial to the public, the surrounding narrow streets and shared loading docks that couldn’t accept tractor trailers would be a logistical challenge. Along with union regulations, limited storage space and $90 million in medical equipment, the newest New York-Presbyterian project would require accurate project tracking and the use of an offsite service center.

CME’s proprietary CME360 suite of healthcare equipment software solutions assured the right products were ordered. System generated quote sheets included specifications, necessary accessories, and details on lower priced, high-quality alternatives. Together and with the budget in mind, the client and CME team determined the final equipment list, having sorted out the products needed by each department. The CME360 project management hub tracked items as they arrived into a CME secured 20,000 square foot offsite service warehouse in nearby New Jersey.

Having the New Jersey facility allowed for medical equipment to be purchased, received and staged even though destination rooms were months from ready to receive items. Utilizing this off-site location to accept deliveries from manufacturers removed the burden from the on-site loading dock. The warehouse also allowed the CME Direct-To Site Services team to inspect and stage 17,216 items before their entry into the new facility.  CME staff checked for damage on all items. In the event of an issue, CME would either work directly with the manufacturers to replace the product or would work with New York Presbyterian staff depending for assistance on products purchased outside the CME order. Items were reviewed and discovered issues were dealt with daily, allowing all damaged products time for replacement before it was scheduled to be delivered to the hospital.

The New Jersey warehousing location quickly proved its value when 129 exam light booms arrived. The manufacturer of these units only delivers by a tractor-trailer, which the hospital loading dock could not accept thanks to the narrow and congested streets of New York City. Each arm would need storage before installation. Between these shipping restrictions and the facilities minimal storage space, 129 arms stored on-site was not going to be a reality. To further complicate the matter, these booms could only be installed at the final stages of each floor’s construction. The CME Installation team, along with the customer, planned the delivery of seven booms per truck and coordinated each booms installation.

It was this open dialogue with all teams that was crucial to the success of this project. The CME team collaborated with Union Members, as they were contracted to unload all trucks. CME managers also communicated needs in scheduling with dock managers and elevator operators.  Any failure in messages had the power to derail the project, but the collaboration between New York Presbyterian and CME kept over 120 deliveries (and the whole project) on track.

Just as Murphy’s Law would predict, the height of activity fell directly into swells of poor weather patterns. The already narrow streets further shrunk in size, accessibility decreased, and even elevators in the facility became temperamental. CME relocated essential staff to facility and warehouse locations on a long-term basis, ensuring that choices and changes could be made in real-time, with decision makers seeing firsthand what circumstances the project faced. When the project launched, CME was included in weekly progress calls to share details and coordinate deliveries. As the project progressed, CME had embedded team members who worked alongside NYP personnel and collectively the team was able to solve problems as they developed.

In the end, New York-Presbyterian greeted the spring season with a newly constructed, cutting-edge medical facility that made them feel proud, New York gained an additional point of care, and CME had another successful project for their portfolio. Adaptability and transparency were what made this project a real achievement.

Cindy Juhas is the Chief Strategy Officer of CME Corp. CME is a national distributor of healthcare equipment representing over 1,400 manufacturers and 1.2 million items including a wide array of sustainable products and services. Along with providing the equipment, CME also offers unique services including logistics, warehousing, assembling, staging, delivery, biomedical services and installation of equipment for new facility and equipment replacement projects. Learn more at

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