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Addressing Business Continuity In Healthcare Procurement

After rising to the challenge of pandemic response, healthcare organizations look to optimize purchasing. Here are a few learnings for healthcare service providers to keep their business going smoothly in these tough times.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in a way no one would have imagined. The novel coronavirus has rapidly spread across the globe, and every country is fighting a battle in its own way. Currently, India ranks third with a total of 37 lakh corona cases, of which 20% of cases are still active.

 

India's economy has been hit hard by COVID-19 to the extent that it witnessed its steepest plunge, contracting by 23.9% in April-June. During this times of a pandemic, people expect the Healthcare sector to play a pivotal role. Unfortunately, the crisis has hampered the supply chain within the healthcare industry and they are finding it difficult to procure important raw materials, which in turn has adversely impacted the margins and is putting pressure on prices of medical supplies. 

 

Being unprepared to handle the outbreak and the sudden rise in demand for healthcare facilities during the pandemic, has impacted the global healthcare supply chain. In many cases the contracted suppliers have not able to fulfil the rising requirements. All factors like cost optimization, workflow approvals, setting workflow plans, purchase management, etc., took a hit.

 

The hospitals and other health systems were struggling to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) for their staff, in addition to acquiring sufficient testing kits, ventilators, N95 respirators and more. During such unpredictable time, having a single channel such as Amazon Business COVID-19 supplies, to take care of all your healthcare supplies  needs helps you leverage data to optimize costs and simplify buying - in short, Amazon Business, with its strategic sourcing has been a savior.

 

Strategic planning for supply and sourcing

 

Organisations relying on pure traditional healthcare supply chains have been left without sufficient access to essential supplies. The need of the hour is for supply sources to be more agile and responsive during such times. The availability of alternative suppliers and distributors is of utmost importance now more than ever, but most of the procurement professionals lack an established relationship with alternative vendors. Having access to an online store like Amazon Business helps in tackling this situation by aggregating multiple seller of healthcare supplies on one single platform. [PA5]

 

Amazon Business COVID-19 store caters to the essential healthcare needs during the pandemic. After collaborating with a vast supplier network and active suppliers, Amazon Business has sourced a large number of products  and supplies for healthcare workers, including those on the frontlines.

 

Available products include PPE, N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns, face shields, gloves, sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and more. Also, tracking your non-contract spends through a single purchasing channel aids in cost optimization and saves time when addressing critical care needs.

 

Adding Digital to the picture

 

As reported by The Economic Times, the Indian MedTech industry suffered up to 85% fall in revenue from April to June 2020. The healthcare sector was already suffering from the impact of price control when the COVID-19 pandemic worsened the condition.

 

Healthcare organizations couldn't compromise on medical necessities and they needed to focus their major expenditure on healthcare equipment and other maintenance costs. To maintain a financial balance and minimize the impact of lockdown, the healthcare organizations resorted to pay-cuts, furloughs and layoffs. Budgets have been reduced due to a severe decline in revenues. To prevent these factors from affecting operational efficiency, healthcare players are considering automating  the entire workflow of their procurement process.

 

Automating processes such as product identification and workflow approval eliminates human dependency, increases overall productivity, streamlines the healthcare procurement process and enhances the sustainability of organization.

 

Through its Business Analytics tool and Business Notification Panel, Amazon Business helps in streamlining the entire procurement process by providing customized reports to analyze and gather insights about your spend strategy. This allows healthcare businesses and their professionals to focus on other high-priority tasks at hand.

 

Unraveling the future with Data and Insights

 

The COVID-19 pandemic may not have been tackled in the best way possible, but it surely offered an opportunity to understand, learn and revamp the processes and systems for such a crisis in the future. Data and insights play a significant role in revamping such systems.

 

As healthcare organizations are functioning with less equipment, fewer resources and tight budgets, they need to have the right data and insights to make quick decisions.

 

Approaching multiple non-contract suppliers would have a downside, as the spending can be unbudgeted, and sometimes go unnoticed affecting the total costs. To avoid such circumstances, associating with a multi-seller store and aligning it as an alternate supply partner would help any healthcare system to gain insights into their purchasing process. That would further help the organization to keep a tab on their spending and improve its cost-efficiency.

 

Tools like Amazon Business analytics allow healthcare businesses to evaluate their spending, track the purchase records, and gather more such valuable insights, helping them to make prompt decisions, unlike relying on the traditional reporting methods that are quite time-consuming.

 

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