Purchasing and materials management are the lifeblood of healthcare organizations across the continuum of care. Because they are also one of the largest expense centers, procurement officials and financial executives recognize the crucial balance between keeping supplies fully stocked and available along with cost considerations that place a major impact on the bottom line.
Today’s challenges are considerable. Inflationary pressures are impacting healthcare procurement and inventory, along with supply chain disruptions that, if not managed with foresight and visibility, affect everyday operations. Today’s professionals are looking hard at factors that include:
Opportunities for savings must be identified without compromising inventory levels or supply quality.
When supply chains are disrupted, procurement professionals must find ways to keep business running.
Vendor and Supplier Relationships
Maintaining a collaborative relationship with key vendors can be challenged by costs and disruptions.
Visibility and Accountability
Not only must key supplies be stocked across different facilities, but they also need to be tracked with accuracy to prevent wasteful spend.
Contractual agreements are key to maintaining supplies and containing costs, but they need to be continually monitored and evaluated.
Staff Time and Resources Managing supplies and inventory can be time-consuming, imprecise, and places a strain on already-busy employees.
11 Ways Automated Procure-to-Pay Solutions Address Supply Chain Pain Points
With this wide range of real-world concerns about healthcare facility supply levels, and the impacts of ordering and procurement on the bottom line, forward-thinking professionals are seeking out the best automated solutions in times of change. Whether the problem is time-consuming, cumbersome, and error-prone paper-based workflows and procedures, or legacy systems that fail to address the complexity of healthcare and its regulatory environment, automated P2P solutions address procurement, inventory, and financial pain points in ways that include:
- Reduced Spending
Eliminating duplicative spend, late fees, and ahead-of-schedule payments that can impact finance by ensuring transparency, accountability, and efficient processes from ordering to approvals to accounts payable. The cost savings can be considerable, making automated solutions cost- effective in the short- and long-term.
- Real-Time Spend and Inventory Visibility
P2P automation means inventory and supply levels can be monitored with total accuracy at any time, eliminating shortages and enabling data-based conversations about supplies with each facility and employee. Spend can be tracked with total visibility and accountability, taking the guesswork out of the intersection between procurement and finance.
- Streamlined Processes
Automated procurement solutions eliminate manual workflows and back-office logjams that waste time and money. Time-consuming processes that lead to errors and delays become a thing of the past, with functions such as centralized invoicing delivering streamlining efficiency.
- Staff Time Savings
Manual procurement processes and non-standardized workflows are among the biggest drains on time for healthcare organizations. Automated solutions save staff time, reduce frustration, and maximize time spent on essential caregiving functions.
- Powerful Reporting and Alerts
Procurement officials and finance teams can access detailed analytical reporting on a range of parameters in real time, identifying such crucial data as major spend centers and how they change over time. Pre-set alerts automated call attention to vital information such as spend against budget to empower proactive responses to changing supply levels and expenses.
- Vendor and Supplier Management
Procure-to-pay solutions enhance critical vendor and supplier relationships with data visibility and tracking, easy and efficient onboarding, and transparency that makes important conversations easy to have.
- Procurement Flexibility
In the fast-paced and sometimes unpredictable world of healthcare, important supplies can become hard to find because of supply chain disruptions or other industry shifts. Features such as Procurement Partners’ PunchOut Catalog enable procurement professionals to instantly search for and purchase items outside their usual vendor list.
- Contract Compliance
P2P automation tracks contract compliance with total accuracy, ensuring compliance and enabling ongoing decision-making around renewals and changes.
- Technological Integration
Decision-makers in the healthcare industry seek out procure-to-pay software solutions that effortlessly integrate with their existing systems.
- Service and Support
Support, training, and ongoing learning are keys to success in a healthcare organization’s partnership with a procurement software solution provider. Leaders look for a company staffed by professionals with healthcare experience, who understand the regulatory and business environment of healthcare rather than offering cookie-cutter, “out-of-the-box” technology.
- Aligning the Procurement and Finance Offices
Inefficient and outdated procurement workflows and processes hamper communication and collaboration between procurement and finance. With transparency, accountability, and reliable and accurate analytics, different sectors of healthcare organizations can communicate, plan, and strategize toward shared goals.
Looking to Reduce Your Annual Spend?
Procurement Partners helps customers reduce their annual spend by more than 10% with an easy-to-navigate procure-to-pay solution where users can place orders and process invoices for all suppliers. Procurement Partners is the leading procure-to-pay management system for post-acute, non-acute, and continuum of care providers and has helped organizations achieve 40% time savings and 95% supplier contract compliance through automating the procure-to-pay process.