Challenge: Cumbersome Procurement Processes That Lack Data Visibility, Tie Up Money and Time
Healthcare procurement, inventory management, and accounts payable are the lifeblood of daily operations in both the post-acute care and non-acute care spheres. Yet so often these operational workflows are dragged down by cumbersome and inefficient processes that frustrate procurement officials with a lack of visibility and transparency and make life harder for the financial office in tracking the bottom line and driving organizational planning. At one time, this was the case for a fertility clinic.
The fertility clinic is a valued customer that trusts Procurement Partners with elements of its procurement processes including spend and inventory management. It’s among the healthcare organizations that enjoy up to 40 percent time savings and 95 percent contract compliance through Procurement Partners’ easy-to-use portal and automated procure-to-pay software solutions, saving time and money through complete visibility and control over spend, saving valuable staff time, and combining human experts with the expert software to deliver maximum results.
This fertility clinic is a premiere national in vitro fertilization (IVF) organization whose purpose is to bring the joy of parenthood through innovative science. Founded in 2015, it began when its founding physicians came together to forge a meaningful partnership to build one of the country’s most effective integrated healthcare delivery platforms specializing in infertility.
Today, the Nashville, Tennessee-based fertility clinic network operates more than 20 network labs across the United States. As it has grown, so has its range of services to help grow families, including diagnostic services, genetic testing, donor services, surrogacy, and fertility storage. The fertility clinic prides itself on being an unprecedented collaboration between the brightest minds in the scientific field of reproductive medicine.
When the new Supply Chain Director joined in late 2021, she brought more than 30 years of experience in healthcare procurement and inventory management. At first, she brought her extensive background, which includes working with the Department of Defense on its medical supply system, as a consultant.
She found that their procurement workflows lacked clear and consistent data, itemization, spending totals for budgets and finance, and standardized contract compliance. A better solution was needed.
“The system was just outsourcing buying things,” Supply Chain Director says. “But that’s as far as it went. You didn’t get any input back. Sometimes the orders got lost and you never knew it, because it didn’t go through the system.”
A bad automation solution can be worse than no automation solution at all. For a growing and thriving organization such as this fertility clinic, with multiple sites and an expanding mission, a healthcare-focused procurement, inventory management, and accounts payable automation platform that got the job done was not only the best business practice, but it was also becoming a necessity.
Solution: Procure-to-Pay Automation Delivering Professionals the Data Visibility They Need
After looking over options for procure-to-pay software solutions in the healthcare sphere, the fertility clinic opted to choose Procurement Partners’ Hybrent technology platform for procurement and inventory management. As always with implementation, the process was a partnership based on maximizing functionality alongside prioritizing training and support.
The process began in March and went live on May 1. “That’s the fastest implementation I’ve ever done for anything,” The Supply Chain Director says. “And this wasn’t my first rodeo.”
An experienced professional such as this Supply Chain Director can take on a good deal of responsibility for procurement and inventory if they are supported by a procure-to-pay software solution that streamlines workflows, provides total visibility, and reports and alerts targeted at areas such as spend-to-budget, and most of all, keeps the data flowing.
The Supply Chain Director puts it simply and to the point: “The longest pole in the tent is the data.”
Procurement Partners’ Hybrent platform was presented to the fertility clinic network’s lab directors at a leadership summit, in order to introduce the new system and build trust among the valuable staff who use the procurement platform on a regular basis. There was excitement based on the prospect of positive change from previously cumbersome and frustrating workflows, processes, and inventory visibility.
Hybrent’s one-stop, easy-to-use platform simplified their vendor arrangements (as with all Procurement Partners solutions, the software does not require a commitment to any particular vendor, leaving the choice to the customer). For the first time, the organization got a firm handle on pricing agreements and contract compliance, driving commitments based on trackable cost and inventory data.
Visibility, transparency, trackability, and accountability: these are the benefits of procure-to-pay automation done right, and the benefits can cascade through all levels of the healthcare organization, from the professional placing the order to the head of procurement to the finance team in the executive suite.
Results: Cost Savings, Accounts Payable Efficiency (and Fewer Headaches), Ordering Flexibility
Since implementing Procurement Partners’ Hybrent procure-to-pay automated software solution, the fertility clinic has gotten the kind of results that happen when you pair industry leading software expertise with the human experts who can maximize results.
In the hands of a procurement and inventory expert such as this Supply Chain Director, this has meant delivering immediate and measurable cost savings beginning with invoices and accounts payable.
“As I started doing invoices with three-way match, I started looking at pricing and recouped about $70,000 in a three-month period from over-billing,” The Supply Chain Director explains. “Just that alone has paid for Hybrent three times over.”
Today, all of the fertility clinic’s users have authorized access to an entire single catalog of goods, vastly simplifying daily and periodic ordering processes and workflows. Staff in charge of procurement now have freed up time that used to be spent inefficiently on follow-ups and manual checking of processes that lacked transparency.
While a single catalog creates ease in ordering and inventory management, Procurement Partners solutions are the only all-in-one procure-to-pay platforms that provide the freedom to buy from any supplier and through any GPO contracts.
For example, Hybrent’s Punch Out function enables authorized users to go outside the regular catalogue to order items based on timing and availability. “I get great feedback on Punch Out,” The Supply Chain Director adds. “It’s a great concept.”
The fertility clinic network’s employees and staff involved in procurement and inventory have essentially all trained in Hybrent. To the relief of many lab directors, invoicing and accounts payable, now automated, have been taken from their purview. This had been a burden and an unwanted time demand for directors, and inefficiencies in invoicing had led to the over-billing costs that The Supply Chain Director was able to track down through robust data and reporting.
Overall, the collaboration between Procurement Partners and the fertility clinic has led to measurable cost savings, complete visibility and control over spend, savings in valuable staff time, and the kind of results that happen when you combine expert software with human results. Procurement Partners values its customers, seeks to provide them with value every day with every transaction, and puts the highest value on continuing to learn and grow together.
About Procurement Partners
Procurement Partners provides the only healthcare-focused procurement, inventory management, and AP automation platform for administrators and clinical providers across the continuum of care. Procurement Partners procure-to-pay solutions maximize financial health and staff well-being, streamlining and redirecting time toward patient and resident care. Procurement Partners offers the only all-in-one procure-to-pay platforms that provide the freedom to buy from any supplier, through any GPO contracts, with open integration to any financial and other operational systems.