Procurement processes in the healthcare sphere are at the center of the most crucial business factors for their organizations, whatever their size: day-to-day operations and financial spend and risk. Leveraging data and reporting are the keys for both fulfilling mission and emphasizing the bottom line.
Identifying the Data that Matters
In a recent international survey of Chief Procurement Officers, a majority reported that they see a rise in procurement-related risk. This is particularly true for the leaders of healthcare organizations, who consistently identify issues in supply chains, effective staffing, and supplier and vendor relationships as top concerns.
Looking inward at data and reporting in procurement is a crucial first step. Organizations must prioritize identifying the data that matters, which for many starts with spend. Driving savings though spend data means drilling down into granular and large-scale trends through:
• Quick and detailed access to invoices
• Capacity for accurate invoice and spend auditing
• Efficient and exact monthly and quarterly book closing
• Viewing on- and off-system procurement spend across the organization.
Leveraging Data for Hidden Cost Savings
The primary concerns for procurement leaders across a range of industries, and acutely in the healthcare sphere, are very clear: reducing cost and managing risk. With procurement processes at the nexus of their organizations’ operations, leaders have an opportunity to make an outsized impact on the financial bottom line and control for unpredictable external factors.
Yet about half of the procurement leaders surveyed said they currently had limited effectiveness, at best, in successfully spotting procurement risks. The best executive leaders can easily identify this as an extraordinary opportunity for the kind of cost savings that can be transferred to strengthening operations and maximizing opportunity.
It’s a very rare healthcare organization that wouldn’t want to identify hidden cost savings through data and reporting (we’ll go so far as to say they’re nonexistent). Finding these cost reductions is centered in:
• Comprehensive, focused spend review
• Real-time, accurate reporting
• Detailed breakdowns of spend and cash flow
• Thorough assessment of contracted items and relationships.
These are the measures, it turns out, that leaders in healthcare procurement understand are the difference between ongoing success and staying in the middle of the pack.
Taking Action to Enhance Operations
When the right data is identified, properly analyzed, and spend management and its attendant cost reductions are maximized, the road opens to enhancing operations to manage risk and find long-term efficiencies
The highest performing leaders in healthcare procurement recognize that these solutions and the efficiencies they drive means abandoning cumbersome, manual processes that lead to duplicative inefficiencies, undesirable worker engagement in tedious processes, and frayed relationships with vendors and suppliers.
In a survey of upper-quartile, top-performing companies, that success has been strongly linked to stronger digital capacities in areas such as procurement and spend. Within that international cohort, more than two-thirds of chief procurement officers cited as a top priority improving and automating procurement through information technology.
Technological Solutions for Data and Reporting
Smart, properly utilized technological solutions reduce costs and manage risks for procurement in the healthcare sphere. Procurement Partners data and reporting information technology makes possible operational efficiencies such as:
• Fully identifying what is being spent from where
• Gaining insights from spending trends to better align future procurement and purchasing decisions
• Opening visibility for operations, accounting, and controllers
• Storing digital copies of all invoices for quick retrieval and auditing insights
• Improving cash flow predictability
• Achieving better understanding of what’s impacting general ledger budgets
• Reducing stress of monthly and quarterly book closing
• Filling vacant or absent roles with technological substitutes
• Maximizing staff and workforce efficiency and satisfaction and achieving better talent retention.