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Best Practices in Healthcare Equipment Negotiating: Negotiate in Bundles

August 3, 2017 | Category: Case Studies | Author: Tom Derrick

Buying healthcare equipment in 2017’s uncertain regulatory landscape requires supply chain leaders to carefully consider clinical outcomes with the economies of purchase. With many clinicians involved in negotiations, a dearth of market intelligence, and changing supplier-buyer relationships, supply chain leaders must possess sharp negotiation skills. This is the key to maximizing your equipment budget.

In this 7-part series, OpenMarkets is pleased to share key negotiation strategies that are directly applicable for supply chain leaders when purchasing equipment.   

Topic 3: Negotiating in Bundles

Do you ever wonder why Comcast is able to sell cable, phone, and internet for $99, but internet alone costs $69? Negotiators call this technique ‘bundling.’ Bundling involves combining two or more products and services when pricing a deal. In our Comcast example, the seller wants to clearly signal its preference to sell the package vs. just the internet service. The buyer compares the two options and thinks the package is better where he/she can save money and thus chooses the package. Result, both parties win!

Negotiating in bundles could lead to win-win situations in capital purchasing decisions. The combination of multiple equipment products and/or services brings in extra synergies in terms of value derived for both the seller through profits and buyer in terms of savings and value.

For example, if a health system has both MRI’s and patient care monitors on their capital budget, the opportunity exists for them to aggregate this spend with certain suppliers who can provide both products. The key is having good data ahead of time.

This method can also be a great way to augment a negotiation when a deal has reached an impasse. Many times, the seller can add extra services or products to sweeten the deal that may make it more attractive for the buyer and move forward. In capital purchasing situations, the buyer could negotiate a favorable maintenance agreement and in return meet the asking price of the seller. Price is not the only variable to negotiate in bundles. Complementary products, added services like maintenance, and even delivery times could help arrive at a deal for the buyer and seller.

From the buyer’s perspective, bundling can often justify a purchase especially if the price seems to be on the high end of the benchmark.  This is particularly true for surgical equipment when a Director of Perioperative services wishes to buy a top of the line equipment for the OR. Bundling is also a useful tool to signal the seller that you are a serious buyer and you consider making more purchases, which may once again help with the total price. The possibilities are virtually endless and imagination is the only limit once you bundle.

If your organization struggles to get the data needed to negotiate in bundles, activate your clinical department directors on The OpenMarkets Exchange. This will allow them to get quotes from multiple suppliers quick and easy, and will give supply chain teams visibility into requests across multiple departments to look for bundling opportunities. The Exchange is free to use and available today. Contact us to get started anytime.


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