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Can specialty medical equipment be bought and sold online? Or does it require multiple rounds of back-and-forth phone calls and meetings to get niche equipment used in a hospital’s lab, OR or imaging departments? 

For Guthrie Health, the answer is yes - you can buy specialty equipment in an easier way. 

Earlier this year, Guthrie, a 4-hospital health system in Sayre, PA, was looking for a pharmacy freezer to be used for fecal microbiota transplant. The supply chain team turned to the OpenMarkets Exchange for research product options and create new options for the clinical team.

Guthrie was seamlessly connected to 7 Suppliers on the platform - as opposed to connecting with sales reps through phone calls & meetings. Through the online research and online collaboration with the suppliers, the Guthrie team settled on the product they were looking for: a Thermo Fisher Scientific/Kendro ultra-low temp freezer. 

VWR, a major distributor of laboratory equipment, was one of the suppliers connected to the Guthrie team. Here’s some insight into how Dawn Drake, Guthrie’s Capital Project Manager and the VWR team connected and ultimately closed the deal: 

  • Feb 1st - Guthrie’s System Director of Pharmacy identifies the need for a new pharmacy refrigerator. He indicates a preference to purchase the Thermo Fisher Kendro from Cardinal Health or a comparable model, and starts the capital approval process in the OpenMarkets platform
  • Feb 4th - the Manager of Endoscopy/GI signs off on the request in OpenMarkets, thus automatically sending to supply chain for review
  • Feb 4th - Seeking options, Dawn Drake of the Supply Chain team uses OpenMarkets to research alternatives to the Cardinal Health option. She is connected to seven (7) alternative suppliers and receives three (3) quotes back the same day - giving her the options needed to make the right product decision.
  • Feb 5th - Dawn trades notes back and forth with the sales reps on the OpenMarkets platform, allowing her to verify that the products are the right fit for her pharmacy team. 
  • Feb 6th - The finance, IT and biomed departments all grant approval for the purchase on the OpenMarkets platform. This gives Dawn the go-ahead to finalize negotiations and issue the Purchase Order. 
  • Feb 7th - Shayne Matthews, VWR’s local rep for Guthrie, engages in conversation with Dawn on the platform and answers her questions about the size, temperature rating and other details. 
  • Feb 22nd - Delighted with the VWR option, Guthrie issue a purchase order and locks in price nearly $4,000 less than the initial quote from Cardinal. For this equipment, this represents a savings of ~30%! 

This collaboration is what the OpenMarkets platform is all about. Guthrie created the automation, transparency and data needed to create options and switch from their normal freezer supplier, Cardinal, to the better product - and price - offered by VWR

For Guthrie, this transaction is just more of the same. Last year, they recognized the need for a more transparent and efficient way to deploy capital dollars, and decided to deploy the OpenMarkets platform as their capital management solution. Since then, they have been using OpenMarkets to research, plan and save on equipment purchases. OpenMarkets streamlines the procurement process for finance, supply chain, operational managers, and administration. This was a change from their previous paper-based, decentralized process. Dawn explains it best:

“We painlessly put our process into the OpenMarkets system set-up and all our needs were met in a very quick fashion. The one-on-one support that we received, asking what our needs were and our wants, everything that we asked for we got out of the system.”

For VWR, this transaction encapsulates how they strive to work with healthcare customers in innovative, efficient ways. Marie McBride, National Director of Business Development at VWR, sums this up well: 

“VWR has enjoyed our experience being part of the OpenMarkets Community as a new channel to work smartly with providers. The Exchange has facilitated our showcasing of VWR lab furniture and lab equipment to hundreds of healthcare providers, allowing our sales team to cost effectively interact with hundreds of buyers on a regular basis.”

In the end, Dawn and Shayne saved each other significant time and money. Their responsiveness to each others questions made it easy and ensured a smooth transaction. Congrats to all involved!                           

About VWR: 

Founded in 1849, VWR has long been the leading global, independent provider of product and service solutions to laboratory and production customers.  With operations in more than 30 countries and a diverse portfolio that includes more than four million products, they enable customer success through innovation, cGMP manufacturing and comprehensive service offerings. Since being acquired by Avantor in 2017, they set science in motion to create a better world. With over 400 models of lab equipment listed with OpenMarkets, providers have ample opportunities to connect with them on The Exchange.

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Allison Farley

Allison is a member of the marketing team at OpenMarkets, with responsibilities including content generation, client communication and message testing. She is a also a... More about Allison Farley