Can easier access to new capital equipment suppliers and alternative distributors improve a providers supply chain cost, quality, and outcome (CQO) performance?

Healthcare equipment has a direct impact on the quality of patient care and contributes to a significant portion of healthcare costs.  With a nod to the patient care impact, many hospital supply chains defer to clinician or physician preference for equipment and spend little to no time researching secondary suppliers or opportunities. In addition, time constraints, resource limitations, and changes to the marketplace make it difficult for supply chain teams to know all of the suppliers within a particular product category.

With increased pressure on improving CQO, it makes more and more sense for hospitals to begin considering comparable opportunities. Without the proper due diligence, equipment procurement can lead to technically inadequate items, misuse due to lack of training or familiarity, incompatibility with existing systems, and limited spare parts or coordinating consumables1.If it were easier for supply chain teams to discover alternative suppliers that offered equal or better value for equal or better cost, would more consideration be given to equipment planning?

By acting as a two-sided marketplace, providers using OpenMarkets have the ability to efficiently discover secondary and tertiary suppliers, especially those who are new players with cutting-edge technology or those with highly specialized products.  Many of these lesser-known suppliers aren’t armed with the massive sales & marketing budgets that the large international suppliers and OEM’s are afforded, so they’re less visible to the market.  Knowing that there’s minimal to no quality variance and the potential for a more economical price point from these suppliers, supply chains would be remiss to ignore the CQO benefits.

What do the statistics say regarding comparable product purchases?  In 2016, 8% of transactions conducted by providers in the OpenMarkets network used our software to solicit equipment quotes from secondary suppliers.  Of these opportunities where the purchase has been completed, 47% decided to go with the new supplier, saving an average of 19%. The other 53% decided to stay with their original supplier for reasons related to training, price or support levels. Early 2017 data is proving that more providers are becoming open to the idea of comparable products.

OpenMarkets believes that there’s an easier and better way to buy and sell capital equipment. Our products enable supply chain leaders and healthcare equipment suppliers to communicate faster in a more streamlined environment, driving waste out of the capital equipment market and lowering the cost of healthcare. If you’re a supply chain leader that struggles with finding comparable options, or a supplier that wants access to more opportunities, please contact us.

1.  Kaur, M. and Hall, S. (2001) Medical Supplies and Equipment for Primary Health Care: A Practical Resource for Procurement and Management.  Retrieved from:  http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/s20282en/s20282en.pdf

Ashley La Fleur

Ashley is on the content team at OpenMarkets. Her focus is to tell the story of how our customers are changing the way healthcare is... More about Ashley La Fleur