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Research conducted by LEK Consulting this summer across 200 healthcare providers and equipment suppliers found that a lack of “access” is a critical pain point driving the up the cost of capital equipment. To understand how to solve this pain point, we must first understand what “access” means.

“My biggest challenge is finding real leads,” says Kelly Wagner, VP of Sales for Centicare. “Our products are high-end, commoditized capital. It’s somewhat niche, and we are able to find great provider partners when we have access to organizations that are looking for what we offer. It’s just extremely tough to find these organizations in an economical way that doesn’t drive up my SG&A.”

As Kelly alludes to, “Access” is a term that is frequently used to describe how buyer and seller relationships are formed.

“Access for a supplier means the ability to easily communicate and reveal your products to provider decision-makers,” according to Trevor Wood, Senior Vice President with OpenMarkets. “Without access, suppliers can’t introduce their products in a cost-effective way, nor begin to lay the foundation for mutually beneficial, collaborative partnerships. If access doesn’t exist, suppliers have to turn to expensive marketing strategies and expanded sales teams.”

For suppliers, access is the first step in fostering strong partnerships, as demonstrated recently by the Medical University of South Carolina and Philips Healthcare. With access and open collaboration with key supply chain leaders, suppliers can introduce their catalogue of products and solutions in a cost-effective, and meaningful way.

Being able to define the term “access” helps supply chain stakeholders find the right set of tools to enable streamlined supply chain programs. Creating and maintaining access in a way that works for healthcare supply chain teams and suppliers has historically been much more difficult, but modern communication tools like Slack and LinkedIn demonstrate that improvements in how professionals work together and meet is possible.

Finding a vehicle to create access will require a community of healthcare supply chain managers and equipment suppliers, connected efficiently with modern communication tools. This will open up a range of additional benefits, including better data, lower costs and more coordination for all.

Tom Derrick

Tom leads a range of core functions for OpenMarkets, including strategic partnerships and marketing. Prior to OpenMarkets, Tom served as a senior communications director for... More about Tom Derrick