Speaking of Supply Chain

I Can't Solve This MyselfNancy Anderson
By Nancy Anderson, SMI

This is a quote I heard during my first SMI Forum last Fall, when I asked a member why they belong to SMI.   The member said, “I realized back some time ago, that me sitting at my desk, trying to solve all the daily issues I have in a silo, just isn’t going to work anymore.”

Over the last 4 months, I’ve come to learn that working together to solve everyday problems is at the heart of what makes SMI unique and powerful for both providers and suppliers.   In my short tenure, I’ve been immensely impressed with the work we are doing together.  Our 3 Initiative Teams are creating tools and recommendations that can transform our industry, and they’re doing it by sharing insights, with each member bringing their own perspective to the discussion.  Business and Supply Continuity has identified a list of deliverables to drive improvement in backorder communication.  They are looking at tools and technologies that can change the way inventory is planned, and different team members and collaborators are working on each item on their team list.  They have also partnered with HIDA on this initiative, so we are each getting the benefit of the other’s work – a great way to create significant market impact. By dividing the work and coming together to discuss findings, ideas, and next steps, they are maximizing the knowledge of each of the individuals on the team while generating a lot of work in a short period of time.  Really impressive!

The Clinical Integration Initiative team started with an idea – to create a maturity model for clinical integration in supply chain.  Based on the team’s discussions, they developed a plan to have individual team members research specific models that have already been developed by other organizations.  That research – just a couple of hours by each team member – has produced 35 pages of reference information.  The team is currently reviewing that information and scoring it to figure out which of the existing tools in the marketplace already address the problems we are planning to solve for, and then they will figure out where there are gaps that SMI can fill.  This approach to research and prioritization really leverages the power of SMI!

The Value Based Collaboration Team is currently putting together a final report on their work to be shared at the Spring Forum.  They have a multitude of tools to help all of us incorporate a more collaborative approach into our trading partner relationships.  I know you will be excited to see what they have accomplished and think about how it will impact SMI members and the healthcare industry at large. The team members have all contributed to the work, and when it’s brought together into a toolkit, it will be a powerful resource for the whole market.  It’s a body of work that none of us could have completed alone, but we can do it when we all work together.

Each of these initiative teams will have time on the main stage at the SMI Spring Forum where they will tell you what they’ve accomplished, give recommendations on how to use their tools and solutions, and update you on their next steps.  In addition, there will be smaller breakout sessions where you will have the opportunity to contribute to the work that these teams are doing.  We want all of you to be part of these conversations.

SMI also has a treasure trove of existing tools and resources on our website. We are in process of reviewing all of those tools and developing plans to refresh those that need an update.  We will be looking to members for input as we move forward – you were part of creating the tools, and we want you involved as we update them to keep them relevant in today’s environment.  Yet another example of the power we have when we all work together.   I’d love to hear your ideas or suggestions around how we can make these tools more valuable to our members and the industry.

There will be many opportunities to brainstorm and network together at our Spring Forum this year.  The agenda and registration materials will be coming out soon, so watch your email and make your travel plans soon.

I’ll see you in Orlando and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish there…together!

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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