OC Reilly Blog: Forewarned is Forearmed

By Ed Moran, Supply Chain Analyst, OC Reilly Inc.


(Jan. 25, 2015)–Nobody likes buyer’s remorse.  Especially after sinking millions into a purchase, as hospital administrators have cause to do on occasion.  The feeling that money has not been well spent can cause not only heartburn and headaches, it also can be as serious as to end a decision-maker’s employment.

In the January/February 2015 edition of Supply Chain Strategies & Solutions, an article provides tips on how to purchase one of the top-line pieces of equipment in any health care facility – a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

“(A leading health care service network) recently polled hundreds of end users about their experience with 15 different MRI systems,” the story reads.  “Users rated vendors and models on key criteria, including image quality, ease of use, patient throughput, system reliability, service and vendor support, feature comparisons, member interest, and average quoted pricing…” 

Sounds pretty straightforward so far, right?  The article goes on as follows: “Models with the highest user ratings scored high on ease of use and image quality; lower-rated models had low scores on reliability and vendor service.”

Well, of course!  What’s so surprising about that, you may be asking.  But there is indeed a surprise afoot here.  A terrible surprise.  A terrible, expensive, remorseful surprise.

And here it is: Somehow, some way, somebody still bought those low-reliability, poor vendor service MRIs.  And got stuck with a multi-million dollar lemon for their trouble.

You can chalk that up to sub-par planning and research.  Spending without fully understanding what was being purchased.  The facts are simple and true – forewarned is forearmed.  Major purchases – or more routine purchases, for that matter – deserve the full attention of the purchaser.

Effective supply chain management can help avoid making the sort of mistake that some hospitals made in overpaying for an MRI that has done nothing but under-deliver.  Making sure clients’ funds get used for the maximum positive impact is just the sort of quality, cost-effective guidance that we provide clients every day at OC Reilly.