OC Reilly Blog: Supply Chain Is Everywhere

By Bill O’Connor, President and CEO, OC Reilly Inc.


(May 23, 2015)–That desk where you’re sitting.  The food you’ll eat in the cafeteria.  Even the hand soap in the restrooms.  How did they all get there?  Supply chain decisions, that’s how.

It can become one of those facts of life so easy to forget or take for granted, but somebody, somewhere, in every organization has to look for those items, figure out a cost that adheres to a budget, make the purchase, and then do it all over again.

In the May/June 2015 edition of Supply Chain Strategies and Solutions, an article by Brent Johnson, a supply chain executive at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, illustrates this curious situation.

“In march 2015, I was sitting in a breakout session that had a panel discussing purchased services at Federation of American Hospitals in Washington, DC.  One of the participants made the statement that ‘managing purchased services is very important, although it’s not part of supply chain.’  No one objected.”

Johnson goes on to state that, “supply chain is also managing all ‘non-labor spend’ of a company.  Supply chain manages the physical distribution of clinical, lab, and IT products, food and nutritional needs, furniture, linen, and every other product or equipment that finds its way to our facilities.  These are often the ‘forgotten’ categories in healthcare but have just as much opportunity for financial, quality, and service benefits.”

He is 100% correct.  Effective, careful, knowledgeable supply chain management – encompassing every product or service consumed by a health provider, a corporation, or any other sizeable organization – deserves attention and acknowledgement as a potentially powerful provider of greater efficiency and savings.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re sitting at your desk, enjoying a meal in the cafeteria, or washing your hands in the restroom.  Supply chain decisions keep organizations moving.