OC Reilly Blog: No Good Guys, No Bad Guys

By Rick Chew, Business Analyst, OC Reilly Inc.


(April 18, 2016)—A popular song from the 1970s told us, “There ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys, there’s only you and me and we just disagree.”

Too often, and to the detriment of all parties if left unresolved, personnel in charge of either supply chain or clinical areas of healthcare systems find themselves in conflict with one another.

The perspective from the supply chain people says, “Clinicians should stick to clinical activity and stay out of managing supply chain,” while clinicians feel just as strongly that supply chain professionals lack the clinical understanding needed to manage inventories and product mix at the replenishment locations, saying, “I may need this item in an emergency, so I want to keep it.”

Is one side totally right and the other totally wrong? Totally not.

In reality, both sides are correct to some extent. The need for collaboration with one another is immense and intense, and all parties must discuss and review data. It requires actively and continuously asking questions like:

– What items are moving?

– What items have been stagnant?

– Are the measurements accurate?

– And about that emergency item – can the inventory be managed in such a way that inventory levels, and transportation costs to purchase the product, can be reduced systemwide?

The conversations then need to carry over to the vendors. When confronted with questions like, “How can you help us with our goals?” the good vendors will have answers. The ones who don’t? It may be time for them to move on.

Just as in most other areas of life and business, when everyone works together toward a commonly shared objective, all share in the victory. The process can be enlightening, rewarding, even fun, because the results are measureable and apparent.

There ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys. You may disagree on some details, and every perspective deserves to be heard and respected, but working in tandem to achieve goals as defined as part of the bigger picture leads to shared success.