By Mike Polaski, Executive Director, Supply Chain, OC Reilly Inc.

(Feb. 26, 2018)-In the smash Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” Aaron Burr becomes Alexander Hamilton’s true nemesis when he is excluded from key negotiations held among a select group, concerning details about the founding of the United States. His song describes his anger and envy over not being invited into “The Room Where It Happens.”

While the world of health care supply chain may not be quite as dramatic (thank heavens!) as all that, there are some general similarities. Key leaders in charge of operations, financial results, and overall strategy may not always have access to the full picture or perspective.

That’s why supply chain experts deserve to also be in “the room where it happens.”

An article in the September 2017 edition of HFM magazine titled “Looking Beyond Cost Control” offers some thoughts along these lines. It reads, in part, “Strategic supply chain leadership goes beyond cost control. Next-generation supply chain leaders can make important contributions to care quality, patient satisfaction, and patient outcomes.”

The article continues to make the case for inclusion of supply chain leaders at executive meetings, stating, “Many leading health care organizations are acknowledging this key role by appointing a chief supply chain officer. Giving supply chain a seat at the executive table ensures that every leadership decision can benefit from supply chain’s involvement and expertise.”

It’s all too easy to simply see numbers on an Excel spreadsheet or executive summary, and not truly appreciate how they have been generated – and, more important, how they could be improved further. This may be especially true when it comes to supply chain decisions, since they affect such a wide number of factors within a health care system.

A function with that level of potential impact to the bottom line deserves to be elevated within organizations. Supply chain leaders should get a seat at the executive table. The organization as a whole could reap greater benefits. It’s time supply chain leaders were regularly permitted to be in “the room where it happens.”

Copyright 2018 OC Reilly Inc.