Supply Chain: Endgame

Dec. 22, 2021

In the Healthcare Cinematic Universe, the evil despot Covidicus the 19th snaps his fingers, and half the industry’s labor force disappears. How? He possesses the six Logisticity Stones in his trusty Logisticity Gauntlet: Sourcing, Purchasing, Contracting, Distributing, Storing and Demand Planning.

Chaos reigns. Cargo ships get clogged in canals. They meander around oceans like Billy wandering home to dinner in the comic strip “Family Circus” because few to no available spaces exist in America’s cluttered coastal ports. Meanwhile, stacks upon stacks of multicolored cargo containers pepper the ports and warehouses near airfields, resembling rainbow-hued small high-rise buildings populated by tons of stuff that don’t lease or pay rent. Semitrucks with heavy laden trailers, box trucks and vans poke out from warehouse docking bays, unable to move.

There’s no need to fear! The JIT League is here!

Healthcare supply chain executives and professionals around the nation mobilize into rapid response resource teams to retrieve and control each of the six Logisticity Stones to restore access, availability and order among product flow in the HCU.

While clinicians battle Covidicus the 19th head-on with calls for masking, physical distancing during social events and vaccinations, the JIT League fights his sidekick, Stockpylon, to prevent panicked healthcare organizations – out of perceived desperation (and irate clinicians) – from hoarding, buying more stuff and paying too much for it from vendors, a small fraction of which are wily, opportunistic, less-than reputable and unscrupulous.

Under duress, they strive for durability, flexibility, reliability and visibility, the quixotic quartet of loosely definable aims best left to the educated pep talks of the alternately heroic Consulting Collective.

Ultimately, what do they seek for their administrative and clinical customers in the HCU? They seek to hear those magic words of 2022: “Yes! It’s in stock and ready to ship!”

Plagued by bad data, incomplete data, no data, siloed data, devoid of standards for data and processes, devoid of transparency and authority, devoid of respect and cooperation, devoid of facilitation and collaboration and saddled with simple C-suite ambivalence and indifference about the value of effective Supply Chain Management in the HCU, the JIT League throws down the Logisticity Gauntlet! No more!

They agree to adjust their masks, pull up their boots, throw back their flowing capes with six degrees of amalgamation, consecration, veneration, vindication. The Post-Pandemic Supply Chain Protocols.

1. Supply chain executives and professionals will be degreed, certified and accredited by notable colleges, universities, commissions and professional organizations.

2. Because Supply Chain touches everyone and everything, all hospital spending on products and services will go through Supply Chain for review, evaluation and approval, applying decency and common-sense collaboration, communication and cooperation with clinical and administrative experts.

3. Through careful facilitation and due diligence, Supply Chain decisions are recognized, acknowledged, supported and reinforced by C-suite executives for the good of the organization and its mission to serve patients – not pocketbooks.

4. Supply Chain will maintain healthy professional relationships with local, regional, national and global suppliers that are reputable, honorable and focused on customer service with the understanding of providers delivering high-quality patient care within communities and populations.

5. Supply Chain will create, develop, manage and oversee an active provision network of first-responding manufacturers, distributors and service companies, along with a flotilla of backup, secondary responders, primed and ready-to-deliver within a 24-hour period.

6. Supply Chain will maintain healthy professional relationships with direct and indirect provider competitors within a 100-mile diameter to buttress and reinforce supply access and availability if and when needed under the notion of “First focus on the patient anywhere; then treat the balance sheet with care.”

Wait for the end credit sequence showing federal government officials heaving sighs of relief knowing that the private sector now seems to have everything under control … until you see a young Covidicus the 20th peering into the Capitol chamber …