Sutter Health’s Supply Chain team shares mindsets, motivations for success within their West Coast organization

July 22, 2022

The supply chain team at Sacramento, CA-based Sutter Health had their leadership mettle tested within the last few months as the departmental Vice President retired and two members of the C-suite (CEO and COO) are held by interim officers. Because he prefers to “give credit where credit is due” and share the wealth with colleagues, Lee Ayers, Senior Director, Supply Chain Operations, recruited several colleagues to contribute their leadership insights. Together, this team of six articulated with Healthcare Purchasing News Senior Editor Rick Dana Barlow what, how and why they do what they do to operate as an award-winning enterprise.

HPN: What’s the secret formula that makes a leader in supply chain management? How does your department implement that secret formula?

The next big trend in healthcare supply chain management will be...[fill in the blank]. Why?

Some in the “C-suite” have criticized supply chain managers for being too technical and not strategic enough to “join their club.” Do you agree? How might supply chain’s pandemic response contribute to the viewpoint(s)? Why?

How can consulting firms, distributors and GPOs contribute to the performance of your internal supply chain management expertise without overshadowing the department or usurping control?

What specific project did your department complete where you felt they exceeded your expectations?

In your opinion, what is your department’s toughest administrative challenge? How might you solve it?

What is your department’s toughest operational challenge? How might you solve it?

What are your top three priorities for the remainder of 2022 and for 2023?

How does the CEO view your department? Does he or she see it as a strategic function or a support service? What resources can the department count on and will they come every year – and not just in response to clinician complaints or crises like the pandemic?

What are some practical, common-sense ways that supply chain managers can keep patient satisfaction in mind as they’re performing their duties?

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