Historically, healthcare has always been an industry that is slow to adapt. Although still true, many aspects of the sector have undergone substantial changes in the past few years. With companies such as Apple and Google taking interest, healthcare has become a hotbed of technology. The industry is more connected than ever through electronic medical records and continues to press the patient focus as insurance becomes increasingly flexible. The changes that have come indicate a transition of healthcare from a service based industry to one which is focused on quality and results, in many ways, a shift toward a manufacturing state of mind. In that sense, the patients become customers of nothing more than a product. The product…show more content…
The studies describe two hospitals that have recently undergone significant evolution in their inventory management systems, with great success. Problems and solutions discusses the overarching issues that have hindered the supply chain of healthcare for years and possible areas of improvements to rectify said issues. Lastly, the report will look forward and discuss the impact of changing technology as it relates to healthcare.
In order to fully engage with the case studies presented in this paper, it is critical to have an understanding of both inventory and its role within the supply chain. Inventory ‘exists in the supply chain because of a mismatch between supply and demand’ . In hospitals, inventory is crucial as it increases the amount of demand that can be satisfied at any moment by having products readily available. It also allows for the leveraging of economies of scale in manufacturing. Perhaps most importantly, having adequate levels of inventory allow hospitals to be extremely responsive, which in many cases could be a matter of life and death for patients in dire situations. In order to achieve such responsiveness, large amounts of inventory must be held close to the customer, incurring greater holding costs. There exists a classic trade off in responsiveness and efficiency, one that has yet to be optimized in healthcare.