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We recently hosted a web event titled Demystifying Demand Planning: WHY and received an interesting question from one of the participants. The question had a much broader reach than Demand Planning and I thought it would be terrific to share it with all of you.

 

The question was, “What are the most important things to do when changing from individual hospital storerooms to a central warehouse servicing multiple locations spread out over 200 miles? We’re considering doing this. Luckily, all are on the same software system and applications right now.”

 

As you no doubt know, there is not a simple answer; this is a significant business undertaking! As I look at it, there are several things you need to be considering, all related, some simultaneous, some sequential. Let’s look at it as components.


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Trust.

 

Hard to gain, easy to lose, and widely discussed in supply chain management in healthcare. Typically, trust is limited, and the lack of it is limiting our ability to work together. So how do we, as supply chain participants, create it? The answer is multifactorial; however, one key component is communication. An easy channel for communication is data and metrics, and heaven knows we have data!

 

A good starting point in building trust is sharing data via demand planning or forecasting. By sharing your anticipated demand of a product or group of products, you become a more active participant in managing the healthcare supply chain. What does this mean?

 


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