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ing to supply chain execution and all
the way to accounts payable.
We now have almost 2,700 people
in the supply chain organization,
and we are growing. We are still
educating people internally about
what supply chain management is.
And we’re still trying to change the
old beliefs that it’s just ordering—
people would think, how difficult is
that?—and that supply chain pro-
fessionals are just people who bring
you stuff. We do so much more.
QWere there barriers you had to vercome?
AThere were. One of the biggest bar- riers involved inventory. Clinicians
at the sites were ordering products, and
safety stocks were being set by nurses. Our
research found that they were spending
15 to 40 percent of their time doing what I
call “hunting and gathering” for supplies.
We had to take that back and convince
them that they would get reliability and
accountability from us in exchange. In
the past, they couldn’t always count on
that, so they were hoarding and stuff was
stored everywhere. I believed we needed
to own the supply chain from the point
of care all the way back to our suppliers in
order to make sure clinicians always have
what they need. They should not have to
worry about that. If it’s not available, that
should be our problem. But for them to
give that control back, we had to build
QTell us about one of the “new and improved” organization’s most
AThe biggest is that we are on track to triple the return we committed to
in our five-year business plan, showing
the credibility and value of supply chain
management and getting it recognized
as a profession. Our service levels have
gone up, and we have given nurses and
physicians more time to spend on care
and education. We have shown that there
is true value in investing in supply chain
professionals, and we’ve demonstrated
the critical role supply chain can play in
support of the company’s overall mission. The whole transformation has been
challenging, but I believe we did the right
Q You consider yourself to be a business leader, not just a supply chain executive. Why is that?
A That has always been who I am. I love supply chain because I get excited
about how we can support what the business does, but this is not about building
a supply chain “empire.” It’s about using
the power of supply chain management
to get the maximum benefit for the entire
company, and in our case, the absolute
maximum benefit for our members and
the communities we serve.