Procurement is among the most daunting – and expensive – tasks within healthcare. At Direct Supply®, we understand that senior living providers must balance this necessary, sometimes mundane task with providing the best level of care to their residents. That’s where we, and the DSSI™ procurement platform, come in. Read along as we explain how we help our providers adopt strategic purchasing behaviors within their organizations.
Achieving Strategic Healthcare Purchasing
What is Strategic Purchasing?
Strategic purchasing approaches align an organization’s procurement processes with their larger objectives to help them achieve their business goals. This is a long-term organizational focus to bring efficiency and consistency to their healthcare purchasing.
Healthcare procurement is often a nuanced and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. Rather than hiring internal staff to select products, analyze costs/benefits, track delivery, track inventory, expedite payments, and monitor supplier contract compliance, Senior Living professionals can simplify their process by partnering with Direct Supply® Procurement Services. Powered by the nation’s leading Senior Living e-procurement platform, DSSI™, our expert procurement professionals work closely with Senior Living procurement teams to establish strategic purchasing approaches within their organizations.
Why DSSI and Direct Supply Strategic Procurement Services?
Data and AI in Healthcare Purchasing
No other healthcare procurement platform compares to DSSI. No competitor has gleaned as much useful industry data as Direct Supply. And no competitor has developed artificial intelligence that can turn large amounts of data into actionable insights on staff satisfaction, resident welfare and the bottom line.
Cost Savings and Compliance for a Strategic Purchasing Advantage
“Everyone works hard to control spending,” said Doug Pickett, in an interview about Procurement Services and the DSSI platform. “But we’ve developed ways to make spending a strategic advantage for our clients.”
Procurement Services, Pickett said, works for healthcare providers in multiple ways. We optimize the use of the DSSI technology to create efficiencies in the Procure to Pay process. We drive savings using artificial intelligence and machine learning in developing optimized order guides. We help drive change across our clients’ organizations through robust analytics, training, and communication.
“More than 90 corporations are now utilizing DSSI Procurement Services,” he said. “Last year, we delivered a total of over $25 million in savings to those corporations.”
Automated contract compliance accounts for a big piece of those savings. A business might negotiate discounts and rebates and write them into a contract, but that doesn’t mean those contract terms will be met on every invoice. All it takes is a clerk or two not knowing that a discount rose from 3% to 3.25% in the third quarter. These things add up, as does the cost of endless manual checks for contract compliance and hidden fees. Automated contract compliance and violation alerts on a single procurement dashboard make compliance savings a nearly effortless bottom-line plus.
“We’re agnostic about suppliers,” Pickett said. “We do what’s best for our clients, and we use data to help guide decisions. Our role is to provide the analysis to our clients so they can make the best educated decision.”
How DSSI and DSPS Provide Strategic Procurement Services: Strategic Purchasing Examples
The DSSI Procurement Team can work with a client organization to develop a custom, hosted procurement catalog. In consultation with the client, DSSI will narrow the universe of suppliers and products into a single electronic catalog of best-fit options.
This curated catalog offers purchasing officers a one-stop procurement experience. Compare that with “punch-out” catalogs, which are essentially lists of links to websites of individual suppliers. They leave procurement officers surfing multiple websites to compare prices and features. Shopping with one window open is far more efficient than shopping with five windows open.
“I believe in hosted catalog environments,” Pickett said. “Punch-outs give all the power to the suppliers. Hosted catalogs give the clients all the control.”
DSSI can build those custom catalogs so effectively, in large part, because the platform has been so successful. DSSI gathers data from more than $5 billion in healthcare purchasing made by thousands of senior care facilities in its network. DSSI’s sophisticated artificial intelligence can analyze that data in seconds and use it to predict needs and outcomes for a given client. From that analysis, we can build a catalog uniquely suited to a given client. Of course we can easily update the catalog as products and needs change, but the solid foundation will always be in place.
The DSSI Difference in Food Procurement
For most of the conversation, Pickett focused on the big picture of DSSI. He explained, for example, how it will continue to evolve and thus better serve clients in an expanding spectrum of procurement categories. DSSI is reaching beyond product procurement and into services, notably non-emergency medical transport, teledata security, and medical waste disposal.
Near the end of the interview, though, Pickett narrowed the topic to a modest particular: An ounce of chicken.
“Food is an especially complex purchase,” Pickett said. “A senior living operator will create a menu, which in turn creates a recipe and ultimately a list of ingredients. DSSI Procurement Services has mastered the ability to optimize our clients’ food order guides by incorporating our team’s expertise. We use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze all the data around stocking, contracts, and usage. We utilize the DSSI platform to carry it all out, so the communities can order the right products from the right supplier at the right price.”
“Change, at times, is the best solution,” Pickett said. “But management of that change should be thoughtful. Something as seemingly innocuous as switching products can have emotion attached to it. The DSSI Procurement Services team has years of experience and expertise behind it. We know how to apply best practices in communication and training to make change as easy and seamless as possible.
“Our Procurement Services team becomes an extension of the client’s team,” Pickett said. “It’s part of our job to build trust and prove our value. We tell our clients to go take care of their residents, because we have everything else covered. And we mean it.”
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