Properly managing medical equipment inventory is essential to the effectiveness of hospitals and healthcare facilities, and to their ability to appropriately provision health services. The inventory must be recorded and updated continually so that it provides an accurate picture, enabling the healthcare facility to avoid shortages, track expiry dates, and accurately plan and budget.
Drugs and Medicine have specified “end of life” dates, and therefore medical care facilities and pharmacies have limitations on the inventory levels of such products that they can maintain. This limitation, coupled with high demand for such products within short time frames, places pressure on suppliers to be ready to deliver within very short time frames.
Consequently, the healthcare providers, or “buyers” in this scenario, must receive schedule confirmations and advanced shipping notifications (ASN) from suppliers. Scheduling management mechanisms that involve manual processing could result in impactful delays around goods receipt, order management, and deliveries.
One way by which healthcare providers can better manage inventory levels and scheduled supply of such items, is through an automatic order management system that generates orders directly from the buyer’s ERP system, sending them to the relevant suppliers within seconds. Suppliers could then immediately and easily respond to the order with PO confirmation and schedule confirmation, ideally using a variety of communications methods -a B2B interface, Web portal, Mobile App, or email.
To manage scheduling within such short time frames, suppliers should be able to effectively communicate with their customers (the healthcare facilities) around scheduling and should receive automated follow-up and reminders regarding required tasks and information. Suppliers should also be able to send shipping notifications to their customers in advance, so that the latter can gain advance knowledge of the shipment details and possibly also create a draft Goods Receipt on that basis.