EMRThe age of digital medical records has elevated the urgency with which hospitals and other medical providers need to integrate all of their procurement processes, maintain control of the data and inventory, all while decreasing costs. In order to meet those demanding challenges, hospitals are being forced to adapt new best practices and technologies. However, the mere presence of shiny, new technology does not necessarily guarantee every cog will function as it should and the increasing need for information will be sated. In addition for access to desired information, hospitals and medical facilities also need the data to be in the right format, available on-demand and accessible to the right people.

broken-supply-chainCompliance problems that trigger invoice deductions are often the result of communications problems between suppliers and customers. Suppliers want to reduce margin pressures. They often make small changes to integration processes. And business changes can make initial incentives counterproductive. These (and other issues) are usually unique in their particulars.

big dataCloud computing and Big Data technologies have created new options for retailers to get their suppliers involved sharing inventory and sales information (POS or Point-Of-Sale) with their vendors. Everyone can get on the same page regarding the business initiative and  bring benefits to both the retailer and to its vendors.

winter stormBoston and much of the nation’s East Coast might have been buried under piles of snow during the winter of 2015, but the retail industry itself did not get buried. How can that be, considering roads were impassable for days in many areas, freezing temperatures were ideal for snowman survival and people were just plain miserable?

pos station2-1Software analytics let retailers track usage, monitor changes, determine reorders and calculate when and how much to reorder, and check inventory levels on an item-by-item basis. Control of inventory begins right at the cash register: the point-of-sale (POS). Now, inventory records are always up-to-date. This allows better decisions about ordering and merchandising.

emr-integrationDespite the cacophony of technology available today, not all industries have embraced or responded to it as steadily as it has proliferated our lives. Healthcare is one of those industries, although now it’s on the fast track.

Red-important-stampIt used to be tough to talk EDI with a retailer: “Why should I replace a convenient FAX P/O that goes directly to the keypunch operator with a 'rip and read' document that must go through the data processing department before we ever get it?" The introduction of the electronic invoice caught their attention with faster payments. Now a host of new capabilities are available to help the retailer.

Onboarding-SignThe onboarding process is not your “core competence” Mr or Ms Retailer. You need to be putting your efforts into sourcing stock and improving your marketing presence and dozens of other projects. Think about outsourcing to experts where ever possible.

role-of-complexity-in-businessOnce we talk about a World class EDI system and couple it with risk and complexity, aren't we thinking of a Supply Chain Control Tower? The SCM control tower is the single point of contact to reduce complexity and risk. And guess what?, EDI is the glue that holds all the participants together.

3psBuild the greatest supplier collaboration system yet, but if your suppliers don't show up and endorse it, you are nowhere. The answer is three steps to bring the suppliers onboard. Plan, Prioritize and be Proactive: the “Three P's”.