Software applications relating to the healthcare supply chain which promote the effective management of supply chain resources.

Gartner Announces Rankings of the 2018 Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25

Gartner, Inc. has released its 10th annual Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 ranking. The ranking recognises organisations across the healthcare value chain that demonstrate leadership in improving human life at sustainable costs.

“Healthcare supply chains today face a multitude of challenges: increasing cost pressures and patient expectations as well as the need to keep up with rapid technology advancement, to name just a few,” said Stephen Meyer, senior director at Gartner. “In order to be successful, supply chains must sport a specific skill set that consists of patient focus, collaboration and network visibility. The top supply chains in this year’s ranking have embraced those skills and excelled in executing them.” 

Cleveland Clinic takes a big leap forward and jumps from No. 8 to the top spot (see Table 1). The organisation has been in the top 10 of the ranking for the past three years and its continuous efforts to improve and innovate paid off. Cleveland Clinic’s model is built on collaboration across stakeholders. With a large span of control for supply chain across most areas of spend, supply chain is woven into the fabric of patient care, supporting a patient-first focus at the organisation. In 2018, Cleveland Clinic continued improving its services and employed RFID technology for high-value medical devices and a less-expensive solution for commodity products.

Four Companies Found New Masters Category
In the 10th year of the Healthcare Top 25 ranking, we follow in the footsteps of the Global Supply Chain Top 25 and introduce a Masters Category to honour continuous excellence,” said Mr Meyer. “The initial Masters class consists of Cardinal Health, Mayo Foundation, Intermountain Healthcare and Owens & Minor.” 

The Masters category is not a permanent appointment. Organisations must requalify every year and continue to innovate. Cardinal Health, for example, expanded its digital capabilities and introduced a cloud-based patient engagement platform called “CollectSource” to gain better insights into the patient experience and treatment journey. Mayo Foundation heavily invested in digital supply chain as a core differentiator. Intermountain Healthcare had a lot of progress on the analytics front of supply chain, by enhancing its ability to visualise key data points such as supply expense or contract compliance, which allows for better decision making. Distributor Owens & Minor has tackled one of the chronic issues for manufacturers: the visibility of inventory. Through key partnerships, the company has brought in advanced technology to enhance its strong logistics and inventory management capabilities

Table 1. The Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 for 2018 

New Faces at the Top
CVS Health, the largest retail pharmacy in the US achieves its highest ranking ever, moving up five spots to No. 2. The company is using its supply chain to become a new breed of healthcare provider that leverages frequent customer interaction as a way to drive population health management in ways that traditional providers can’t.

Johnson & Johnson is a familiar face in the top 10 and rose to third place this year — the highest ranking in the past eight years. This is proof of its continuous focus on development of foundational supply chain capabilities such as end-to-end visibility. Johnson & Johnson prides itself on being a customer-centric organisation and prioritises driving value to customers by developing new solutions and ensuring access for patients. As an early adopter of new technologies, Johnson & Johnson recently established a centre of excellence for 3D printing to enhance and augment its manufacturing and distributions operations and unlock new opportunities.

In its 10th year in the top 10, Mercy moved into the fourth spot. Through its supply chain arm, Mercy built differentiated supply chain solutions over the past 20 years. Today, Mercy is establishing leading practices in the virtualisation of care. The supply chain works to match a product and service response aligned with virtual care sites, including homecare. Its recently established virtual care centre has shown good early results using remote care and monitoring strategies to catch problems early, keep patients at home and lower costs.

McKesson, rounded out the top five, down one spot year over year. Like many companies in the distribution space, McKesson pursues a physical and a digital customer solution space. This combination keeps the company relevant as physical distribution isn’t enough to meet the needs of increasingly sophisticated customers in the healthcare space.

“In order to stay competitive, healthcare organisations must ensure that their supply chain remains patient-centric,” said Mr Meyer. “It’s important to realise that modern healthcare is a team sport. The company that can establish collaborative relationships with other stakeholders and integrate them into the supply chain has the best chances to succeed.” 

More detailed analysis is available in the report The Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 for 2018.” Additional analysis on the Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 is also available in the complimentary Gartner webinar The 2018 Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25.”