Addressing Healthcare Supply Chain Issues with Technology

A Direct Supply® DSSI™ Case Study

The healthcare industry saw significant supply chain volatility in 2020 and 2021, particularly in the area of food procurement. Healthcare procurement professionals struggled to obtain needed food products due to lack of real-time visibility into the healthcare supply chain issues. These supply chain disruptions called for an innovative solution for procurement success.

Direct Supply® DSSIidentified this need in the healthcare food procurement space and answered the calls for help from procurement teams across the industry. Read to learn about the healthcare supply chain technology that helped customers get the products they needed while also driving cost savings.

Problem: Healthcare Supply Chain Issues

Direct Supply DSSI has access to product data from over 400 suppliers in the healthcare industry due to their presence on the cutting edge DSSI eprocurement platform. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DSSI team actively monitored the product and stock-out data of suppliers through the transactions taking place on the DSSI platform. Not surprisingly, supplier stock outs reached unprecedented and sustained levels in 2021. 

The broadline food category is the largest area of spend for healthcare providers. It is also the category most impacted by stock outs. This combination caused large operational burdens for healthcare providers and suppliers. Suppliers struggled to find substitute products and their customers scrambled to determine if the substitutes were the right quality and price. 

Common Supply Chain Issues in Healthcare:

  • Stock outs
  • Finding substitutes
  • Food procurement spend volatility


Cancelled Lines due to Healthcare Supply Chain Issues

Approach: Alleviating Healthcare Supply Chain Challenges

The DSSI team quickly recognized the need for a technology solution built into the DSSI platform to drive procurement efficiency and ease the burden on both providers and suppliers. A cross-functional team of engineers, operations experts and product managers dedicated their time to finding a solution and getting it implemented fast. This procurement solution would be key in solving healthcare supply chain problems and providing cost savings for healthcare organizations.

Using Healthcare Supply Chain Technology to Reduce Costs & Increase Efficiency

The process consisted of numerous design sessions, interviews and technology tests. Using this information, the team was able to quickly identify a solution. This tool would proactively identify stock outs and provide real-time substitution options in the shopping cart of the DSSI platform. Substitution options would be pulled from multiple sources, including: 

  • Corporate Recommendations: products set up in advance by the customer in the patented OGM® 3 platform (learn more about how this platform in our case study)
  • Supplier Recommendations: products identified by the supplier that are provided through data feeds 
  • DSSI Sage Recommendations: products identified by Direct Supply DSSI artificial intelligence to be similar
design thinking image to solve healthcare supply chain issues

Result: Problem Solving with Healthcare Supply Chain Technology

Within only two months, an elegant healthcare procurement solution was preventing stock outs before an order was ever placed. Since the release of this tool, stock outs have been reduced by 48%. This healthcare supply chain technology innovation allows procurement professionals to streamline their purchasing processes and continue to save time and money. 

Technology platform to solve healthcare supply chain issues

Navigate Healthcare Supply Chain Issues with Direct Supply DSSI

Direct Supply DSSI is committed to alleviating healthcare supply chain issues through providing technology-driven solutions. Real-time inventory management, stock-out data and relevant substitutions are a couple ways providers can be proactive about their healthcare procurement. Interested in learning more about the healthcare supply chain landscape? Read our blog Healthcare Supply Chain Strategies – Navigating Shifts in Behaviors and Inflation Impacts”.

This solution enables self-serve, customer-directed substitutions at scale. It has dramatically reduced item cancellations and undesired product substitutions.

Unlock Operational Efficiencies Today

Request a demo of the cutting-edge Direct Supply DSSI platform today!