The end of the year is a busy time in the healthcare industry, and if you’re responsible for equipment purchases, you’re surely aware of the time running out for budgeted items. Add a global pandemic into the mix and you'll understand that time is of the essence. You may have approved items that have yet to be purchased before year-end or else you'll lose the approval. Or, you may have a budget allocated that, if unspent, it will be reduced next year.
As you work through the last minute procurement planning, keep these tips in mind to help the process go more smoothly.
1. Determine what you need to buy and what the requirements are
Make sure you have a good understanding of what’s been approved and what the requirements are for procuring. Does it have a specific deadline for the payment and/or delivery? Depending on how your accounting department functions, you may have a December 15th deadline for payment to get it on this year’s books. You also want to be extra aware of completing the PO correctly the first time so you don’t have to spend more time going through corrections.
2. Get those POs out to the vendors as soon as possible
The end of the year means dealing with holiday schedules and employee vacations. Some manufacturers may be closed for extended periods during the holidays, and since a lot of people save their vacation for this time of year, you may not be dealing with your regular contacts. People filling in for those on vacation can slow down the process all along the supply chain.
By starting your process as early as possible, you’ll have a smoother time pushing it through. Also, think about consolidating POs where you can. The fewer you have to deal with, the better chance you'll be able to complete on time.
3. Think about Logistics
The logistics of delivery and setup is always a factor for medical equipment purchases, but is even more so during the holidays. Know when your staff will be available based on their holiday schedules, and also consider if you’re closing your office for a period of time. As most deliveries should happen during a low traffic time in your office, you might not have the staff you need to receive and assemble the new equipment. Also, don't forget the logistics of removing and disposing of the old equipment.
4. Be flexible.
End-of-year procurement can be stressful while dealing with all of the variables - restricted schedules, temporary and possibly inexperienced help, and trying to meet the required deadlines. When you're talking to your equipment distributor or vendors, let them know what restrictions or deadlines you’re trying to meet, and how important it is to make the deadline. Then listen to and heed their suggestions for making it happen. It may not be business as usual so you should be prepared to adjust as needed. Be flexible - help them help you.
As a comprehensive medical equipment supplier with a focus on specialized service, we here at CME understand and we can help. We can handle all of your purchases through one PO and reduce the time spent on the overall process. We can also help with logistics and deliver based on your schedule: before or after office hours or on weekends. If needed, we can do the assembling of the new equipment, while also removing and disposing of the old equipment.
Contact us to discuss your goals and how we can help you meet them.
With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.