The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to cripple the healthcare equipment supply chain. Raw materials such as steel, chrome, aluminum, plastic, and electronic parts are scarce, demand is high, and global transportation is bottlenecked all along the supply chain. Add a shortage of workers in the factories, at the docks, at rail yards, trucking companies, within healthcare systems, and you’ve encountered the perfect storm.
We are seeing lead times on some items increase to five and six months. These longer lead times delay the opening of crucial new medical facilities, and they also hamper healthcare systems’ financial recoveries from the pandemic.
Here are four ways CME Corp can assist you in getting your equipment on-time:
Most healthcare facilities have a process in place when ordering new or replacement equipment; it involves many departments and perhaps multiple outside consultants who collaborate, decide, and specify the needed equipment. Our team of CME Account Managers have been reaching out to our customers and providing them with known lead time issues to assist them in ordering certain products earlier than normal.
Most of our strategic vendors send us updated lead times for their products weekly or bimonthly, since recent lead times have been constantly in flux. During these dynamic times, reach out to your CME account manager early in the process and plan for those longer lead times so you can get the equipment when you need it.
To illustrate the benefit of being proactive, a CME Account Manager is working closely with one of the largest healthcare systems in the country, and has received orders for shelving units, carts, stainless steel items, and exam tables six months ahead of anticipated deliveries - to ensure their facilities open on time.
Another added benefit to ordering early is that since pricing is very volatile, ordering early might secure you a lower price!
Look at Alternate products
CME represents over two million items from 2,000+ manufacturers. We are also quite nimble and adaptable. Sometimes you cannot substitute an item, but often, when in dire need, a suitable alternate will work. CME keeps a running list of available items from over 100 of our top vendors. We update these weekly to make sure that, if you need something crucial, we can recommend the best alternate for your needs. Because CME has strong buying power with equipment manufacturers, we are on their priority lists, meaning we can get products first for you.
As an example, a common item used to construct shelving units or carts is 74” chrome posts. There is currently a severe shortage across the industry. CME struck a deal with one manufacturer who had availability and is now stocking these posts. We will continue to stock them until all backorders are cleared.
Call your CME Account Manager when you have an urgent need and require a quick resolution. We will rapidly provide a quote that includes alternatives, product specifications, and availability.
Once your newly purchased items are shipped, they need to be stored, assembled, and delivered to their final location. Most healthcare facilities can’t provide secure warehouse space and many are experiencing manpower shortages.
CME prides itself on its Direct-to-Site services. New equipment is shipped to one of our 30+ service centers, assembled in our warehouses, and delivered when convenient to the end-user. Our CME360 Project Management Hub monitors the movement of your equipment purchases from the time the purchase order was received to when the items are delivered to their final destination - giving you full visibility all along the way; it truly is a turnkey process!
Biomedical Checks for New Equipment
Some of your new equipment may require biomedical electrical checks and asset-tagging before being deployed. CME has a team of biomedical technicians, located strategically across the country, who can augment your biomedical team to complete these start-up checks in a timely fashion. Biomed teams have been stretched thin during COVID, and having these resources readily available - especially for your offsite facilities - can be a big relief.
CME recently worked with a large healthcare system in Colorado and assisted with both Direct-to-Site and biomedical technical services on a new 7-story outpatient medical center. CME augmented the system’s biomed team and inspected and asset-tagged over 1,700 new pieces of equipment before the facility opened.
Healthcare equipment delays already add to the existing stressors that come with navigating through a pandemic; let CME help you help your patients and get you the procurement support your facility needs.
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.