The current economic climate in healthcare is causing some health systems to cut back when handling equipment delivery and warehousing. IDNs and large systems are asking the distributors and vendors to take on more of their logistics needs.
Instead of bringing large items into a central warehouse, health systems are leaning more toward direct-to-site (DTS) delivery. While this serves to reduce their warehousing and personnel costs, fine-tuning the processes involved is extremely important.
ONE UNFORTUNATE STORY
It recently came to our attention that a healthcare clinic in the area needed some furniture (from another vendor) delivered direct-to-site. After several calls to the vendor to arrange the delivery, the clinic was assured that the furniture would be delivered by 6:00 AM, well before their 8:00 AM start time, so as not to interfere with their patients. In order to ensure a smooth delivery and setup of the new furniture, the clinic manager had arranged for the old furniture to be removed the night before.
The delivery truck arrived an hour late and the items were uncrated in the waiting room of the clinic. There was no good direction as to what items were to go to what rooms, which prolonged the process. It was then also discovered that several of the pieces were not delivered. They were backordered. This required the clinic manager to arrange to retrieve the old furniture from storage until the backordered pieces could be delivered.
The late delivery, coupled with the confusion as to what pieces were to go where, plus uncrating in the waiting room, meant that the patients had no place to sit when the clinic was to open. All in all it was a very disruptive and disappointing event.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW and be able to expect
CME specializes in direct-to-site deliveries. We have identified nine things that we have learned and that you should be able to expect.
1. We need to be proactive in communicating with you the customer, and you should expect that we would call you when we receive your order.
2. If you do need to call us, you should expect that we will return your call promptly, and we will.
3. You should expect that there would be no disappointing surprises regarding backordered or out of stock items.
4. If there are any backordered or out of stock items, you should expect that we will communicate that well before the scheduled delivery date, and we will.
5. You should expect that we would communicate with you to identify any delivery constraints and to provide adequate time for completing the delivery and setup before clinic hours begin if necessary.
6. You should be able to expect that we will be on time for any scheduled delivery, and we will.
7. You should expect that we will communicate with you as to what pieces go to what rooms so they can be labeled and the truck staged appropriately to make for a smooth delivery, and we will.
8. You should expect that we will uncrate as many of the products in the truck as possible and keep the packing materials away from the patient areas, and we will.
9. You should expect that we will create a process to make the delivery and setup go as smooth and easy as possible.
These are nine things that CME has learned and that you, the customer, should expect. No matter whether the delivery is to one location or to many, a few items or a lot - we make it our goal to communicate well with you, so that there are no disappointing surprises - only positive ones.
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.