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Primary vendor relationship creates cost savings for Wake Forest Baptist

The situation

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center wanted to find ways to improve its supply chain and save money. Wake Forest Baptist wanted to reduce costs across its entire supply chain system by making it more efficient, not just by cutting line-item expenses. To accomplish these goals, in early 2011, Wake Forest Baptist hired Conrad Emmerich as vice president of resource management and Bill Brewer as director of strategic sourcing.

Soon after Conrad and Bill started at Wake Forest Baptist, Cook Medical representatives met with them to learn what their goals were. The Healthcare Business Solutions (HBS) team for Cook Medical provided supply chain support. The team consisted of Mike Hughes, vice president of supply chain and distribution; Bill Anton, corporate account executive; and Steve Clemmer, corporate account manager for Cook’s Urology division.


A rapid response

After they learned about Wake Forest Baptist’s goals for supply chain improvement, the HBS team members presented the goals to Cook Medical’s clinical divisions. Cook’s Urology division was quick to submit a proposal. Because Cook’s proposal was submitted early in the process, Wake Forest Baptist gave Cook priority attention.

The clinical side

In addition to supporting the hospital supply chain staff, Cook Medical also wanted to make sure that the physicians were confident about using the products. Cook district manager, George Beasley, trained the physicians in the OR until they were comfortable with using the new products. Once all the physicians were completely comfortable with using Cook’s products, Wake Forest Baptist accepted Cook’s urology proposal.

The results

This project had an immediate effect. Wake Forest Baptist reduced its shipping expenses because it could more easily combine orders and reach the $200 minimum that Cook requires for free overnight shipping. It allowed Wake Forest Baptist to consolidate 90 percent of its specialty urology disposable devices with one vendor—Cook—with projected savings of 15 to 20 percent. By working with fewer vendors for urology orders, Wake Forest Baptist reduced its ordering costs. Using a primary vendor makes the supply chain easier to manage and reduces the number of SKUs to track in inventory. For items that Wake Forest Baptist had already been purchasing from Cook, costs were reduced by 9 percent, because of the increased volume of orders.

“Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has completed a successful supplier consolidation and cost reduction project in urology,” said Jonathan Kepley, manager of contract administration at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Focusing on disposable specialty urology products, we partnered with Cook Medical to standardize to a majority supplier. This partnership has allowed us to provide the clinicians with superior products, reduce our inventory, and reduce our costs within urology.”

Contact your Cook Medical representative to inquire about cost savings for your facility.