Andrew Miller's Business Checkup // Insights on Operational Effectiveness for Healthcare
Volume 31, November 2013
This monthly newsletter is designed specifically to help healthcare executives and business owners raise the bar within their organizations by providing insights on how to improve performance and maximize operational effectiveness and profitability.

Case Study

The Situation

A healthcare organization was struggling to increase awareness about some of the amazing solutions that they were providing customers with. They were concerned that their messages and communications sounded like a sales pitch, and were not focused on what the public needed to hear. They felt this was hindering their ability to contact prospective customers about their solutions.

The Intervention

Andrew worked with the senior team to determine what were the key objectives for the messages and communications to prospective customers and the public, and developed a plan that aligned with those objectives.

The organization then went out and interviewed key customers to find out why their solutions were so successful. They created short videos from these customer testimonials and shared them with prospective customers. They also developed specific strategies for each prospective customer, focusing on the ones that had the best potential.

The Results
Awareness of the organization and its brand recognition increased dramatically. More prospective customers began contacting the organization about the solutions they offer, so the cost of new customer acquisition was reduced.


About Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller is a leading expert in operational excellence and has helped world-class organizations accelerate results and improve the profitability, performance and effectiveness of their organizations. His healthcare clients include renowned hospitals, global healthcare suppliers, shared service organizations, group purchasing organizations, private clinics and government institutions.

Andrew provides value to his clients by helping them drive innovation and collaboration, optimize speed, enhance customer engagement and retention, attract and retain top talent, and effectively align strategy with tactics.

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Healthcare Procurement - It's The Same Old Song

I was sitting through an association meeting a couple of weeks ago and I was astonished to hear some of the issues that companies were having. We were discussing the same issues we had been discussing for more than two years and we still haven't resolved them. For an industry that needs innovation and forward progress to survive, this is not a good sign.

Most conferences these days have very similar themes, are getting similar types of speakers, and unfortunately, have mostly the same outcomes. Those outcomes being an agreement by everyone that things need to change, a paper on the results and what needs to happen, but no concrete plan on how that change will be made. We discuss innovation and process improvement and change management and doing more with less. We listen to case studies and pontifications, but we are short on practical solutions that organizations can implement immediately.

Here are some of the common themes that we can't seem to get away from:

  • We make the same procurement mistakes, whether it's tied to inconsistent interpretation of legislation or risk aversion.
  • We have poor collaboration between healthcare providers and suppliers in the RFP process.
  • We have very strict rules around communication, and even when we do communicate, it's often ineffective.
  • We have ambiguous RFP wording and documents that are restrictive and much too long.
  • We have different purchasing groups, using the same process, but operating in very different ways.
  • We have long time lines for evaluating and awarding RFP winners, and once the RFP is awarded, the time it takes to convert to the new supplier is too long.
  • We have RFP responses that are too long and often don't address the specific need of the customer.
  • We have organizations that are more focused on their own best interests and not those of their customers.
  • We have discussions about the features and benefits of certain solutions then complain that our solutions are being commoditized.

But enough about those, let's talk about some ideas to create a new song sheet that we should all be singing from:

  • Risk sharing between healthcare providers and suppliers so that the providers are not taking on all the risk if a particular solution doesn't work.
  • Collaborating and having discussions between healthcare providers and suppliers to find the best solution. These discussions need to be removed from, or be done prior to, a formal procurement process to ensure they are focused on outcomes.
  • Developing evaluation criteria that is more focused on outcomes and the strength of the relationship between the parties.
  • Creating criteria to differentiate between commoditized, strategic, and innovative purchasing processes. Each of these three types of purchasing requires a different process and has different objectives.
  • Looking at the current length of contracts and determining what is a reasonable length that both encourages competition and uses resources effectively.
  • Building and managing mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Measuring both healthcare providers and suppliers based on their performance as it pertains to the long-term view of the patient.
  • Reviewing organizational capabilities and readiness for change before any major initiative is embarked upon.

On Andrew MilleR


Recent news

If you run an association or are a part of one, I recently did a free teleconference on 12 Strategies to Grow Association Membership. Click here to listen to the recording and use the free assessment tool I have developed for association executives.

Watch my free webinar for the Ontario Hospital Association on Profitable Growth in a Changing Healthcare Environment.

Check out my blog, From Chaos to Order, where I post new articles, provocative ideas and other content regularly.

Upcoming Events
My forthcoming book, Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization, is due out early next year.
Recent videos
Check out my video series on Operational Excellence. These are short videos filled with tips to help your business run more effectively.

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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.