Village Podiatry Centers is a multi-site surgical practice based in Atlanta. Its holding company, Extremity Healthcare, operates 35 podiatry clinics, and owns or manages seven surgery centers across Georgia and Tennessee.
When surgery centers such as Village Podiatry have multiple locations, it is imperative to put into place a standardized supply chain processes. But, that didn’t always happen, and supply chain complexities hampered efficiency.
“Our podiatry clinics ordered what they wanted to, when they wanted to, from who they wanted to,” said Eddie Ross, purchasing manager at Extremity. “We have over 40 doctors, and the process was chaotic. We needed an efficient process, intelligence based decisions, and consistency across the board.”
Additionally, the supply chain system failed to leverage vendor pricing. Office managers and doctors always want the best prices, Ross said, but acting independently, Village Podiatry couldn’t get those prices. Instead, the centers would have to order through multiple vendors and hope for the best.
So Ross, who first joined Extremity almost a year-and-a-half ago, had to complete two important tasks:
- Improve the efficiency of Village Podiatry’s supply chain.
- Lower the amount Village Podiatry spends on products.
Ross had previously been in charge of accounts payable at a hospital system based in Atlanta, and coming from an accounting background, he quickly saw Village Podiatry’s supply chain was antiquated and inefficient. “We wanted to modernize this, and utilize technology to improve efficiency,” said Ross. “Our model for the company is to grow with existing clinics, and also acquire additional clinics for a bigger footprint. There was no way we could do that with the current system.”
Village Podiatry switched from its clunky, outdated handling of supply chain to the efficient, modern Hybrent solution in mid-March 2016. Hybrent is designed to increase efficiency while decreasing the amount its partners spend on supplies.
Ross needed those solutions. When he came aboard, Ross took a deep dive into the supply expenses. What he found was that medical supplies, med surg supplies, diabetic shoes, and office supplies were eating up most of the expenses.
Hybrent has provided Ross with an immediate solution for efficiency. In the past, when orders were placed by clinics, regional managers had no way of approving the order on the front end. Before that, an invoice would be received by accounts payable, and they would send a batch of invoices to regional managers to approve.
The first locations were trained on Hybrent at the beginning of June, and as of mid-July, all surgery centers and 25 clinics have been trained on Hybrent. The remaining 10 clinics will be trained by the end of July.
Regional managers can now approve orders on the front end, and because the Hybrent solution is mobile, orders can be approved from a laptop or smartphone. “It’s very efficient. Hybrent saves us a lot of time, and provides more accountability if a product hasn’t been received,” said Ross.
And, because Village Podiatry locations are scattered around the region and it does not have a warehouse that supplies can be delivered to, it is important for the accounts payable department to know immediately when a product is delivered. The old system didn’t provide this option. Now, the Hybrent solution allows the accounts payable department to see that they did receive the product, no matter the vendor.
Not only that, Hybrent allows one-stop ordering. The Ordering Module has simplified the process for Village Podiatry, making the products searchable by name, partial name or SKU, and can be ordered and received via the application.
“Supply chain ordering is a cumbersome process at most surgery centers, particularly those with multiple locations,” said Hybrent CEO Ken Tighe. “Materials managers not only have to take the time to deduce what products they need, they then have to take the time to contact vendors, and place the order via email or by visiting numerous vendor websites. The Hybrent solution fixes that issue and streamlines the process.”
Ross is satisfied with the changeover to Hybrent. “Any system change can be difficult,” he said. “But Hybrent is accessible and accommodating.”