Being a healthcare provider is never easy as it involves a lot of decisions with regard to procuring medical equipment. The scenario is not any different in India where the market has information asymmetry and purchase processes are not streamlined. Similarly, distance and geography have dented the confidence of many a hospital and clinic in remote areas of the country. To make matters worse, traditional model of procurement does have limited value in many categories that harm the interests of healthcare providers. There are more companies now to leverage the technology in sourcing their requirements.
Here are some of the major issues faced by healthcare providers in India in sourcing their requirements –
1# Lack of surety over getting genuine products
Most healthcare providers are concerned over not getting genuine products. They are not sure whether the products sourced through traditional models have quality and deliver value deem fit for medical profession. They are not sure whether medical equipment they have been sourcing are from authorized distributors. Clearly, the conventional way of sourcing medical supplies continue to plague hospitals with doubts and apprehensions.
2# Concerns regarding the right price
It’s true that traditional method of procuring medical equipment is not able to optimize the sales and distribution costs for healthcare manufacturers. Prices of equipment vary a great deal from what companies intend to deliver to hospitals and what suppliers make available at the end. Clearly, concerns are valid over whether clinics are getting the right price and this has more to do with the supply chain arrangement and less with the manufacturers.
3# Suppliers not matching right service levels
Ask any hospital or clinic in remote parts of the country and the response will be the same – they are not happy with service levels provided by suppliers. Which means, healthcare providers are not happy with services, and products also, delivered by suppliers and this stops them from getting and adding value. This also suggests that conventional model of procuring medical equipment is not working any good for most end users in the value chain.
4# Tracking orders is not simple and accurate
Most medical equipment suppliers put own interests above those of customers they serve and this creates a lot of problems for healthcare providers. There is no simple and accurate way to track the order. So, the orders are mostly delayed and hospitals have to bear the brunt for that, not suppliers. This has to go, the earlier the better. The use of technology has to find a prominence with the delivery and procurement of medical equipment for sure.
5# No knowledge over vendors and product replacement
Most healthcare providers don’t have any knowledge over how many vendors they have. Similarly, they are not sure about the possible replacement of the products procured. This is due to the information asymmetry that is linked with the traditional way of buying or procuring medical products. All this will change for good if hospitals start to trust online medical stores for sourcing their requirements.