As a healthcare supply chain professional, when was the last time you strategically collaborated with your colleagues in accounts receivable (AR) or accounts payable (AP)? Think back to your last customer or vendor contract planning session - did you carefully consider fulfillment obligations around terms, such as payments – and how this would impact the financial health of your organization?
The reality is that within most healthcare supplier and provider organizations, the management of collections and payments is a completely separate function from other areas of supply chain. It’s rare to see the purchasing and contracting functions integrated with finance and accounting. More commonly they operate in siloes, with staff members working in different departments, and even different buildings, with little thought to how their actions impact each other. As a result, healthcare suppliers and providers are missing out on a significant opportunity to streamline processes, boost efficiency, cut costs and improve cash flow.
Now is the time to think about your procure-to-pay process differently. Instead of focusing on the individual performance of each part, consider taking a holistic approach. By putting the parts into context and addressing them from a systems perspective, you can determine how each part helps or hinders one another.
From there you can apply technology to integrate the individual components of procure-to-pay within a single automated and electronic platform and process flow. This concept benefits both suppliers and providers in terms of improved accuracy (e.g. fewer human errors and exceptions) and increased efficiency (e.g. less manual work, paper and rework). There are provider- and supplier-specific benefits as well, including:
So how inclusive are you in your procure-to-pay process? If your finance and accounting teams are not integrated into your supply chain strategy, what will you do to change that?