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Q&A: Mosaic Life Care

August 18, 2020

Interviewed By: Ken Murawski

The “Supplier Spotlight” and “Provider Spotlight” series is our interview of a supplier or provider in a standard Q & A format.

This month we had the opportunity to interview Sean Poellnitz, Vice President of Supply Chain at Mosaic Life Care.

Healthcare Links: How has your supply chain needs changed post-Covid?

Sean: I think the biggest impact to our supply chain, which you’ll hear across the Industry, is the need for custom sourcing. For the most part, when you look at our distribution or supplier partners, they don’t have enough supplies to meet our current demand. For many categories demand went up 500% or more from Covid. We had to work with our team to reach out into the market to qualify sources and to almost create a new network of suppliers.

This caused us to have to source more and negotiate quicker. Logistically we had more Trucks on our Dock, and we had to track down supplies. We had to become more of a commercial supply chain overnight.

The number one goal is to have the supplies that you need at the right time, at the right place. From a pricing aspect, we have a process where we still look at pricing and try and pay a reasonable price in a market where prices have increased.

Healthcare Links: With the loss of elective procedures and subsequent revenue what do you anticipate is in store for healthcare systems and providers 1 year, 3 years down the road?

Sean: Hospitals across the country are going to be working hard to regain volume. So the focus of the supply chain is to make sure you have the supplies you need during the pandemic, but also supplies to support surgeries, and inpatient and elective procedures.

 

Historically, there has been a lack of intel for us to understand the supply chain A to Z. Understanding our suppliers supply chain, where and how they are sourcing material, and globally how does Covid impact them.

From a factory or production standpoint, if our suppliers are all sourcing from the same geographical location, then this could be an issue should manufacturing facilities shut down. This has not been a question in the healthcare supply chain market that we researched prior to Covid.

Healthcare Links: How are you working with suppliers different today than pre-Covid?

Sean: We have to ask stronger questions. We have to really understand our suppliers, how they forecast, and their risk, and then how all this connects globally. If every hospital in the country is trying to ramp up and do surgeries, what does that do to supplies that are indirectly related to that?

So now the question is, how do we adjust and figure out this new market, and how do we collaborate with our suppliers to share information. We need to figure out how deep our supply chain resources are globally.

Healthcare Links: If a supplier has no current business or relationship with you or the system, but may have a worthwhile solution, how would you counsel them to connect?

Sean: Well for a lot of the PPE items, we have a process. We actually have a very structured process where we ask for sample products. We ask, of course, for references. I think there is a strong need for references right now. I think when you’re trying to source quickly, it does make your process kind of truncated. Everyone right now is trying to figure out from either samples or references to qualify a supplier, because the market is dangerous. So you’re looking for some type of way to associate this supplier to be trustworthy.

Healthcare Links: What operational changes have you made at Mosaic Life Care since the start of Covid?

Sean: I think the biggest operational change, and one thing that I share with my peers, is acknowledging that the biggest resource that the supply chain has is it’s talent. It’s not necessarily about operating in your current job role, but understanding your team’s talent and then restructuring that team informally, to make sure that your supply chain is agile, and that you can respond to current demands.

Healthcare Links: How do you think healthcare will change from this?

Sean: I think the supply chain will get its seat at the big table. I think that people will understand that for any strategy to be successful, you have to understand how to cost control and forecast supply risk.

I think organizations are going to start to adjust their long-range planning for a span of two to five years. So if your organization has plans that are reset for whatever reason, such as what happened this year, your team will need to be able to make agile adjustments strategically in ”real time”.

Also organizations are going to become more aware of the macroeconomic impact. You have to understand how any strategy you have is linked to global uncertainty, from your physicians operating environment, from your supply chain, from your technology.