Like many of our peer nations, Australia is experiencing an aging population. We're getting older, we’re living longer, and as the massive number of Baby Boomers lead this charge, we’re set to more than triple the number of Australians over the age of 85 in the next 40 years. The outlook is similar for our cousins across the Tasman in New Zealand.
So as we endeavour to spend our later years in full health, we’re consuming more healthcare services than ever before.
The rising cost of healthcare
But the cost of patient care is high, and when you consider the factors that make up that cost, it’s easy to see why:
- Wages – Doctors, nurses, dentists, hygienists, laboratory, admin and ancillary staff
- Goods – Instruments, diagnostic machinery, consumables, cleaning & chemical supplies, pharmaceuticals
- Services – Pathology, imaging, cleaning and sanitation, linen, foodservice
Medical and Dental service providers can only recover so many of their costs through government funding or patient fees.
As the cost of administering care continues to rise, providers must be increasingly vigilant to ensure they’re receiving value for money, and that for every dollar spent, admin costs don’t consume the majority.
Why digital capability matters in Medical & Dental supply
The primary job of healthcare providers is to look after their patients. Anything standing in the way of that should (and will) be scrutinised.
To this end, providers are becoming increasingly price-sensitive and productivity-aware. They’re searching out value for money – in the products they’re buying, and in the service they’re receiving.
For suppliers into this industry, using digital systems to streamline commerce will be key.
You might offer the cheapest consumables on the market, but if your ordering process is cumbersome, your turnaround times are unreliable, or your backorder and error rates are high, you’ll see very few repeat customers.
To properly service this market, medical and dental distributors need to remove all the friction from the B2B commerce process. The most effective way is by leveraging the right technology.
At minimum, a purpose-built ecommerce platform should offer medical and dental buyers functionality such as:
- Contract purchasing / custom catalogues
- Cost centre allocation and reporting
- Order restrictions
- Order approval hierarchies
- Stocktake & inventory functionality
- Licence verification for purchase of restricted items
Sales order automation
For those buyers who don’t order online, suppliers should look to automate data entry of their PDF purchase orders. Automating this important first step in the order-to-cash process will:
- free up knowledge workers to engage in higher level tasks
- speed up order fulfillment
- reduce errors, returns, and write-offs
The provision of healthcare is one of society's most critical services. The more providers and suppliers can work together to keep spend from being eroded by needless admin burdens, overpriced stock, or inefficient service, the better off patient outcomes will be.
Why industry leaders and challengers turn to us
Medical and dental distributors who offer the kind of capability their customers need will stand out as leaders in this industry. Those who don’t, will quickly be overtaken by the challengers who do.
For over 22 years, Commerce Vision has designed and built B2B solutions that cater for the needs of medical and dental suppliers and their customers.
If you're involved in medical and dental supply distribution, or would just like to learn more about the B2B solutions we offer, please get in touch.