Critical supply connect

Innovation in the wake of a pandemic.


The COVID-19 virus is upending lives, businesses and dreams worldwide. As many organizations reopen, they are facing a new set of challenges to protect their employees and clients with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Supply chains are stressed and access to PPE is becoming more challenging. Many non-medical businesses have stepped up to meet this challenge, repurposing everything from automobile plants to bedding factories to manufacture needed healthcare equipment.

With new suppliers entering the market, many have little experience in the health industry and providers lack a transparent view of current PPE inventories – both new and incumbent.

Strategy and solution

Reacting to requests for assistance from leading providers, Accenture quickly identified and investigated PPE vendors to help buyers connect with sellers. Within days, the Accenture team was connecting procurement departments to a rapidly expanding network of vendors and providing daily email updates of the suppliers’ current PPE inventories.

Given the enthusiastic response from our clients, Accenture collaborated with Avanade and Microsoft to quickly develop an interactive, digital supply chain solution, Critical Supply Connect, to connect organizations seeking critical COVID-19 supplies to suppliers, many from non-traditional health supply manufacturers. Critical Supply Connect helps buyers to connect with sellers so they can transact on their own terms.

COVID-19 is showing no signs of slowing down and as a result, the solution has evolved. Our services have expanded beyond healthcare to help buyers from all industries connect with suppliers to help fulfill critical PPE items.

"In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Accenture had the foresight to rapidly establish an innovative, digital platform to identify and connect hospital systems with PPE suppliers. This platform, Critical Supply Connect, has been instrumental in closing the gap created by massive shortages of PPE in the traditional healthcare supply chain. Much appreciated."

— Carl Waller, Vice President – Supply Chain Management, Northside Hospital

Delivering value

Critical Supply Connect demonstrates the power of cooperation and innovation in pursuit of a common mission. The solution delivers value four ways:

Safeguards against price gouging

All suppliers are investigated and pricing rationalized prior to posting their available inventory.

Displays inventory updates

Shows available PPE inventory updates entered by suppliers so that buyers can quickly search for available supplies.

Locates non-traditional suppliers

Many manufacturers outside health have retooled to produce medical supplies, and the system connects hospitals to such suppliers.

Offers speedy connections to vendors

Once a match is identified, contact information is shared so procurement can take place efficiently using normal purchasing channels.

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