Critical supply connect

Innovation in the wake of COVID-19. New procurement platform quickly connects buyers and sellers of critical personal protective equipment.

Challenge

The COVID-19 virus is upending lives, businesses and dreams worldwide. As care professionals risk their lives to save patients, healthcare organizations struggle to safeguard front-line professionals with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Healthcare supply chains are stressed, as organizations and individuals worldwide deplete normally adequate PPE inventories and splinter traditional supply chains. Many non-medical businesses have stepped up to meet this challenge, repurposing everything from automobile plants to bedding factories to manufacture needed healthcare equipment.

Many of these new players have little experience in the health industry, and health 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 50 health system 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 scale up the initiative into an interactive resource in record time. Just eight days later, we introduced Critical Supply Connect, an innovative, digital supply chain community connecting 57 Health Systems, with over 638 hospitals, to more than 110 suppliers that offer over 300 unique products.

Many of these vendors are outside of the traditional healthcare industry, so to keep it simple, Critical Supply Connect helps buyers to connect with sellers so they can transact on their own terms.

"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 interested hospital 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.

View All

What we think

Accenture's perspective on where health leaders should focus their technology efforts and priorities post-COVID-19.

Building resilient infrastructure in the cloud to support surge care capacity.

AHA podcast with Accenture's Kaveh Safavi addresses the role of AI and other information technology in the fight against COVID-19.

View All

Contact us