Westlab have collaborated from a very healthy cross-section of clinicians, pathologists, doctors and specialists, and there are distinct themes to which their expectations and experiences align.
COVID – 19, not the disease per se but its ramifications on the economy, have tested most organisations to the core, particularly suppliers/supply chains. The real test for suppliers in the 2020 pandemic has been whether they are able to sustain adequate supply lines to the health front. Many businesses took the ‘opportunity’ to help the health sector out in the areas of consumables: hand sanitiser, IPA wipes, masks, disinfectant, face shields and so on. While this is helpful and thoughtful and had its place in emergency supply to the health sector, this revealed a flaw and a genuine expectation of those in the health system.
Many clinicians’ responses showed a wide expectation and need for ‘certainty of supply,’ or ‘reliability of supply’. Having reliability and certainty from a reputably supplier is key: the health system needs on-time and guaranteed delivery of consumables. This is the essential ingredient to their functioning and success, and ultimately the success of the health system in general, especially in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
As well as this, expectations include quality products. Where unreliable suppliers exist, so do poor quality products. As quality products are those of reputable manufacturers, we can assume that poor quality products originate from low-capacity or unreputable suppliers. This is the case with most (note, most) Asian suppliers, which not only often produce fraudulent products in many cases but advertise false specifications.
Lack of quality means that health personnel are subjected to increased risk and vulnerability to disease. This presents a huge problem on the health front, as personnel are the lifeblood of the whole system and the only means by which the pandemic can be tackled head-on.
Due to problems such as tensions with China in many countries, lack of trust in their manufacturing and the timely realisation that local sustainability and supporting local employment matters, clinicians rightly are placing ever-increasing value on locally made products. Westlab realises that tackling the economic fallout left by the COVID explosion is done partly by supporting local businesses and jobs. Manufacturing locally does wonders for the consumer in a fragile and unstable climate. Local manufacturing ultimately provides greater quality, guaranteed delivery, cost avoidance and overall an improved experience for the consumer.
Clinicians overwhelmingly desire transparency from suppliers. Difficulties in supply chains are enough without suppliers verbally committing to ostensibly secure supply and not achieving or living up to the commitments. Having transparency in the supply chain makes the job of the clinician that much easier. They are able to find genuine suppliers who are able to righteously commit to deals. This in turn facilitates proper functioning of the clinic, and reduces the anxiety of the clinician.
Westlab Health’s ultimate goal and objective is to deliver genuine results to the health system. Our goal is to make the job and experience of the procurement staff in the health system easier and more enjoyable, and to assist in whichever way possible for the health system to receive proper supplies and quality products. Our core mantra on which basis we operate is to Consult, Create and Coordinate.
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