How to Create a Data-Driven Supply Chain – and Why It Matters

By Barry Holleman

Recently I was reading a report from the American Hospital Association about leveraging data and analytics to improve clinical, financial, and operational performance. While the authors didn’t mention supply chain specifically, it struck me that so many of the principles they explore are relevant to supply chain operations. As hospital leaders look to add value through better information-sharing and data analysis, it’s important to recognize the game-changing potential of data, decision support, and intelligent technologies at every level, including supply chain.

Using some key takeaways from the AHA report, here’s what I mean:

Human decision-making is made better with robust data analysis – but the analysis itself is made better with technology.

As health system leaders strategize for the future in a rapidly changing industry, the need for clear, rapid, and reliable answers to anything affecting patient care and safety has become critical. Whether you’re an enterprise executive or a supply chain manager, you need the ability to process big data rapidly and interpret it easily. Humans alone cannot do that anymore – the days of manual data management and laborious spreadsheets must come to an end for any meaningful supply chain optimization to occur.

To ensure best pricing, reduce errors, eliminate guesswork, increase efficiency, and decrease waste, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep machine learning (ML) tools are the way forward – that’s principle number one for anyone looking to improve supply chain operations and outcomes.

In the age of consumerism, supply chain is a key player in the ability to meet patient needs.

For supply chains, the path to consumerism is paved by patient-driven demand. The right AI/ML will combine inventory and order data with financial data (billing) and clinical data (care and outcomes) for better, faster supply chain decisions. When medication and medical supply decisions are based on actual consumption and data-driven forecasting, supply chain professionals have the tools and information needed for more meaningful, proactive contributions to enterprise objectives like value-based care, improved patient safety, and reduced expenses.

As the industry continues its shift from volume to value – with incentives to prevent disease and manage health risks – the ability to analyze all products, processes and providers involved in every episode of care is invaluable. Imagine the possibilities of a world where medication and medical supplies reach consumers with speed, precision and sustainable simplicity – and how increased visibility into clinical protocols and medication adherence can ultimately inform better care and drive better health outcomes.

The foundation of decision-making is changing, and supply chain can support that evolution.

From demand sensing to predictive modeling, scenario planning, simulation and more, technology has the power to catapult the supply chain leaders into a strategic pillar for the organization. It’s as simple as the difference between intuition and bona fide intelligence. As the AHA report notes, “Today, some leaders might say, ‘I think we should take this course of action. Are there any data to back me up?’ Tomorrow, most leaders will ask, ‘What direction should we go based on the data?’”

Only with a data-driven supply chain operation will you be well-equipped to answer those questions and help drive the enterprise’s strategic objectives forward. Supply chain professionals must apply data and analytics to understand and predict the usage of essential hospital resources as they relate to every aspect of care.

Strategic aims and supply chain go hand-in-hand.

An informed, forward-thinking approach to supply chain management is crucial to preparing for future emergencies and addressing an organization’s day-to-day needs – but the right insights can power much more than that. Supply chain decisions can directly and indirectly have significant impact on the now-ubiquitous “quadruple aim” approach for health system strategic planning.

When patients and clinicians have precisely the right supplies for proper clinical protocols and medication adherence, outcomes improve – which affects population health (aim #1). It also drives a better patient care experience (aim #2) and reduces the total cost of care (aim #3). And finally, it drives higher satisfaction levels among clinicians and staff (aim #4), which has never been more critical than it is now with labor shortages spiraling off the charts.

That’s the so-what. Now here’s the solution.

Where can you find the technology you need to create and maintain a data-driven supply chain?

The answer is right here. At MUUTAA, we’ve built the first and only AI solution for healthcare supply chains that focus on patient-driven demand. DemandAMP+ puts actionable intelligence at your fingertips by collecting, connecting and analyzing key data sources, including those often outside the supply chain’s reach. This ground-breaking technology does more than amplify human intelligence – it also amplifies your role as a supply chain leader. To learn more, contact us today.

About the author

Barry Holleman is the Chief Operating Officer and Cofounder of MUUTAA, a healthcare AI company focused on patient-driven demand for clinically integrated supply chains. With more than two decades of global healthcare technology experience, Barry specializes in healthcare supply chains, healthcare logistics and automation, health IT, and pharmacy logistics. A results-oriented leader, he has helped spearhead market adoption of innovative technologies in healthcare across the European Union and North America. To contact Barry, email


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