February 2011

Office Product Standardization to Yield Savings

As part of CHI's Purchased Services Cost Savings Initiative, a new, standardized list of office products that can be ordered by CHI national offices and market-based organizations is rolling out across the system.

Office supplies are currently a $15 million annual expense for CHI, even with discounts provided by CHI's use of HealthTrust Purchasing Group's office supply contract with Staples. To achieve greater savings, CHI worked with Staples to establish a core list of cost-effective office products. When used across the system, the core list will provide CHI with estimated savings of $900,000 per year.

"The core list restricts product choices to those that are most cost effective, which supports our stewardship goal," said John Gould, director of supply chain operations. "Rather than supporting individual product preferences, we are focusing on practical needs. For example, instead of 300 different pens and pencils, CHI employees will have a choice of 12. We worked with a team of administrative and supply chain leaders from across the market-based organizations and national offices to make sure that each item on the core list provides acceptable quality and usability. Everyone's use of the core list, from staff to executives, is needed to maximize the benefits of this initiative."

A pilot of the online ordering system for the core list began on February 1 at CHI's Northern Kentucky office; Carrington Health Center, Carrington, ND; and St. Vincent Health System, Little Rock, AR. "The pilot has been helpful because we found some supply needs not covered by the core list," said Gould. "For example, one hospital needed a larger clasp envelope. We can continue to adjust the core list as necessary, and will also conduct an annual review."

Employees who use the new ordering system will see few changes to the screens, and all employee log-in information will remain the same. "The difference is that employees will see and choose from only the items on CHI's core list," said Gould. Employees who need an item that is not on the core list should contact their local materials management department, which will have a trained "superuser" who can help. Also, employees who use standard shopping lists to order supplies may need to adjust them to reflect the products on CHI's core list.

The rollout of the core list and the ordering system is expected to be complete by the end of March. Employees will receive email notices prior to implementation at their place of work.

For more information, contact your organization's materials management department.