As everyone has become painfully aware, acute shortages of materials like masks, ventilators, intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, and staff are hamstringing the heroic efforts of health care professionals around the world to address the pandemic.
Now, more than ever, the right supply-chain strategies and management practices are urgently needed to optimize scarce resources, alleviate shortages, and expand capacity quickly. While good management can never be a substitute for dedicated and skilled medical practitioners, improving the management of supply chains is crucially needed to ensure that these professionals have the resources to do their jobs.
This article, which draws from the best practices in supply chain and operations management, can help struggling hospitals and other care providers increase the odds they will have those resources. It is based on a central reality: Tackling shortages and supply constraints requires a comprehensive strategy aimed at both the demand- and supply-side roots of the problem.