As we begin a new year, it is good to take a step back and take a good look in the mirror at your value analysis and cost management programs. These are especially important right now in these tough economic times where your Chief Financial Officer is looking for every dollar of revenue and savings they can muster. Plus, it is just a good time to improve the things that need to be improved and make your value analysis program more efficient, time savvy, and get better results than you have in the past.
How Do You Step Back and Look at Your Value Analysis Program in the Mirror?
What is the optimal way to truly look at your value analysis program with all of the moving parts, teams, people, contracts, recalls, products, and much more? The best practice I always go back to is to perform a SWOT analysis to help evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in your programs. This will give you the facts or evidence to document what you are doing now which will then allow you to plan for the future.
Leave the Egos at the Door and Be Honest with Your Approach
Remember, a SWOT analysis only works if you are honest with yourself and your organization while you go through this process. This is not the time to sugar coat anything as it will not do any good to say that your program is perfect and that you can’t do anything better because you are the best already. I have been a value analysis practitioner for over 30+ years and have never come across a program that cannot improve in some or many areas.
- Strengths: What are the strengths of your program (i.e., solid team members, good processes, good policies, senior management support, etc.)?
- Weaknesses: What are some weaknesses in your program (i.e., poor attendance at meetings, meetings too long, no software to manage your projects, one or two people doing all the work, pushback on change, etc.)?
- Opportunities: What are some opportunities you are missing out on that you need to take advantage of (i.e., clinical supply utilization management, expanding beyond just looking at new product requests, improving cost management oversight, adding a purchased service team, etc.)?
- Threats: What are the threats to your program right now (i.e., no training in advanced methods beyond what we know now, full agendas already, no clear cut goals or objectives, etc.)?
Create a Value Analysis Strategic Plan
With all of this great information in hand, you can now shape the program that you want to see for 2023 and beyond. I would suggest that you work with your Supply Chain Director and CFO to set some solid goals and objectives based on your SWOT analysis. This can be done in the form of a slide deck to make the visuals flow for each category. I recommend the following: Team Goals (save $3 million next year), People Goals (80% attendance), Time Objectives (limit meetings to 60 minutes, only agenda items with all required data/reports shall be discussed, etc.), and Advanced Objectives (deploy a clinical supply utilization program). Of course, there will be much more for each category of goal or objective, but I think you get the idea.
Above are just some great best practices that will no doubt help you with improving your value analysis and cost management efforts moving forward and help break you out of the endless rut of doing the same things over and over again while getting the same or similar results. If you are looking for newer and more advanced strategies then you have to work them into your value analysis program, and these are great ways to help you make this happen. Lastly, this will help you check the boxes for all those next level advanced results that your director, your VP, and your CFO believe you should be delivering.
|About Robert W. Yokl, Sr. VP of Value Analysis & Supply Chain Solutions|
|Robert is the Program Leader for SVAH Solutions that provides value analysis, clinical supply utilization, and savings validation tools to help organizations to gain the next level of savings beyond price and standardization.
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