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Performance and admiration underscore the Gartner ranking of healthcare supply chain partners

by Scott Wallask

November 18, 2010

By Scott Wallask, Insider Learning Network

In announcing its list of the “Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25,” Gartner reinforced the idea that while a return on assets is desirable, being respected by peers in the industry can be just as big a boost to SCM success.

The full list is available on Gartner’s website, so I won’t reiterate the rankings. But below are the top five supply chain leaders in healthcare, along with some thoughts by two researchers who spoke during the Gartner Healthcare Exchange 2010 conference in Boston on Wednesday:

  1. Owens & Minor – Excellent financial results, high peer reviews, and a touted distribution system to hospitals helped this company take the top spot, said Wayne McDonnell, a research director of AMR supply chain research at Gartner.
  2. Johnson & Johnson – Its supply chain capabilities garner attention, particularly given the company’s diverse business lines, McDonnell said.
  3. Sisters of Mercy Health System – With more than 400 hospitals and clinics in the Midwest, Mercy has pioneered self-distribution systems, said Eric O’Daffer, a research director of AMR supply chain research at Gartner.
  4. Cardinal Health – In providing pharmaceutical and medical products to more than 60,000 locations daily, Cardinal Health has established supply chain inventory success and a great return on assets, O’Daffer said.
  5. Novartis – Many in the industry have noticed company’s development of an effective supply chain response system, McDonnell said.  

The forerunners in the healthcare supply chain have started to embrace a common strategy, McDonnell said: Connect SCM strategies to healthier patient outcomes.

The irony from my perspective is that many patients don’t appreciate the relevance of the Gartner top 25 list, namely the role that supply chain partners play in a medical center’s day-to-day operations.

The rankings came from Gartner’s analysis of 156 manufacturers, distributors, pharma cies, and U.S. health systems, along with industry peer polling.

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