An independent third party interview with Debbie Schmidt, Director of Supply Chain Services and Bob Slesinski, Value Analysis Coordinator, at Carle Foundation Hospital
The Carle Foundation is the not-for-profit parent company of an integrated network of healthcare services. Their supply chain operations is a complex web of patient transport, logistics, outside couriers, purchasing, and storeroom, among others. All these departments and their administrators — as well as surgeons and other clinicians — rely on the supply chain to provide the devices they need to operate smoothly.
Carle Foundation was tasked with reducing their expenses by 20 million dollars. But finding cost-saving opportunities quickly and efficiently can be difficult — especially after you’ve already identified the bigger contracts. “We wanted to find those product categories that nobody thinks about,” Ms. Schmidt said. “We wanted to analyze the data and categorize the spend, so we could see where the opportunities were.”
The smaller projects can really add up. “We didn’t even think of some of the potential cost savings that Curvo showed us,” Ms. Schmidt said.
Getting to Know Curvo
Ms. Schmidt first got to know Curvo by talking to them by phone. “They’re pretty laid back and easy to work with,” she said. “Smart, too; they really know what they’re talking about.” When the Curvo team visited on site, both Ms. Schmidt and Mr. Slesinski found them to be “clever and fun, and always looking for ways to make the [Curvo] system better.”
No Project Too Small
Curvo was a perfect fit for Carle because Curvo was open and flexible about tackling a myriad of smaller, more difficult projects that others wouldn’t take. “Curvo is unique,” Ms. Schmidt said. “They are incredibly agile and quick to take information from us and leverage it in the Curvo tool.”
Fast and Intuitive Start Up
“We were up and running in a matter of weeks. It was easy, simple, and efficient. Everything was categorized by the total dollar; we were then able to choose which categories to pursue,” Ms. Schmidt said.
Proactive and Supportive
Sometimes pricing agreements change, and you may not see the increase right away. “Curvo is proactive in identifying price trends. When pricing suddenly goes up, they bring it to our attention, and we see if there’s anything we can do to mitigate that increase,” Ms. Schmidt said. She added that when Carle needed something evaluated in a different way, Curvo provided a very quick turnaround.
Endless Cost-Saving Opportunities
What’s more, Curvo also provides Carle price benchmarking merged right within the Curvo tool, giving the hospital even more opportunity to negotiate effectively.
“With Curvo, now I feel I ALWAYS have a tool to find an opportunity. I always have ideas [for supply chain cost savings] to share with administrators and surgeons,” Ms. Schmidt said.
Within just six months, Carle experienced $165,000 in annual savings with only four Curvo projects. “When we first started [increasing supply chain cost savings], we were doing big projects, $100,000 to $300,000 a pop; but they die off after a while. To find three to four projects that tally more than $100,000 that you can do efficiently — when it’s not a lot of lifting, that’s awesome. Curvo leaves us free to do the other things,” Mr. Slesinski said.
Curvo’s software helped Carle Foundation negotiate better pricing locally, without expensive consultants. In the first nine months, Carle experienced a 5X ROI. Specifically, Curvo helped:
- Evaluate and move business to a new sports medicine instruments vendor for a $64,000 savings
- Convert to new sports medicine soft tissue implants and vascular closure vendors, which together saved $36,000
- Identify a price increase on one of their products, which saved $32,000
Simply put? “Curvo helps us look good,” Mr. Slesinski said. “We don’t have churn and disappointment. We can implement savings without major conversions.”