purchasing position but no format
April 10, 2013 6:43 PM   Subscribe

I will start at the beginning. The company that I work for has 15 minor surgical sites and add to that many clinics. So this company has never had a purchasing manager before, each site purchased supplies directly and nobody was watching the supplier for errors, low and behold, years later they realize they have been getting ripped off....

I happen to be one of the companies longest employees and have maintained a good system of ordering supplies for the site I worked at before taking this purchasing manager position and still order for. A few months ago the big wigs asked me if I'd take on the "purchasing manager" position and at first I hesitated but with an added raise I took the job.
My problem is that there is no plan for this position...I have to make it up as I go along. So far I have gotten company X to load all of our sites under one tier for purchasing and am monitoring orders so that people are getting the most cost efficient product.
My problem is that I don't know how to keep track of everything...I have spreadsheets on excel but I am sure there has to be a program or something easier.
Any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I do have a degree in information science but it has been a few years since I graduated and haven't used any skills since, I hemmed and hawed about getting my master's. I think one reason they picked me for this position is that I have know the in's and out's of this particular business well so I can switch out products that work and are cost efficient.
I am contemplating going back for a purchasing/logistics degree as NYC is the place I'd like to be but that's a different story.
posted by irish01 to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some googling suggests that there is a niche software industry that caters to this. I don't want to ignorantly supply links without any ability to discern their quality, and I lack any familiarity. But have you googled things like "medical supplies inventory management tracking software"? I'd also suggest looking at the ads in industry trade journals and maybe going to a trade show or two (especially if there's one dedicated to software or technology). There also may be systems integrators that specialize in your kind of businesses and can put together a solution for you.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:18 PM on April 10, 2013

Start with the American Purchasing Society and try to find the trade organization for medical/surgical purchasers. Talk to other people who do medical/surgical purchasing. They should be able to give you a lot of help, and merely joining will put suppliers in touch with you.
posted by theora55 at 9:54 PM on April 10, 2013

Does your Practice Management Software have an Inventory/Purchasing function? You might contact your vendor to see if they have purchasing software that interfaces with your PMS to keep things simple. I'm a Purchasing Manager at a veterinary teaching hospital, so please get in touch if you have more specific questions.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:55 AM on April 11, 2013

If your company uses a group purchasing organization, like HealthTrust, they should be able to help you identify some options. (If your company does not use a GPO, joining one is another way you can save them a lot of money.)
posted by Snerd at 12:01 PM on April 11, 2013

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