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Manufacturing Simulation Game - "LEGO"

Resource Management
Part 4 of 5

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Shaping new behaviors for integrated resource planning must include a new measurement system in which each health care facility is focused on supply chain processes. These are measurements that establish new cultural norms and expectations, and measurements that define individual
behavior and standards of performance. It is important to change the processes before trying to implement system improvements, or else you wind up with project teams in constant conflict. Project team members will have different ideas, expectations, and measurements brought in from the unaligned organization.
There is one rule that all project management educators and experts agree on: Lack of employee ownership of the process will end in ex­pensive disappointment and/or failure. Use project objectives to jus­tify outside education and training in best practices, or utilize reliable software training applications. Involvement in education and training often helps soften attitudes against change and opens the opportunity for process ownership. How do you know you won't like it if you don't try it?
Designing the New System Requirements
Align organizational measurements and goals. Enforce procedures. Provide rewards and, most importantly, create a formal communica­tions loop—a diverse forum representing all players—to raise, address, and settle business issues in nonthreatening ways. Implement a reli­able decision-making process to resolve major business questions. Use information system tools to identify and document information flows and key milestones. And most importantly: educate, educate, educate and train, train, train.
Continuous improvement and monitoring of the new system is re­ality. Your system will never be perfect. As it grows, document process performance. Set a performance baseline for tracking and reference for assessment at a later date. Use benchmarking as a change manage­ment tool. Know thyself; question existing practices. Trace the value chain: are you getting what you need and expect? Identify best prac­tices, aiming for reasonable efficiency and effectiveness (never 100 percent). Identify causes and effects within your roles and processes. Why are you doing what you are doing in the way in which you are doing it?
Standards of Performance Like What, for Example?
• Like measurements that embrace supply chain management best practices and the APICS body of knowledge
• Like measurements that require procedure flow charts and coordi­nation with all stakeholders when implementing supply chain man­agement technologies
• Like vendor performance measurements that promote dependable deliveries and reduced lead times, rather than contingency storage space
• Like measurements that allow/require cross-functional participa­tion in product standardization, new product introduction, and old product phaseout.
Focus on decentralization. That is, getting everyone closer to the supply chain. All employees need to be made aware of how they make demands on the supply chain and ultimately need to become part of the supply chain solution. We in health care need to learn from other industry successes. Process ownership within health care seems to be a novelty. Many players don't take ownership or see themselves apart from those who manage and integrate supply-de­mand chain resources. Departmentalization needs to fall by the way­side and sharing of process steps needs to tightly map against supply chain integration points. ERP solutions have already provided real examples of supply integration that have already proven successful, for example, an employee keying in an online requisition keying in detailed order information directly sourced from a single data table or item master within the system. Every time a specific item is or­dered the data is consistent. Everyone works off the same item mas­ter reaping benefits of product consistency.
Clearly, developing a single item master for the whole institution is an incredible task, but a goal that is already proving to be cost-efficiencies of a process-centered solution. Other ERP goals are to formalize more item master processes with clear and enforceable rales and definitions. We want to expand bar code usage as a means of product identification and replacement for manual data entry. We want to promote and implement e-commerce and universal product num­bers. We want to get better, more useful information out of the sys­tem that more people can really use. We want to implement and use workflow routings, approvals, conferencing, and networking within our own walls. We believe that embracing and applying technology upgrades will drive a lot of our integration and inherently change legacy systems.

To Be Continued


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