Dayton Children’s Hospital: Deploying Supply Chain Management

In the healthcare industry, children’s hospitals have a unique mission. They are responsible for delivering quality care for some of the most vulnerable members of our society, with many having goals to positively transform the patient experience and improve care quality, while reducing operational inefficiencies in a rapidly changing, highly regulated industry. Increasingly, digital transformation is key to their success.

As part of Dayton Children’s Hospital’s (DCH) digital transformation, the leadership team knew they needed to shift to a new cloud-based enterprise planning (ERP) system to keep up with growing complexities. They selected Workday as their platform for this digital transformation, placing equal importance on finance, HR, and IT functions to support their growth.

After success with Workday Financial Management and Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), the DCH team selected Workday Supply Chain Management to further digitize their business practices. With 3,600 employees, DCH serves 20 counties in Ohio and eastern Indiana, spanning 75,000 patient days annually across 17 locations. Dayton Children’s was the fifth hospital, and second children’s hospital, to go live with Workday Supply Chain Management.

We sat down with David Farrall, corporate director of supply chain at DCH, to learn more about DCH’s supply chain management challenges and needs. Farrall discussed his team’s experience deploying a new supply chain management system, benefits they’re already seeing, and their partnership with Workday.

Can you share how the DCH team prepared for your recent supply chain management go live?

When I started with DCH, Workday had already been selected as our new supply chain management system. Since DCH had had great experience with Workday Financial Management and Workday HCM, integrating Workday Supply Management was a natural next step for us. We knew putting everything—all our data—in one system would be a key to our success.

The Workday team and our HR and finance change management team supported me, our newly appointed CIO, and others by introducing the new system. With my 20 years of experience in non-hospital supply chain, it was important for me and my team to work closely with Workday since hospital supply chain is more complex than many other businesses.

We started training by doing user acceptance testing (UAT) with a core team of our high-volume order placers. Then we put nearly everyone who’d placed a requisition in the past year into step-by-step classes to learn the tools and processes in Workday. Classes started with the basics of how to place, source, and find a requisition; and how to run reports, find purchase orders, and change or cancel an order. We have a slogan at DCH, “It starts with a requisition.” Our diligent training process helped ensure our team was well prepared for the go live.

What features are helping you the most so far, and what improvements have you seen since the deployment?

Previously, we were reliant on a brutal paper system that caused a lack of visibility into our inventory. Now using the mobile capabilities, we can easily track inventory and see item shortages, back orders, and delivery status—all in real time. For example, when a delivery goes into surgery, it’s scanned using a hand-held iPad and a photo is taken of the badge of the person who signed for it, so there’s full transparency. For example, end users can see the pick number and the delivery ticket number when the order is shipped from the warehouse. We can now more easily plan and resolve errors and also hold our suppliers more accountable for what they ship in.

We also launched using a new contract management functionality that is part of Workday Supply Chain Management and is integrated with Workday Financial Management. We have implemented spend approval limits, so all orders go to cost center managers for approval. End users can look up financial reports and see information on budgets, cost centers, order coding, and make changes to order errors as needed.

Can you talk about the reporting you’re using to increase transparency?

We implemented reporting on requisitions, so end users can now see delivery status on all the orders they’ve placed by time frame. They’re notified when their order is scanned and when it’s delivered.

We also started buyer workload reporting, broken down by cost centers, which includes how many requisitions each buyer cuts daily and the value of each. With this reporting, we can see if one buyer is working harder than another and can help even out that workload.

What advice would you give to other pediatric hospitals or acute care providers considering a change in their supply chain management system?

First, clean up your data. Specifically, clean up your item master before launching a new system. When I arrived at DCH, we had 22,000 items, and today we have only 7,000 items. We eliminated 50 percent of our stock keeping units (SKUs) by removing anything that hadn’t been used for more than 36 months. After our launch, we cleaned up even more with the support of our data analyst. Our analyst is able to ensure items continue to flow into the new system by making changes to the item descriptions or units of measurement as needed.

Second, work on your workflows. It’s key to have a team who can write business processes and understand your workflows to ensure routes are correct and can create modifications or do validations when problems arise.  

Can you talk about the partnership with Workday and the support you received?

The partnership between Workday and DCH is almost family-like. Implementing a new supply chain management system is a challenging undertaking, so it was amazing how easy the collaboration was.

When we first started working with Workday, we established a mutual understanding that we both wanted to make each other better. Workday wanted to improve our supply chain functionality, and we wanted to support them by sharing what we needed from our supply chain tools.

As functionalities are added, I’m eager to continue collaborating with the Workday team and provide feedback on what’s working and what can be improved.

Any closing thoughts?

Working for a non-profit children’s hospital is phenomenal. When I’m able to buy and source a teddy bear, a sound machine to help them sleep, or a needed medical supply for these kids when they’re going through their hardest day, I know I’m making a difference for them and their families. Being part of making that experience streamlined is why I love being at Children’s.