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Strategically Approaching the Business Leads to $9M in Savings for IHN Sourcing Group

When IHN Sourcing Group added aptitude as a resource to their contracting strategy in 2016, they started with commodity items resulting in about $2.3M of committed volume. With each contract the team proved the efficacy of the solution to their board, and they continued to drive bids and business through the online platform. Now, with over $30M in volume, IHN has grown to be one of the biggest proponents and users of the dynamic contracting platform.

Secrets to Success
The team is led by Shawn Katusin, Executive Director over IHN, who has been an active aptitude advocate, sharing his experience with both providers and suppliers to help grow the market. As the available categories increase, so does the opportunity for their organization.

In addition to advocating for the data-infused process, Katusin also says the ease of use enables his team and hospital members to frequently access and leverage the platform. They take advantage of support offered by their dedicated aptitude market executive and have quickly became some of the most agile users in the country.

In fact, two IHN team members were awarded the elite aptitude power user designation at the inaugural aptitude user forum, access18 held last September:

John Schoonover, who handles the contract coordination between aptitude and IHN members, insures members have the information they need including pricing and savings for each of their agreements.

Dawn Smith has submitted nearly every bid yielding many value-infused offers on behalf of IHN members. She digs into the data by category UNSPSC and supplier by member market share, to understand what their strategy needs to be before sending their RFP, resulting in a high level of success.

“When meeting with a member, we always review their purchase planning information in aptitude. I am a huge fan of the platform and access it nearly every day for insight into our performance,” explained Smith.

Leveraging technology and data for a clinically aligned supply chain

Because of the quick cycle time, the accessible analytics, and the savings that come as a result, the IHN operations committee continues to identify opportunities to leverage aptitude with 3 more initiatives ready to tee up any day now.

“Overall it’s just a really good solution. Our average cycle time is outstanding – just 70 days which is incredibly productive for a group of our size. As we have begun channeling PPI contracts through, those do take a little longer, but the value returned to IHN is that much more impressive. Since we fully incorporated the process, our members have saved a collective $9M,” explained Katusin.

New CQVA focused functionality that was recently released by aptitude is also being leveraged as a resource by the IHN team.

“We have found the new product catalog to have many uses, but in particular it helps when we have a back-order situation.  We can go to aptitude and quickly find an item to replace it with,” said Smith.

The platform also allows organizations to save their acceptable crosses for future reference, and aggregates information from all users to surface trends.

“As more healthcare providers upload their crosses, it becomes even more valuable.  The clinicians indicate what’s acceptable and the systems shows how many buyers utilize that product as a cross,” continued Smith.

Implementing strategic relationships

One of the elements that has contributed to the success IHN has seen is the growing supplier adoption of aptitude.

“Having more options in the platform has made it easier to transition from just commodity into more complex categories such as PPI and coronary.  As the big players see value, we have more and more opportunities to grow these partnerships,” said Katusin.

“The capabilities and evolution of aptitude allow for strategic conversations that help both our members and our suppliers.  I have quarterly business reviews with suppliers and we go over the compliance data from aptitude to guide those conversations and identify opportunities to manage our agreements.  It provides everything we need to discuss the business on both sides – as a neutral, shared source of information that we can all agree upon.”

Looking at the numbers, it’s hard to argue their success.

  • 50+ agreements
  • 70 day average cycle time
  • $30M+ in managed volume

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