Workday to Integrate Steps for Managing Orders in Supply Chain
By Jean Yeager
The Supply Chain team at Cook Children’s keeps our facilities stocked with huge numbers of products -- from alcohol prep pads (2 million plus) to stethoscopes (more than 30,000) each year.
Ordering, receiving and paying for all those products will soon be channeled through Workday, which is replacing Lawson in July. Workday will impact every employee at Cook Children’s to some degree. But for those who work in Supply Chain, the implementation of Workday will vastly change the daily operations.
John Kott, AVP Supply Chain, predicts Workday will make it easier for clinicians to put in requisitions for the supplies they need. Another benefit? Workday provides more ability for Supply Chain to anticipate snags that could disrupt a product’s flow from the vendors to delivery at Cook Children’s warehouses.
“You don't want to discover that you're out of a product when you're completely out of a product,” John said. “It's inevitable, especially in these current conditions, you're going to run out of things. But you want to know as far upstream as possible to mitigate, if possible. The sooner you can identify what's likely to become a problem, the more time there is to plan and react.”
Mitigation might mean come up with a new plan, another approach, or a substitution if a certain product isn’t available. It takes problem solving, flexibility and creativity.
At Cook Children’s, a staff of about 60 employees works in the department, which serves the medical centers in Fort Worth and Prosper as well as many of our clinics. Pharmaceuticals don’t fall under the responsibility of Supply Chain in our system.
John explained that the supply chain in health care settings puts products in the hands of the people who directly interact with patients. Bandages, sutures, disposable underpads …. the list stretches on. “It’s an important component,” he said. “If we don't have the right product that the caregiver needs to have at that moment in time in the right place, then it's going to interrupt that patient experience.”
When a department at Cook Children’s places a requisition, the Supply Chain team processes the order and receives it in Fort Worth or Prosper. Employees verify it’s the correct item and the correct amount. “If we ordered two cases of a product, they check it and make sure we really got two cases,” John said.
The COVID-19 global pandemic interrupted the supply chain of many medical and non-medical products. Other interrupting factors can include trade sanctions, transportation labor shortages, and natural disasters. John remembers the difficulty for hospitals trying to obtain IV solutions after a hurricane a few years ago.
His department keeps an updated spreadsheet of items that appear to be on the cusp of scarcity. The list constantly changes. It currently includes 8-ounce baby bottles, saline irrigation solution, trach tubes and about 100 other items of concern. “It gives us predictive analytics on what we think we're going to have an issue with in the coming days so we can do something about it sooner,” John said.
Employees in the Supply Chain department are always working to improve operations so our clinicians can be confident the supplies they need will be on hand. They want to minimize any administrative burden. They strategize to eliminate waste and they work to achieve cost savings that can be reinvested for patient care.
Workday Benefits for Supply Chain
For more than a year, the staff has been juggling their usual responsibilities while gearing up for the switch to Workday. Products will be ordered and received – and invoices paid – through the new platform. John says employees are excited about a more modern and integrated system than the version of Lawson we’ve used for many years.
He knows that change of this magnitude will come with some challenges. Yet there’s a recognition that the end result will be positive once any initial bugs are fixed after the July launch. Further improvements will happen in the optimization phase.
John expressed gratitude to everyone involved in the Workday transition. Along with Supply Chain, the Human Resources and Finance areas at Cook Children’s will also see big changes. He wants his colleagues to know that Workday will improve the efficiency and ease of obtaining the necessary bandages, stethoscopes etc.
“We take caring for kids very seriously. Again, we don't provide direct patient care. But we do put the products in the hands of those that heal, and we don't take that lightly. Everything we do is about placing children first and putting the right processes and people in place to do our best for the children.”
More about John Kott
He has a Bachelor’s in Finance, a Nursing Facility Administration license and a Master’s in Health Services Management. He came to Cook Children’s in 2022 from Norman Regional Health System in Norman, Okla., where he was the director of Supply Chain Management since 2015. The Mexia, Texas, native was attracted to the reputation for excellence at Cook Children’s and the opportunity to move back to his home state.
He enjoys hanging out with his wife and their two daughters. His hobbies include travel, exercise, and talking about sports.