Healthcare Supply Chain Week | Associate Stories


October 12, 2018 by The Resource Group


Q: Good Morning Andrea! Let’s start off with describing your professional background and how you got the The Resource Group.

Andrea: Morning! I graduated from Western Michigan University with my undergraduate degree in business administration and worked for a couple of years in the grocery industry where I managed stores with over 500 unionized employees for three years.  After this, I went onto school for my Master in Business Administration (MBA) and was connected to an opportunity at the local hospital working on Business Integration—also known as the Symphony project. Once this was completed, I stayed on the hospital staff as an Inventory Analyst and eventually worked my way up to an Associate Manager of Operations with The Resource Group.

Q: Grocery stores and healthcare seem like two completely disconnected industries; what made you decide to switch and go into the healthcare space?

Andrea: While I was getting my MBA there was always discussion about the growing need for business acumen in healthcare—people who had business skills and wanted to improve the healthcare landscape. As an individual, I really wanted to get into a career where I was making an impact on people’s lives. I realized that in the role of supply chain I could use my skills and assist in improving a hospital’s bottom line while connecting with a more meaningful Mission.

Q: In your current role as Associate Manager of Operations, what are some of the challenges you face and what would you say is one of the most important aspect of your role?

Andrea: In my current role, my main responsibility is leading a team responsible for a lot of fast-paced changes. Not many people love change, so convincing others to adapt well is probably the toughest aspect of my role.  With that being said, one of the most important aspects of my position is building and maintaining relationships throughout the healthcare facility so that change becomes easier for the end-user.

Q: What are some tactics you use to build these positive relationships?

Andrea: I would say my tactic is building trust so I can do my job and do it well.  I always tell my team we follow through, we exceed at what we do, and if we don’t, then we own up to our mistakes—even if they didn’t stem from any wrongdoing on our end.  What I’ve learned is no one likes someone who pushes mistakes onto others, however, people do respect those who actively acknowledge mistakes, listen, and learn how they can improve for the future.

Q: Can you share with us a story of how trust and relationship management has assisted in your role and goals?

Andrea: A couple of years ago it was decided that our facilities needed to become more competitive in the market.  A lot of these conversations on how this would occur were happening more on the clinical side—rightfully so. However, after those initial conversations, the Clinical Directors came to us [The Resource Group local team] with [their] ideas and asked us: ‘How can we make this happen?’. Being invited to be a part of the clinical process at the beginning and not in the middle or at the end was, to me, a sign of trust and respect for what we do.  It was such a rewarding experience to be able to assist the clinical teams in the goals they wanted to accomplish, and by working with them in this capacity they were able to really see the intricacies that supply chain has in relation to clinical care. Fast forward to present day, and we have assisted in successfully adding five new procedures to our location which is not only bringing in revenue for the system but is also serving a huge need in our patient population.

Q: Outside of building trust and relationships with clinical staff, what do you think sets The Resource Group and your local team apart from a typical supply chain and allows you to impact clinical opportunities?

Andrea: First off, our local team is great. We are a collaborative group, who are invigorated by challenges and opportunities, and are always thinking about the patient and clinical staff first. I would say these things are true for the local teams across all of our Participants, which I think makes The Resource Group different. I also think a unique aspect of what we do is we remove a lot of extra work at the local level through our processes and our model.  We listen intently and create innovative solutions that are unique to our end users. Because of this, we are able to reduce uncertainties and own the supply chain space with great trust from our end-users. This leads us to own the supply chain space from start to finish, which you don’t always see in typical healthcare supply chain solutions.