Purchasing Office Helps Close Links in Supply Chain
NYMC Stays Ahead Of The Curve To Fulfill Procurement Needs
Disruptions in the global supply chain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have become all too familiar. From computer chips to baby formula and countless items in between, not to mention shipping delays and backlogs, individuals and organizations have had to get creative and do their best to forecast their needs and plan their purchases. Maribel Giraldo, M.S., director of procurement services, shares how New York Medical College (NYMC) is dealing with supply chain issues.
What are some of the items that have been most challenging to acquire?
We always challenge ourselves to make the best and most appropriate purchases, and most of the time we are quite successful. However, recently, there have been a few items which have become a greater challenge than usual. This list includes personal protection equipment (PPE), computers and technology devices as well as lab equipment. We were even surprised to find that in some cases, coffee has been on backorder.
What has been your strategy for supply chain issues?
We have found supply chain issues to be a challenge, however, our best strategy to overcome this is to strengthen our partnerships and do our best to have multiple vendors available where their inventory often overlaps. Our office is constantly seeking backup options with alternative suppliers. This has proven successful to mitigate the supply chain issues. We unfortunately have found we simply cannot rely on just one source for any given item. NYMC and our campus is incredibly unique. It is not just one school—it is multiple schools, research facilities, the Family Health Center, student housing and all the departments that work to support each and every facet of this unique institution. Sometimes, there is only one item that can be purchased from one specific vendor and those items often prove the hardest to substitute. However, when there is an alternative to a vendor or product, keeping an open mind and being flexible is key.
Do you have any tips for purchasers?
While we are aware that last minute purchasing emergencies do happen, the greatest tip I can share is that being flexible with workable solutions will also help expedite orders. As part of part of Touro University (TU), we know supply chain issues are prevalent throughout all parts and schools within Touro. I work very closely with Wanda Hernandez, executive director of operations and procurement at TU, and we often confer and support each other to find the best possible solution for everyone.