Geoffrey H. Silver, CEO, Sterling Healthcare Logistics
Healthcare practices, facilities, and hospitals are becoming more consolidated, and health systems are growing, merging, and acquiring. As this happens, supply chains within these merged organizations remain siloed and separate. Healthcare providers need to address this because inconsistency between these supply chains will negatively impact their bottom line. The major drawback remains in the fact that each part of the supply chain works independently, creating misaligned activities that prevent it from working as a system. Supply Chain Management in healthcare should ensure complete end-to-end visibility of information among suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and customers.
Founded in 2012, Sterling Healthcare Logistics provides an innovative supply chain solution that utilizes its proprietary technology to reduce costs, maximize operational efficiencies, and provide optimum transparency into a complex and fragmented healthcare supply chain system.
Geoffrey H. Silver, the CEO of Sterling Healthcare Logistics (SHL), began his entrepreneurial career in the healthcare industry at the age of 19. It was during that time when he was working in the laboratory testing space that Silver was approached by a customer to help devise a solution that would optimize the supply chain. Driven by enthusiasm to tackle this challenge, Silver readily agreed. Contrary to his expectations, the sheer amount of discrepancies in healthcare supply chains were staring at him in the face. The primary concern revolved around the range of prices quoted on the same product to different ambulatory clinics and facilities of large healthcare systems. In order to bring the alignment of prices, products, invoices, and purchase orders under scrutiny, Silver realized that healthcare supply chains had to be integrated and the solution to do that should provide a single source of truth.
Hence, SHL’s ACXSS, an affordable cloud-based supply chain management solution that streamlines the purchasing process by utilizing its intelligent single source multi-vendor Marketplace and Dashboard. ACXSS is a scalable solution for any size or type of healthcare organization that significantly improves every step of the procurement process and enhances existing systems to improve operational efficiencies. The comprehensive solution leverages experience, relationships, contracts, and technology to help an organization achieve its financial and operational goals. ACXSS enables multiple connections within the existing vendors, GPO’s and services. Integration is seamless to be quickly loaded, live, and functional in a short amount of time and ordering supplies.
The ACXSS Marketplace is a cloud-based multi-vendor ordering platform for multiple users and locations. It is a holistic web portal where the end-users—who procure supplies for their own facilities within the same healthcare system—can make order requests and send them for approval. Following the order request, the ACXSS technology aligns vendor contracts with that of group purchasing organizations (GPOs), identifies discrepancies if any, and pushes the order forward for approval and then to the accounts payable departments.
We are there with our customers as their partner from the beginning of integration and through their operations
All these diagnostic capabilities are enabled in real-time and in a live environment, allowing the customer to keep a check on vendor price creeps, overpayments, invoice mismatches, double payments, among others, and resolve them immediately.
The software creates a master file for each product being purchased and ensures pricing parity across the entire system’s facilities, vendors, contracts, and GPOs. SHL’s solution is a quintessential purchase order lifecycle manager for healthcare organizations that helps them identify cost-savings opportunities in their supply chain. The ordering process created by ACXSS Marketplace is complemented on the backend with an analytics dashboard.
The ACXSS Dashboard provides instant oversight into the entire organization with real-time analytics, reporting, and true spend visibility. It allows the customer to access all their data on pricing, purchases, expenditures, among others, viewable in periods such as year-to-date, quarter-to-date, monthly, and daily. A single-pane-of-glass view on the dashboard allows C-suite personnel to make informed decisions based on supply chain trends of the organization, visualized in a graphical form.
The Requestor/Approver feature allows the administrators to set specific approval thresholds for orders by user, spend and location. The Procure to Pay process enables users to efficiently manage the entire purchase order life cycle. The Sterling Virtual Materials Manager provides Master Item File Management & Maintenance including GPO and Contract Alignment. The Three-Way Matching tool allows consumers to confirm between the Purchase Order, the Packing Slip, and the Invoice, and the Customized Reporting provides for real-time spend visibility across all locations with enterprise to line-item detail. The Smart Inventory tool allows customers to enhance the supply chain process by establishing a rules-based inventory ordering system while the Budgeting Tool allows them to set budgets based on location, category, user and date range.
“We don’t just provide the software; we work in tandem with the client so that they utilize and thereon, identify savings opportunities, and reduce supply-chain costs by 10-20 percent, and in some cases, by up to 30 percent,” says Silver. “We are there with our customers as their partner from the beginning of integration and through their operations,” adds Silver.
SHL also provides innovative supply chain consulting services wherein it provides management tools such as Master Item File Management & Maintenance, including GPO and Contract Alignment. Sterling reviews customers’ purchasing data to streamline and maximize their groups’ contracts and savings. SHL implements its contracts and unifies them across all of their locations. Furthermore, the Sterling GPO is a large Group Purchasing Program designed to meet the specific needs for any size or type of healthcare organization. By joining Sterling, any organization can utilize its aggregated GPO contracts to improve their bottom line.
In recent years, SHL has showcased pure dominance in this domain. For instance, a health care facility was buying vaccines from three different vaccine manufacturers by investing millions of dollars annually. Using its technology, SHL integrated all into one system, which drove a hundred percent compliance and enabled them to get substantial discounts and unusual contracts on vaccines. SHL helped the customer to maximize its purchasing power, increase rebates, and eliminate all redundancy by ensuring the products were completely aligned with the customer’s strategic partners. In another instance, SHL assisted a customer by utilizing its easily accessible analytics through its technology and enabled them to take what was once a fragmented approach to basically standardizing the products, the pricing and delivery across the spectrum. Consequently, the customer was able to save a tremendous amount of money, improve patient care and provide additional services.
"We’re utilizing our technology to advance the supply chain process into the future and we pride ourselves on our ability to listen and collaborate with our current and potential customers"
Sterling continues to add new features and services to their application at an extremely fast pace due to their desire to constantly advance technology and stay ahead of the industry. In January 2020, Sterling is launching the latest version of its ACXSS application. “We’re utilizing our technology to advance the supply chain process into the future and we pride ourselves on our ability to listen and collaborate with our current and potential customers, as this has really allowed us to accelerate our software development and roll out our future updates, reporting analytics and new modules to our customers who have been an integral part of this entire process,” says Silver. Unlike other companies who roll out upgrades once a year, Sterling takes into account the customers’ feedback on a weekly basis and incorporates it into their solution. Sterling has users in almost all 50 states and members using the ACXSS application internationally. Sterling plans to continue to expand rapidly in the upcoming year, setting their sights for growth in every sector of the healthcare market, including surgery centers, urgent cares, and all different size medical groups and health systems.