June 2016 | Operative IQ

Healing the Budget of Medical Equipment Overhead

Source: INTALERE BEST PRACTICES COMPENDIUM: Supply Chain/Data Management or Supply Cost Efficiency

Healing the Budget of Medical Equipment Overhead


The difficulty in monitoring, track and replace expiring and obsolete medical supplies were costing Bell Ambulance thousands of dollars annually in overhead. Bell Ambulance was stockpiling supplies that had a limited shelf life to avoid the running out of crucial items. This led to a great deal of wasted capital and an increased the required amount of physical space to store the extra supplies.


Bell Ambulance implemented a multi-faceted approach to lower overhead costs and reduce waste caused by the expired supplies. SKUs were prioritized consistent with company objectives, using the appropriate number of product categories and leveraging the investment to maximize fill rates. Safety stock levels were updated dynamically, with levels for each category based on the financial goals of the business, which served to reduce safety stock inventory and out-of-stock situations, and increase revenue. A central supply office was developed to ensure all equipment is well maintained, inventory levels are verified and items with approaching expiration dates are placed on more frequently used ambulances.


Successful implementation of centralized ordering and the stocking processes have resulted in maximizing efficient and cost-effective purchasing and storage solutions. Medical supply purchasing decreased by 8.5% in the first fiscal year while call volume increased by 5.5%.


Bell Ambulance is the largest Emergency Medical Transport company in Wisconsin. The agency is headquartered in Milwaukee. It has a fleet of 60 emergency vehicles and a staff of 350 employees. Bell Ambulance responds to 70,000 medical calls annually. It is a progressive, client-oriented company devoted to providing high-quality emergency and non-emergency medical services. Bell Ambulance began using Operative IQ in 2009 to control their medical supplies and equipment.


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