HTS Project Manager Roslyn Francois understands the complexities of construction projects and the critical milestones necessary to open the hospital as scheduled and within budget. Prior to working at HTS, Roslyn successfully managed two multi-million dollar equipment budgets for the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center replacement hospitals. She has developed, implemented, and managed programs to assist over 65 hospitals in maximizing their capital equipment assets and provided technical support for strategic planning and marketing activities as well.
In our 3 Questions Series, Roslyn provides an overview of HTS’s Building Load and Logistics process by answering three questions that are often in the minds of hospital leaders who are about to embark on a construction project for their facilities.
Q1: Logistics has gained a prominent seat at the table for hospital management. Can you give us an idea of how this evolved?
A: While hospitals are well-equipped to handle the day-to-day flow of materials through existing supply chain operations, this volume of materials dwarfs in comparison to the volume of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) that comes with the opening of a new health care facility. Consequently, facilities often realize they need help with logistics.
I recently had a conversation with the CEO of one of our clients and shared this analogy with him to help illustrate the work that lies ahead. “If you were to physically turn the building over and shake it, nothing would fall out.” I went on to share with him pictures of what to expect in the coming months. His response after the presentation? “Wow. That was very eye-opening”. The client went on to develop a building load plan and allocate resources to undertake the building load effort. HTS was able to support the client by providing tools & templates, samples, best practices, and supplemental staffing resources so that the client wouldn’t have to start from scratch.
Q2: What are the three biggest challenges in building load?
A: (1) Ensuring that all tasks and responsibilities are considered and that there are no gaps in the logistics workflow: A typical workflow diagram can contain as many as 100
tasks and as many as 15 defined roles. The best practice is to develop a roles and responsibilities matrix to minimize overlap in staff roles.
(2) Developing a plan to oversee the receiving, storage, staging, and overall logistics for all FF&E: Warehousing and staging areas will be needed along with coordinated delivery logistics. Once the plan is developed, daily communication is required to ensure all team members are working in concert with the plan.
(3) Tracking and monitoring the chain of custody for FF&E: Having consistent, reliable, and cross-linked data is instrumental in minimizing delayed installations, testing, and user acceptance.
Q3: Give us 2 fail-safe practices to keep the building load organized and on-time with minimal issues and challenges.
A: (1) Appoint an on-site logistics manager and equip that person with the necessary tools to help manage the thousands of line items moving through his or her pipeline. That person should have the capability to problem solve delivery or installation issues in the field.
(2) Begin with the end in mind. By that, I mean to be proactive and develop a building load strategy, then, organize your purchasing (specifically your purchase orders), warehousing and storage spaces, and deployment activities according to that building load plan.