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Alteryx for Healthcare: Supply Chain Forecasting

AlteryxAdvocacy
Alteryx
Alteryx
Overview of Use Case

With Alteryx, the Analytics team at an American healthcare provider is using automation and repeatable workflows to create a streamlined solution to analyze and make decisions for their supply chain organization. They drastically cut time cleaning data and focused their efforts on supply and inventory analysis to more accurately forecast spending for drugs, devices, and supplies. This has led to huge improvements in operational efficiencies, and most importantly, they intend to experience dramatic cost savings over the next few years.

 
Describe the business challenge or problem you needed to solve

Our Supply Chain Analytics team was spending a lot of time pulling and prepping data, to the point where we were performing minimal analysis because we were stuck in Excel, thwarting any cost savings for the department. We wanted to find a solution to automate but didn’t have the expertise within our team. Most of the analysts are subject matter experts, who are very qualified in Excel and Tableau but do not have much experience in the areas of automation or coding.

 

After doing initial research on different software, we found several great options but most of them required extensive knowledge of Python and R. We came across Alteryx after learning it was the most user friendly and had the most out-of-the-box functionality. Our team gave it a shot and after a few workflows, we were sold!

  
Describe your working solution

Supply Chain is all about reducing spend and optimizing efficiency across different departments and practices. It’s very easy in theory but difficult to execute at scale, particularly at large organizations like ours. At our hospital group,  Epic  is used to manage the vendor master list, but that data needs a lot of cleaning. In order to make sense of it, we export a massive spreadsheet with key product and pricing data into Excel. With all the data cleansing happening in Excel, it was not easily repeatable, especially if we needed to refresh or modify the data set. This served as the basis of our analysis on supply spend and was heavily used when sending Request for Proposals (RFP) to medical suppliers. Additionally, we have several other spreadsheets stemming from the Opportunity Analysis, so it’s a crucial part of our operation. The Opportunity Analysis process was taking over 40 hours of weekly scrubbing and data prep prior to making any meaningful recommendations to leaders. Ultimately, it would take weeks or months before we could influence operations and see any changes.

 

With Alteryx, it was possible to put our entire previous process into one, repeatable workflow that ran once every morning. After only a few days, with help from the Community, we learned how to automate our main method to pull data for the Opportunity Analysis. From there, data analysts could easily organize and analyze the findings in Tableau to help make strategic decisions on supplier standardization, conversion, and cost information before sharing it with leaders. Now, we can schedule, automate processes, and easily push to production. For our coders, they use Alteryx to supplement their skillsets while accomplishing all the same steps in a fraction of the time. We used the Community as a valued source to help us develop more comprehensive solutions.

 

Alteryx allows us to harness our data to optimize supply and inventory spend for our several facilities across a variety of different departments. We monitor maverick buying of items so having an increased level of granularity lets us build insights to identify opportunities to minimize spend. For example, our team is currently amidst a data driven project to engage physicians to identify and standardize the use of items and drugs to produce the same outcomes at a lower cost, which we anticipate will lead to seven figure savings over the course of the next five years.

 
Describe the benefits you have achieved

Alteryx is a game-changer! It has profoundly shifted the way we work and is essential to our team. We feel enabled to make a real impact and help drive business outcomes. Using Alteryx, we spend less time on data wrangling and more time performing analysis to impact our bottom line. We've cut process time by 75% and estimate that we’ve saved hundreds of hours using Alteryx and anticipate that number will increase when we start to incorporate advanced analytics and increased automation. Our organization achieved the following process improvements using Alteryx:

  • Automated a data cleansing workflow
  • Sped up the search process for different products within each category
  • Increased accuracy by removing manually touches
  • Streamlined the automation of our RFP and conversion spreadsheet process
 
Comments
Mansi3
7 - Meteor

Hi Team, 

Can I get this workflow?