Supplier Diversity and the Healthcare Industry: Thought Leadership at the 2016 Healthcare Symposium

The NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council held its 6th annual Healthcare Symposium on September 6th and 7th in New Brunswick, NJ. Developed in partnership with, and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, this two-day event was titled Accelerate 2020 – Sustainable Growth: A Global Perspective.

The healthcare industry accounts for about one-sixth of the entire economy — more than any other industry. The supply chain is the second largest and fastest growing expense for healthcare providers after labor. Some of the greatest forces impacting healthcare today are the increased pressure to create greater efficiency and cost savings through innovation –particularly for pharmaceutical companies; the shifting demographics of the U.S. population; and the change in business model for healthcare providers brought on by the Affordable Care Act.

Featured speakers included: Len DeCandia, Enterprise CPO at Johnson & Johnson; Terrence Clark, President, CEO of the NY & NJ MSDC; Marquis Miller, V.P. Field Operations at the National Minority Supplier Development Council; Sharon Patterson, President & CEO of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, Inc. , Anu Hans, CPO Supply Chain, and Beverly Jennings, Head of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at Johnson & Johnson.

The first day of the Symposium featured two panel discussions featuring supply chain and procurement professionals from the NY & NJ MSDC membership. The first panel, Diversity and the Healthcare Supply Chain was moderated by Mecca Santana, Vice President, Diversity and Community Relations at Westchester Medical Center and included: Michael DeMartis, Director of Purchasing at Mount Sinai Health System; Brian Murphy, V.P. Procurement, Northwell Health; and Courtney Billington, V.P. Janssen Supply Chain, Johnson & Johnson.

The second panel, Healthcare Industry Procurement and a Changing World: Discussion with Healthcare Industry Procurement and Supply Chain Executives, was moderated by Rick Hughes of GEP Consulting and Chairman of the Billion Dollar Roundtable. Panelists included: William Gunn, V.P. Category & Supplier Management, Johnson & Johnson; Mike Hoffman, Chief Procurement Officer at Pfizer, Inc.; and Allen Esses, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Westchester Medical Center.

Some of the key ideas that came out of the two discussions were that healthcare providers such as hospitals are looking at purchases differently because patients are receiving more care outside the hospital. As a result, they are seeing a reduced need for the products & services traditionally used in hospitals, and an increased need for innovative ways to deliver services to patients.

Pharmaceutical executives discussed the challenge of bringing on new diverse suppliers while at the same time, being asked to reduce the number of suppliers they work with. A recurring theme throughout the discussion was innovation. Suppliers that can help bring innovation to processes, products and services have a great chance of success.

“Leadership and innovation are part of our company’s DNA”, says Dorcas Patterson, Global Logistics Category Leader & V.P. WW Transportation at Johnson & Johnson, NY-NJ MSDC Board Member and one of the event’s key leaders. “Bringing together our Category leaders with minority suppliers and other healthcare industry professionals for an opportunity to network and think about the future of our business and industry opens opportunities—not just for suppliers but also for our Category leadership”.

Day two of the symposium was focused on doing business with Johnson & Johnson. Speakers from Johnson & Johnson included Beverly Jennings, Head of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion; and Anu Hans, CPO Supply Chain. They provided a high-level view of the company’s supplier diversity program, and its priorities when seeking suppliers for their supply chain.

The day also featured Category overviews, providing a detailed look at specific buying needs across different categories at Johnson & Johnson including packaging, external manufacturing, chemicals, precision plastics and logistics.

To provide attendees with a supplier perspective, Terrence Clark, President & CEO of the NY & NJ MSDC led a panel of minority business owners that have won opportunities with companies in the healthcare industry. The day culminated with targeted one-on one meetings with suppliers and J&J category leaders.

“This symposium is one of The Council’s industry-specific forums, and our first event hosted by Johnson & Johnson”, says Terrence Clark, President & CEO of the NY & NJ MSDC. “We develop these events to get like-minded people together with potential suppliers that would be of interest to them thereby increasing the chances of contracts between our minority businesses and our corporate members.”

Feedback from many of the attendees about the event was positive.

Donyshia Boston-Hill, CEO of Keeper of the Brand said, “As a new member of the MSDC, I left feeling informed, energized and motivated to collaborate with Johnson and Johnson as you build Happier and Healthier Lives.”

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