The South African healthcare industry is a large and complex system, still reflecting, within places of its design, the nation’s fragmented history. The public sector comprises 52 health districts across 9 provinces managing approximately 1000 hospitals and a further 3500 health care clinics offering almost 87 000 beds. In parallel to the public system, private healthcare provides about 31 000 beds via a network of just over 200 hospitals – although this sector services only about 17% of the population through insurance offered by the 90 private medical schemes within the country.
The Oxford Dictionary defines excellence as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good, and John W. Gardner said: “Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well”. When it comes to supply chain, excellence is an ideal most organisations strive for, but within the supply chain world, the definition of excellence is harder to express. On a very simple level – supply chain excellence is encapsulated in the oft-repeated phrase – “delivering the right product, in the right quantity, to the right people, at the right place, at the right cost, every time”. While this phrase rolls off the tongue quite easily, achieving this utopia of supply chain performance is slightly more difficult.
Since the mid-90s, with the advent of accessible and exponential technology development, thought leaders within every field have touted the need for digitisation as the antidote to all ills.
Arguably, this race to adopt the latest technology has left a battleground scattered with failed organisations, who lost sight of their core value creating levers in their pursuit of digitisation, and suffered the ultimate price.