May 17, 2020

Iowa hospitals save $14M with UHC Supply Chain

Supply Chain Digital
UHC Supply Chain
University of Iowa H
Freddie Pierce
2 min
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics save more than $14M thanks to better supply chain strategy with UHC Supply Chain
A supply chain strategy built on strong customer service and a partnership with UHC Supply Chain has helped UHC member University of Iowa Hospitals and...

A supply chain strategy built on strong customer service and a partnership with UHC Supply Chain has helped UHC member University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics initiate 35 projects that saved more than $14 million in 18 months.

“With my background in cardiology, I realized how important it is to understand the needs of end users and build relationships with them,” Frank Eischens, RN, director of procurement services said. “My priority was to change the supply chain management paradigm to a customer-based approach and instill in our staff an unrelenting desire to provide excellent customer service.”

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is Iowa's only comprehensive academic medical center. It comprises a 708-bed hospital and collaboration with University of Iowa Physicians, the state's largest multispecialty medical and surgical group practice.

“The supply chain has been in the forefront of our business strategy for about four years, and everyone's on board,” Sabi Singh, MS, MA, the hospital's assistant vice president for operational excellence and quality/safety said. “We use UHC SpendLINK® data to benchmark our spend against other academic medical centers down to line items. If we're not in the top 10th percentile, Frank and his team will take action.”

The procurement team leveraged their strong relationships with physicians to involve them in cost-cutting efforts, primarily through price negotiations and offering vendors bigger market shares. UHC also collaborated with University of Iowa staff in using data to identify and pursue all savings opportunities in other areas such as contracting, pricing, rebates, and tier optimization. The hospital's successful projects included:

  • Mining data from SpendLINK® to identify a savings opportunity for knee implants and sharing this with the department chair and surgeons, who agreed to assist with vendor negotiations. As a result, the organization renegotiated its contract and is saving more than $550,000 a year.
  • Standardizing the use of products in the neurovascular arena and consolidating their purchases with 1 vendor instead of 3, which has resulted in annual savings of more than $650,000.
  • Using UHC's Clinical Data Base/Resource Manager™ to analyze medication usage and achieve line item savings of more than $1.1 million on pharmacy costs.


Success in supply chain management is nothing new for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. In 2009, it was recognized as one of the top performers in the UHC Supply Chain Performance Excellence Collaborative.

“Frank and his team demonstrate how much can be accomplished by effectively building relationships with physicians and leveraging data to take advantage of numerous savings opportunities,” Jake Groenewold, UHC senior vice president, Supply Chain said. “We are proud to contribute to helping the University of Iowa and other UHC members optimize their supply chain efficiency and achieve sustainable cost reductions.”

Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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Jun 23, 2021

SAP Ariba to digitise procurement for Expo 2020 suppliers

2 min
SAP Ariba will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle for more than 25,000 suppliers at this year’s Expo 2020 Dubai

SAP Ariba will provide a unified digital procurement and payment platform for more than 25,000 suppliers at Expo 2020 Dubai

The global trade event, this year hosted in Dubai, was rescheduled from last year and will now take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. 

As the event’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, SAP Ariba solutions will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle, providing a streamlined experience for thousands of market leading, global suppliers and strengthening the global supply chain with enhanced transparency and efficiency. The cloud-based platforms operate through on SAP Ariba’s UAE public cloud data centre and connects to the Ariba Network. 

Expo 2020 "a long-term investment"

Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said the world trade event is  “a long-term investment in the future that aims to enhance opportunities for sustainable business connectivity and growth”, which stretches beyond Expo 2020’s six-month window. 

“Our partnership with SAP is an example of what can be achieved with the invaluable support of our technology partners to host one of the most digitally advanced World Expos ever,” he added. “The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions has transformed our end-to-end procure-to-pay cycle and helped set new standards of procurement automation for projects of this scale.”

To date, more than AED 1bn has already been transacted by Expo 2020 suppliers through SAP Ariba. The platform promotes collaborative partnerships and allows registered users to participate in sourcing events, negotiate and initiate contracts, and centralise their invoicing and payments in real time. 

Claudio Muruzabal, President of EMEA South, SAP, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is demonstrating global best practices in digitising its procurement process with SAP Ariba solutions to help gain visibility into its spend, tighten collaboration with its suppliers, and achieve process automation, including completely paperless invoicing.”

About Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai and is the first of the long-running World Expos to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia territory. The original World Expo, called the Great Exhibiton, was hosted in 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London, designed as a showcase for the innovations of the Industrial Revolution. 

Expo 2020 was originally due to run 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, but was last year postponed in light of COVID-19 restrictions - though some business has already taken place virtually. The event will place greater emphasis on innovation in sustainable solutions through the Sustainability District, blending technology and culture. It is expected that around 70 per cent of the 25 million attendees will be international visitors. 

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