Eliminate four avoidable pain points in your construction project

by Cindy Juhas

nyone who has ever opened a new healthcare facility understands the number one goal is to open on time. Any delay, if only a day, can cost hundreds of thousands in real revenue dollars. However, Murphy’s Law doesn’t over- look the myriad issues that can impact the best laid-out plan. A great deal of these pitfalls lay on the outskirts of the healthcare system’s control. It’s not a surprise that a recent Medical Construction & Design (MCD) survey found that more than 50 percent of survey participants have had projects that did not fi nish on time.

A Understanding the avenues that lead to

delays is paramount, and planning and preventing common pitfalls is a necessity. I’ve gathered the four most common pain points that can delay your opening, and how to avoid them.

Wrong ordering

While this seems avoidable, wrong products are common, stemming from the fact that your project was more than likely started years in advance. This early stage probably included equipment lists that were gener- ated, vetted and approved. However, once it is time to order, is this approved list updated with the latest items, accessories, colors or specifi cations? Dated lists can lead to order- ing the wrong product, wrong accessories and wrong color. Errors of this nature lead to a delayed opening, but also a loss of dol- lars spent on restocking fees and expedited shipments of the right products.

Having strong manufacturer and equip- ment distributor partners with great prod- uct knowledge is essential for success once procurement starts ordering the equipment. Getting timely, updated quotes with all the information you need for success, including spec sheets, is crucial.

Late deliveries

It is typical for projects to include purchase orders from more than 250 suppliers, con- stituting more than 6,000 individual items. Tracking the movement of these products is daunting as they ship from factory to storage facilities and then on to placement in their fi nal facility room. Too often, project managers are in the last stages of a project when they discover crucial products were back-ordered and will not make the open- ing. These late deliveries push assembly and installation schedules back, which results in delays to opening on time.

Having the ability to track every product in real-time from the day the PO is gener- ated to when it is placed in the facility seems like a tall order, but there are solutions that include vendor managers and shipping platforms.

Lost products

Not monitoring and receiving POs cor- rectly can result in “losing” a product. This frequently happens when construction workers receive a product incorrectly. Unfortunately, this oversight commonly is discovered towards the end of a project

when reviewing open purchase orders. Similarly, an unpaid invoice can indicate another “lost” item. The supplier can prove it shipped, but there is no documentation that it has been received. One major client once told us they had almost 10 percent of their products for a project tagged as “not received” in their system when it was time to open. Some items were located after scouring their facility; others had to be reor- dered. This type of inventory management will delay an opening and increase costs. A software program that monitors and monetizes all of the items for a project can help keep your products in line. There are some programs that can be purchased but there are also equipment distributors or other third parties that may have their own programs that can help. You should fi nd ways to know where your items reside in real-time.

Unorganized in-room delivery and installation

Products need to be in a room and ready to use the moment your facility opens for busi- ness. If these deliveries occur haphazardly, with unscheduled appointments and poorly documented paperwork, you’re putting the fi nal mile of your project at grave risk. Having items assembled and staged before delivery to a site is critical. Properly labeled items can then be scheduled for a defi ned delivery, placed into the right locations, mounted and ready for the doors to open.

While these four pain points can derail a project, it is important to remember they are avoidable. With proper resources, planning, and documentation, your project can remain on track with minimal complications.

Cindy Juhas is the Chief Strategy Offi cer of CME Corp (CME), a comprehensive medical equipment, and healthcare services company that helps medical facilities nationwide to launch, renovate and expand seamlessly. CME has more than 30 service centers spanning the nation and offers an expanded product line of more than 1.2 million medical products from more than 1,400 manufacturers. Learn more at


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