On June 4th of this year, the Federal New Network published an exploration of the VA response to the coronavirus. Richard Stone, executive-in-charge of the Veterans Health Administration, told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee “We anticipated 2-to-3% of the population would be infected; we’re dealing with a fraction of that. We’re dealing with a tenth of that.”
As any supply chain professional knows, the one thing you know about a forecast is that it is wrong. While systems can help with fidelity, forecasts are not a comprehensive solution. Veterans and the taxpayer need responsiveness from the VA. That means agility in mindset and execution, not just computational horsepower.
Solid Supply Chain Risk Management requires more than software and inventory. The GAO has VA acquisition on their watch list. Earlier this month the GAO said, “implementation delays for key initiatives, including a new, enterprise-wide inventory management system, limit VA's ability to have an agile, responsive supply chain.”
Technology is a vital part of any solution. Still, technology is not the complete answer. In addition to deploying the new tool the VA has an opportunity to address risk management. The VA needs to absorb the lessons in agility provided by the coronavirus experience.
Supply Chain Risk Management requires agility, not just software.