Australia’s growing and aging population continues to generate increasing demand for healthcare services. To meet this demand, it is essential for healthcare facilities to efficiently use the resources available to them. This is especially important for large healthcare facilities which typically face complex logistical challenges to ensure, consumables are available where required, equipment is commissioned and maintained, and the right workforce with the right skills is available and efficiently used.

Typical areas of opportunity for healthcare facilities include:

PPE and other centralised consumables management

  • Demand planning: forecasting demand for consumables and equipment based on the healthcare facility’s activity (i.e. quantity and type of procedures, quantity and type of patients etc.). This is important to ensure sufficient level of consumables and equipment are being ordered by the healthcare facility, and any gaps can be proactively managed.
  • Inventory tracking and reporting: visibility of quantity and location of consumables and equipment within facilities can be a significant challenge for large and complex healthcare facilities, however it is a key piece of information to drive efficient management of these items and address any gaps proactively.
  • Physical movement of goods: large healthcare facilities can be situated in large complex buildings where consumables and equipment need to make it from the loading docks to the points of care or storage areas within the facility. Efficiency improvements can typically be made by reviewing and designing efficient flows of goods within the facility.
  • Storage: storage space in healthcare facilities can be scarce. Optimising the storage space and layout, and operating at efficient levels of inventory is important so healthcare facilities can maximise space for patient care.

Equipment commissioning and maintenance

  • Equipment commissioning and maintenance: healthcare equipment can be complex, with different parts arriving to the facilities at different times, and maintenance schedules required to keep equipment in good working condition. Equipment tracking and management is essential for the timely commissioning of equipment and maintenance to keep equipment in safe and working order.

Workforce management

  • Workforce management: there are a number of elements to consider to optimise the makeup and use of healthcare workforces, these include: alignment to customer value proposition; KPIs, policies and incentives; talent optimisation ensuring labour is utilised effectively; clearly articulated employee value proposition; recruitment and training; rostering and scheduling; organisational design, demand planning and forecasting; and the data and systems needed for workforce decision making.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put additional pressure on Australia’s healthcare system. The consequences of this can be seen with supply shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which can be managed through the points raised above. In the medium to long term healthcare facilities will be faced with pressure to clear the build-up in elective surgery waiting lists, potential budgetary restraints, and potential increase in demand due to delays in patients seeking medical attention during the pandemic. It will be essential for healthcare facilities to safely and efficiently use the resources they have at their disposal to maximise outcomes for their patients.

GRA can help with improvements to consumables and equipment management, workforce operational efficiency with the following service offerings:

  • Forecasting demand
  • Rostering and scheduling
  • Workforce management
  • System implementations and reviews
  • Route optimisation
  • KPI and policy development
  • PPE continuity and pandemic response planning
  • Organisational structure design and implementation
  • External broker performance management and reporting


Further resources


GRA has been working closely with the primary care and hospital networks as well as in-home services and aged care sectors during the COVID-19 crisis.

In this video Carter McNabb, James Allt-Graham and Shanaka Jayasinghe discuss what we are seeing within these organisations from a supply chain perspective.

We also explore what these organisations need to do moving forward to strengthen their supply chain and service chain functions.

Key points:

Healthcare Sector 

  • The industry is set up for ‘business as usual’. These times are anything but ‘business as usual’
  • Processes are inconsistent across hospital networks, so it is difficult to scale in a significant way to support core operations
  • Technology in most cases is not supplying end-to-end visibility
  • A significant challenge is building efficient AND resilient supply chains
  • The sector is finding creative solutions to overcome constraints like scarcity of supply such as with PPE Moving forward Australia’s healthcare sector need to focus on:
    • Standardising supply chain processes and procedures
    • Diversify and mitigate risk moving forward

In-home Services and Aged Care

Before COVID-19 Australia’s Aged Care sector was going through a step-change following a Royal Commission that was critical of the sector. The Government has since been pushing for in-home care over facility care. The sector has since had the added pressure the comes with COVID-19 such as balancing visitations, managing demand for PPE and the need for transparency.

The supply chain in the Aged Care sector is a service chain involving the distribution of people – ie getting the right people in the right place at the right time.

The greatest logistical challenges facing the sector is around operating processes involving people and technology. Policies such as the customer value proposition and the employee value proposition must be well understood before embarking on a technological transformation. 


COVID-19: Australian Health Services Supply chain - Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Devices Supply Chain

Are you a health care professional concerned about your supply chain?

COVID 19 is having an unprecedented impact on supply chains with rapid changes in demand profiles, supplier capabilities, inventory levels, pressure on network infrastructure and supply chain teams. The need to identify risks and opportunities quickly and act rapidly is essential. GRA is here to help you with your supply chain now, throughout this difficult time and into the future.

We understand your supply chain teams are likely to be under great pressure.

We are here to help.

Download COVID 19: Australian Health Services Supply chain - Personal Protective Equipment


COVID-19: Australian Health Services Supply Chain - Vaccine Supply Chains

Globally, the world is watching in anticipation and hope for news of a vaccine. How long will it take to discover & distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to end-users?

Australian public & private industry is currently working tirelessly to discover a safe and applicable vaccine for COVID-19. 

Once a vaccine is available, how will it be distributed and what infrastructure and transport relationships will be leveraged? 

Vaccine supply chains are complex, with multiple nodes, participants and logistical dependencies. 

GRA has developed a Vaccine Supply Chain response program. 

Download GRA's Vaccine Supply Chains services brochure.



"Over the last 18 months, GRA have helped deliver successful business outcomes and improvements across The Star Entertainment Group's supply chain."

– Melissa Bird, Manager - Procurement Effectiveness and Supply Chain, Star Entertainment Group

Typical results

  • 20-40% inventory investment reduction
  • increased service levels ranging up to 99.9%
  • 10%-15% reduction in supply chain operating costs
  • 5%-20% spend management savings
  • the ability to fund business initiatives from operating cash flow (OCF) improvements
  • improved return on capital employed (ROCE)
  • a minimum 3:1 ROI (10:1 to 30:1 typical)