In the April issue of CAP TODAY, Denise Bredlow, medical secretary, transfusion medicine, Fazi Amirahmadi, systems engineering manager, and Deb Hagen-Moe, education program coordinator, of Mayo Clinic, were interviewed for the article, "Pens, pencils, Post-its—setting out to save on supplies." The article discusses how the Department of Laboratory Medicine and and Pathology, one of the largest departments at Mayo Clinic with approximately 3,250 employees and 61 specialty labs, worked to reduce office supply expenses.
Before 2008, there was no standard process for ordering office supplies, including no standard office supply list from which to order, no standard process for ordering, and no training for those who do the ordering. This led to inefficient practices and escalating costs over time.
As a way to improve the ordering process, the team addressed the three major causes for high supply expenses and suggested the following solutions: create a standard office supply list; create a standard operating procedure for ordering supplies; and train personnel who order supplies.
Upon implementation of the new ordering process, the department reduced the cost of office supplies by 16 percent in 2009, compared with 2008, and an additional one percent savings was noted in 2010. Further, there was a 92 percent reduction in items as compared with the 7,700 items in 2008, and the monthly cost of nonstandard office supply items dropped by 61 percent from January 2010 to January 2013. Lastly, ordering designees reported an overall time savings of about 20 hours per week, which translated to a yearly savings of 1,050 staff hours.