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Supply management is the process of procuring and managing the products or services needed to operate a business or facility. There are many moving parts in supply management, including the products, information, budgets, and employees. An efficient supply management department will implement procedures to keep costs down and use resources effectively. A mismanaged or neglected supply chain can decrease profits and hurt the efficiency of the business. Share on X

Identifying Unknowns in Supply Management

Unknowns in supply management are evidence that there is a lack of oversight. If you’re not sure how much you’re spending on linen service, for example, that’s an unknown that could prove costly. Here are some supply management mysteries that should be addressed:

No Running Inventory

Who is keeping track of cleaning products or linens? An inventory can identify missing products, items that need to be restocked, and areas of waste. Without a running inventory, you have no way of monitoring use, and there is virtually no accountability.

Nobody’s Sure Who Should Reorder

If you are running low on something, who is responsible for reordering? If nobody’s sure, chances are the products won’t get ordered in time, if at all. This can create very problematic delays and embarrassing shortages. Imagine a healthcare facility that runs out of clean gowns!

Costs Aren’t Tracked

This is crucial. If no one is tracking the costs of products and services, it’s safe to assume that they’re too high. Tracking specific costs helps you identify billing errors, wasteful spending and ways to cut costs.


The concept of utilization involves measuring whether items scheduled to be used were actually used, and whether those items were invoiced correctly.  This is where a lot of errors and waste occur. For example, if you set out a hospital gown and the patient doesn’t use it, it still needs to be washed. It wasn’t used, but it will require the same treatment that a gown that had been worn would require. This can help you identify those instances when you don’t need to put a gown out, preventing waste.

Efficient Supply Management

Wilkins Linen understand the challenges of linen and supply management. We know that when it comes to a business or facility, supply management becomes complex and dynamic. With more than 60 years of experience in the industry, we can help you get back on track.

Contact Us to learn more about operating an efficient supply department.

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