The core problem, leading to this study, is that inventory in general is pushed onto downstream supply chain links, based on forecasts. The effect is that downstream links are often overstocked and slow to react to end-user pull. This study delved into the triggers for inventory flow of medical devices used on a consignment basis at hospitals within the interventional cardiology medical device industry. There has been very little research conducted on the topic of consignment stock management and the inventory flow of these devices. The study aimed to look for answers around the questions of flow and types of waste possibly present within this industry.
A qualitative research strategy was followed, where interviews were conducted with key role players within the industry. Eight case studies were designed, using interview data collected from leading supply companies and hospital staff members. In order to validate the results, a dynamic buffer management simulation was conducted, using primary data collected in the industry. The simulation followed theory of constraints thinking processes and served as a tool to strengthen the credibility of the results through a process called triangulation.
It was concluded that overwhelming evidence exists, demonstrating that end-user consumption is used as the trigger for flow of interventional cardiology medical devices placed on consignment at hospitals. Replenishment of inventory on consignment was performed to daily pull. However, the core problem is that goods still flow as a result of a forecast. Considerable potential exists to improve flow through the use of a dynamic buffer management approach. Significant forms of waste were found to be present within this industry.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.