A Process for Vetting New Suppliers
May 19, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unique procurement challenges that require vetting new suppliers fast. Hospitals are negotiating shortages in product categories ranging from PPE to ventilators and bronchoscopes. There is also competition from other hospitals, and from local, state and federal authorities trying to secure similar products.
To overcome these challenges, more hospitals are working with new suppliers. However, it’s not always clear which suppliers are legitimate -- particularly as manufacturers from other industries begin producing medical equipment for the first time. As a result, hospitals must be able to quickly assess whether a vendor is trustworthy.
To help hospitals vet new suppliers, we’ve created a checklist with linked resources. Not every step will be relevant for each supplier. For example, a supplier may not be registered with the FDA and still be legitimate. But on the whole, the checklist provides structure that can be adapted for the needs of individual hospitals and health systems.
We expect to see supply chain disruptions through 2021, given the time required for new manufacturers to receive required approvals and begin production, and for current manufacturers to meaningfully increase their production capacity. As a result, it will remain important to have a process for vetting new suppliers.
New Supplier Checklist
1. Is the supplier registered with the FDA?
2. Is the supplier NIOSH approved?
3. Look up the supplier’s website owner on ICANN. Do the owner and website look legitimate?
5. Ask for references from suppliers.
6. Ask for referrals to new suppliers from industry colleagues.
8. Does the supplier claim to be registered in the System for Award Management? Look up their entity registration.
9. Verify the supplier’s products using the GUDID.
---If you are interested in being able to do all of these supplier validations in one place, let us know. To assist hospitals with vetting new suppliers during the pandemic, we also published a list of COVID-critical supplies and suppliers.