Chris Holt Makes Supply Chain Management Millennial-Friendly

Chris Holt is Amazon’s Leader of Global Healthcare and he knows it’s hard to compete with health-tech cool kids like micro-surgery and magnetic-field muscle regeneration. Logistics, Holt says, is a necessary but often neglected aspect of business and it’s costing companies a lot of money.

“Imagine the scenario: on one side of the hospital, doctors perform surgeries with robots,” Holt states. “[W]hile on the other side – either the loading dock or a supply room – procurement teams manually check spreadsheets to ensure their inventory is in stock.”

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While there’s no pomp and circumstance to go along with an updated IT infrastructure, Holt argues that outdated computer systems mean many hospitals are still manually processing aspects of procurement and purchasing they don’t need to. In fact, several studies found that clinicians spent up to a quarter of their day searching out supplies for their work. It’s impacting employee morale, clinical outcomes and budget lines. Modern business – and their millennial employees – just don’t work that way.

But there’s a solution: bring the system online, streamline the process and ensure it caters to the diversity and complexity of today’s consumer. Holt points to the younger generation: “A real example is somebody who wants to find peanut butter that is gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, crunchy and in a certain size. And they want to find it in three to five clicks. That’s the mentality of millennial buyers at home – and they want to be able to do the same things at work.”

Having organizations adopt easy-to-use tools along with the right analytic applications makes managing the supply-chain process seamless. It will save time, effort and money. Holt shows how it worked for one medical facility: “[A] rural hospital in Washington saw its labor expenses decrease by over 80% and was able to renew its focus on patients as a result of purchasing online.”

Holt has always worked in the strategy and supply chain management field but didn’t find his way to healthcare until he accepted a position as Vice President, Global Healthcare, at UPS in 2007. There, he managed the healthcare strategy and operations portfolio for companies who outsourced this work to UPS. From there, Holt held executive positions with Cardinal Health, Tiger Medical Group and Vizient, Inc. before moving to Amazon in 2016.

Holt was born in Toronto and raised primarily in Los Angeles. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and his Masters of Engineering in Logistics from MIT. In 2018, he was named one of the top 50 health influencers by MM&M.