There are many different methods that procurement practitioners use when it comes to demand and supply of goods. I think one of the most common procurements that consider the push versus the pull is when governements need to supply hospitals with drugs.
PUSH means you don’t wait to hear from the users, instead you simply supply the quantities based on your own demand forecasts. The PULL means you wait for the health facility to send through an order of quantities which you then supply. It sounds fairly straightforward and logical, right?
Now the challenge with PUSH especially in developing economies is that sometimes your demand forecasts are actually wrong. Yes i said wrong. It has also opened up for governments to dump drugs on health facilities that do not need a particular drug. I think the biggest challenge though is in getting the right data so that the forecasts can be correct. Data collection from a village clinic or a dispensary upwards is difficult to consolidate on a monthly basis.
PULL though, also has its fair share of challenges, because sometimes the facility may place an order for a particular drug but it isn’t there so they are sent something different, it has been known to happen. With PULL it is pretty easy for a health facility to fall short of a drug if they do not have appropriate supply chain monitoring in place.
To push or to pull?