Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2009 (Revised June 2010)

Supply Chain Partners: Virginia Mason and Owens & Minor (A)

by V.G. Narayanan and Lisa Brem


Virginia Mason Medical Center (VM) hired Owens & Minor (O&M) as its alpha vendor for medical/surgical supplies in 2004. By 2005, O&M was performing Just-in-Time and Low Unit of Measure services for VM, but they believed the pricing model in the industry was outdated. VM and O&M partnered to create the Total Supply Chain Cost (TSCC) pricing program, an activity-based model that assigned all the cost drivers of distribution and inventory handling to VM, but also assured O&M of a profit. The TSCC incented VM to streamline its distribution activities, since these would directly impact its fee. After beta testing the TSCC for one year, VM's Daniel Borunda and O&M's Michael Stefanic believed that TSCC was a better and more cost-effective pricing model, but could they convince their companies to continue to invest in TSCC?

Keywords: Activity Based Costing and Management; Price; Distribution; Supply Chain Management; Medical Devices and Supplies Industry;


Narayanan, V.G., and Lisa Brem. "Supply Chain Partners: Virginia Mason and Owens & Minor (A)." Harvard Business School Case 109-076, April 2009. (Revised June 2010.)