Enabling epworth’s procurement transformation journey

Healthcare is a challenging environment in Australia, which makes it extremely easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of day-to-day “busyness” of coping with the here and now. To ensure that their commitment to improving patient’s lives remains their top priority, Epworth HealthCare has formulated an innovation transformation strategy for 2018-2022.

As Australia’s largest not-for-profit private hospital group in the state of Victoria, Epworth comprises 11 hospitals and five campuses. The Procurement and Supply team, which serves the whole Group, relied on onepoint and our holistic approach to consultancy to help them kick off their transformation.

  • 11 Hospitals
  • 5 Campuses


The activities encompassed by Procurement & Supply are vital to maintaining a smooth operation across the different Epworth sites. From sourcing to purchasing and order management, and from prostheses to operations management and clinical product advisory, these teams work in a fast-paced environment where issues need to be dealt with immediately. As Epworth Group Director Procurement and Supply Melinda Tippet points out, “the team is very reactive, which prevents them from bringing their best self and value to their roles because they are caught in the day-to-day.”

Melinda wanted to transform the way the team operates to free up capacity and allow them to concentrate on supporting the Business Units more, and the Epworth 2018-2022 strategy was the perfect springboard to set out to do this. As she wanted to involve her team in the transformation process, onepoint proposed a two-part collective intelligence workshop. Because the procurement team had never been exposed to design thinking before, this solution was entirely in line with Melinda’s objective: they would start doing things differently by doing something different.


The workshop was split into two parts: the first part was all about defining the procurement vision, purpose and problems while the second part’s focus was on how to deliver that vision through solving the right problems with innovative ideas. There were 30 participants from all the key Procurement & Supply areas, and they were all interested in doing this workshop because, although they are a big team, they do not often get to operate as one.

The onepoint facilitator relied on serious games and Design Thinking methods not only to help break the ice, but also to introduce a form of self-awareness and show that there are different ways to think about outcomes.

Using games and fun activities was important for Melinda, because “many employees have been members of the team for a very long time and have developed a blinkered way of thinking, so they thought they were just having fun, but then they were able to realise that sometimes they just need to stop and look up to look at the issue in a different way.”

The methodology deployed for the workshop and the facilitator’s knowledge of the challenges of the healthcare industry helped Melinda build a strategy through an employee engagement process.

I could have come up with a strategy on my own, but I needed to get their engagement because they all play a part in the bigger journey. With the workshop, they were the writers of the strategy, and we created the same outcome but with a lot more depth, engagement, ownership and fun.

  • 30 participants from all areas

My team had never seen anything like this. They were never required to do project plans. They realised that it’s not as scary as they think it was, and they got a lot of value out of how to use the (onepoint) toolkits to approach some of the challenges they have in their jobs.

At the end of the workshop, the participants had created both the purpose and the journey to deliver such a strategy. Melinda also highlighted as another important takeaway that they would be able to apply some of the learnings to their day-to-day, such as project design.

Onepoint’s ‘consulting with’ as opposed to ‘consulting to’ approach has empowered Epworth’s Procurement & Supply team to create and embark on their own transformation journey, as part of the Group’s overarching strategy for 2018-2022.