Logistics In The Medical Industry
Recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical industry faced extreme pressure to enhance material handling, inventory management, and customer service while being challenged with cost savings at the same time.
The diminishing reimbursements allotted to medical companies and services result in the need to find opportunities to decrease expenses without reducing the quality of clinical operations and patient care quality.
The main goals for cost-cutting procedures are healthcare devices, and many medical professionals are requesting device manufacturers to lower their rates. Healthcare device and product manufacturers must take action to meet such demands.
There are supply chain solutions that can aid medical companies in resolving these issues and meeting their needs. By partnering with third-party logistics (3PLs) companies, healthcare costs can be minimized without sacrificing care quality.
How Medical Industry Requirements are Met
By working with a dependable supply chain partner, there will be many benefits for the healthcare company. These include the decline of logistics costs. For instance, medical institutions with shipping requirements for temperature-sensitive products can benefit from the logistic provider’s advanced technology, existing infrastructure, and streamlined processes.
Both health organizations and medical manufacturers may reduce costs by reducing waste and inefficiencies in the supply chain. For this to happen, they have to make several cultural and operational shifts.
Cultural shift refers to the positioning of the medical supply chain culture to meet the recent challenges. We can start with adaptability. The supply chain should be designed so that it is flexible enough to make new solutions to support healthcare development, such as from hospitals to more efficient facilities.
Furthermore, for the supply chain decision-making to be more insightful, it should be driven by reliable data. This will need the better utilization of innovations and advanced equipment to create transparent demand signs for the optimization of inventory levels.
Supply chain partners must look for ways for better collaboration to come up with more efficient warehousing and transportation strategies. The medical supply chain must be adaptable and quick enough to resolve troubles.
This way, it will be easier to manage the dynamic nature of the healthcare supply chain, including its product complexity, regulatory compliance, transportation, warehousing, and care points.
Healthcare supply chain must be more streamlined. This can be done by decreasing the touchpoints to limit the handling of products. In addition, transparency must be increased to better track products once they are transported from the manufacturer.
Of course, the product-tracking technology needs to be invested in to achieve a long-term result, which is transportation cost reduction.
Moreover, medical organizations must come up with more resources in order to meet and stay compliant to the regulatory requirements.
The medical supply chain may be unique, but it is complex too. That is why there is a need for healthcare logistics experts. Having logistic specialists can help catch up with regulatory changes that cause difficulties in acquiring compliance. The said changes can happen fast, and even in the past five years, numerous 3PL companies were able to report increased regulatory inspections of medical warehouses and pharmaceutical supplies.
How Logistic Companies Can Help the Healthcare Industry
It may be hard to implement but integrating consistent logistics strategy, and best practices can improve healthcare quality. How? Check out some of these advantages:
Multitenant Warehouses or 3PLs Can Enhance Efficiency
Healthcare device warehousing is sometimes dealt with waste and inefficiency. Every manufacturer has its supply chain facilities and warehouses, and they usually have extra space right from the start.
In reality, most warehouses may only be complete up to 70%. However, the infrastructure cost they need to maintain will remain at 100%. There are even other manufacturers who have multiple warehouses that are only a few miles from one another. It is also possible for one area to have several manufacturers, and all of them could have warehouses that are only half-full. These methods are hard to sustain with the ever-increasing cost.
It’s a good thing that third-party logistic providers may help organizations solve their warehousing concerns or offer some efficient warehousing solutions. These can help reduce redundant costs, which are a big deal in medical logistics. Industry regulations frequently change, making it efficient to warehouse products in a facility shared with other manufacturers. These manufacturers can also share the regulatory costs.
Technology Access Becomes Possible
Medical organizations can access technology that is useful for streamlining and automating the supply chain. This is made possible by hiring a dependable 3PL company. 3PL companies are equipped to communicate their technology with several clients. They can deal with investment upfront and handle maintenance costs.
There are a lot of promising technologies that you can get from a 3PL company. They include data analysis, real-time order tracking, freight audit, consolidation optimization tools, transportation management systems, payment solutions, and reporting tools.
It is essential to sustain some products’ excess inventory because the lives and health of patients rely much on them. For this reason, medical providers usually need higher fill rates. To acquire the highest inventory availability level, 3PLs may help by tracking products along the supply chain.
Focusing on More Important Work Will Be Easier
Hiring a third-party business to handle logistics will result in medical providers having more time and resources to focus on giving high-quality care to patients. Meanwhile, manufacturers can focus more on delivering healthcare devices and products.
A third-party logistics provider will help reduce the need to invest in warehouse space, technology, transportation, and staff to implement supply chain management. A 3PL partner can manage auditing, staffing, training, optimizing, and enhancing different supply chain tasks. They include the following:
• Issue management
• Facility and driver communication
• Order tracking
• Performance reporting
• Appointment scheduling
• Paperwork and billing
• Searching and booking service provider
Third-party logistics providers may assist medical organizations in creating an effective supply chain to save money and time. Applying some or all of the practices discussed here can be challenging, but they can surely help improve a healthcare system.