It shouldn’t take a pandemic to highlight the importance of the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry in today’s societies. Yet, when one does occur, we see regular every-day heroes in the supply chain step up and deliver. Whether it be pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, or nutrition, the industry is experiencing an accelerated supply chain transformation with a focus on speed to market, increased efficiencies, and expanded geographic reach.
Logistics is playing a more important role as organizations are embracing innovation and technology as competitive supply chain tools. In pharmaceuticals specifically, there is a regulatory maze one needs to navigate when managing their global supply chains which compounds an already complex process. Your logistics decisions, including partner selection, may mean looking beyond the traditional cost of transportation (i.e. freight rates), and instead account for true total cost of ownership. Here are a few additional considerations you might take into account.
Regulatory Compliance. When you choose a global logistics provider, you should ensure that they are experienced and knowledgeable of the industries regulatory requirements, are able to conduct a compliance audit, have a comprehensive compliance training program and document repository, can track violations, identify root cause, and implement corrective action…globally.
Shipment Integrity. Most pharmaceutical shipments, whether because of regulatory compliance or other reasons like temperature range, high value, or irreplaceability need to be maintained in a controlled environment. Having tight controls is even more important when the chain of custody needs to be recorded and immediate traceability is a requirement. An experienced logistics provider will not only be able to exert control and visibility of a shipment in their care, but also be able to offer digital solutions that will provide environmental, location, and custody markers.
Packaging. Shipment size, fragility, mode, route and length of journey, destination regulations, and customer requirements are all considerations when choosing a packaging solution. However, when calculating the total cost of ownership, one should also account for the cost of the appropriate packaging, size variability, its regional availability, the inventory carrying cost, and how it will be disposed of or recycled. The right global partner will be able to present solutions and create models which will include both cost and success drivers.
Maintaining safety and security throughout the entire global supply chain involves compliance with numerous regulations, implementing the latest technology tools for track and trace, and applying advanced supply chain strategies in transportation. Leading pharmaceutical, medical device, healthcare equipment, and nutrition organizations are increasingly partnering with logistics professionals and providers that offer specific global expertise to meet the demands of the industry.