Taking Healthcare Further Through Logistics

Taking Healthcare Further Through Logistics

As we gear up to the discussions and collaborations around best practices at BioPharma Asia, I want to focus on some key supply chain concerns of the healthcare industry. UPS has an annual survey "Pain in the (Supply) Chain" which involves key decision makers in the healthcare industry.

From the 2012 survey, the three biggest supply chain concerns of healthcare decision makers globally are regulatory compliance, managing supply chain costs and product security.

Regulatory compliance ranked consistently high across the different regions. This is especially important as healthcare companies operate in several markets. It affects how and where they store, re-pack and distribute their products, which leads to the second biggest concern of managing supply chain costs.

As supply chains become more complex, healthcare companies are faced with a challenge of managing them efficiently and effectively, with their eyes on the costs. They need to find the right balance to ensure their bottom lines are healthy, while at the same time meeting local compliance issues and patients' needs.

This has led to many healthcare companies outsourcing their global logistics to partners like UPS, who have built the necessary distribution infrastructure to support the industry.

In Asia, product spoilage stands out as the major concern alongside regulatory compliance, especially in developing markets like China and India. The region is faced with several challenges in temperature sensitive transportation and storage: infrastructure limitations, cross border delays, long distances and extreme temperature ranges.

As the region grows, supply chains for healthcare are getting even more complex and along with it come many challenges. These challenges are not unique to individual companies but are prevalent across the industry, driving the need for greater collaboration between healthcare companies and their healthcare supply chain partners.

Click here for more findings of the UPS Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey.

Dirk Van Peteghem is vice president of healthcare logistics for UPS and is responsible for leading the global strategy and management of UPS's portfolio of healthcare products. Dirk is a speaker at BioPharma Asia on the topic Navigating Global Healthcare Supply Chains.