Logistics Industry Leaders Set to Help Healthcare Providers Mitigate Supply Chain Management Pain Points in an Uncertain World
Earlier this year, the new, more transmissible Omicron variant presented a set of new but familiar challenges to global healthcare supply chains in which Asia plays an increasingly central role. The need for robust and reliable supply chains remains and the difference between smart inventory management and stock-outs is fine. The results of both have an impact on healthcare workers and their patients.
Stay profitable with end-to-end logistics solutions
The Omicron variant has triggered an unexpected further surge in demand for medical goods and services across the globe. This again put a strain on many public and private healthcare administrators to manage inventory levels in their facilities while, at the same time, drug manufacturers and research centers had to ensure that they had enough raw materials to continue clinical trials and drug production.
Additionally, with the easing of pandemic-related fiscal stimulus amid global supply chain constraints, healthcare providers are increasingly concerned that the costs of sourcing medical supplies will rise. in the current inflationary macro environment..
With supply chain bottlenecks expected to persist through 2023, healthcare providers need to eliminate delivery issues and mitigate inflationary inventory costs to help maintain services to their patients and customers. Efficient logistics can help meet both of these challenges.
Logistics companies that depend on the capacity of commercial airlines sometimes face the same vulnerabilities that healthcare providers face. To this end and in contrast, companies that operate their own global air cargo fleet are fully in the driver’s seat. Logistics providers such as FedEx have the agility to meet urgent needs for same-day or next-day delivery of critical medical supplies, flexible capacity to circumvent potential bottlenecks and provide emergency storage for temperature-sensitive vaccines, diagnostic reagents or test samples. For example, FedEx has an extensive point-to-point distribution network and proprietary sensor-based tracking technology. allowing near real-time tracking of each shipment throughout its journey. This, in turn, reduces reliance on inventory storage.
Asia’s Growing Role in the Global Healthcare Supply Chain
Faced with growing demand for essential medical supplies and vaccines, manufacturers in the region have shown resilience. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), at the start of the pandemic, China made about half of the world’s face masks.. But other countries in the region – such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand – are also major global producers and exporters of personal protective equipment, including gowns, hair coverings and gloves.
The pandemic has also encouraged global vaccine makers to expand production capacity in Asia. German biotech company BioNTech has announced plans to build a vaccine factory in Singapore, and US vaccine maker Moderna is considering a $200 million investment to build a manufacturing plant in Seoul. International logistics providers will need to be ready when these facilities open. FedEx is well positioned to provide support through its extensive network and more than two decades of developing healthcare solutions and expertise.
To stay ahead of global demand, FedEx completed one of its largest network expansions last year, adding six new routes between Asia, the US and EU markets allowing greater great agility in the processing of cross-border shipments. Its Life Science Centers (LSCs) in Singapore, South Korea and Japan also play an important role in providing inventory management solutions for various vaccine demand scenarios.
LSCs provide large-scale, temperature-controlled storage and national and international distribution of vaccines. Center operations specialists coordinate warehousing, cold chain requirements and distribution should help minimize customs clearance times, so that essential drugs and equipment can be delivered safely and on time.
Future supply chain improvements through the power of data
It is clear that global healthcare supply chains need to grow further to meet demands as the pandemic evolves.
Sensor-based technology working in conjunction with artificial intelligence embedded in solutions such as FedEx supervision demonstrate how the industry can continually innovate to better protect the integrity of healthcare shipments and minimize waste.
No one can predict when, where or if new variants of COVID will appear. But the logistics industry is not waiting to find out, but is working hard to create smart, efficient and responsive networks for the future of healthcare.
To learn more about FedEx healthcare solutions, please visit https://fedexbusinessinsights.com/healthcare/
Kawal Preet, President, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), FedEx Express