Over the last year, there have been numerous supply chain difficulties that the pandemic has introduced to the world. This has been especially difficult for order fulfillment. What’s more, in specialized industries like healthcare, they are facing even more fulfillment challenges.
What are these healthcare fulfillment challenges and how can we better overcome these order fulfillment challenges? Read on below to find out.
The pandemic, as you’d expect, has placed pressure specifically on healthcare goods being delivered to frontline workers and hospitals so they can better provide care.
Remember two years ago, when the pandemic first began, there were many concerns about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and its effect on healthcare workers. This explosion in demand naturally sent prices soaring. And now, with healthcare fulfillment challenges in the supply chain exacerbating difficulties, some projections show that supply expenses may outpace labor and other healthcare costs.
This could become a huge issues for many hospitals and healthcare providers that are already strapped for cash.
Lack of Visibility
Healthcare providers and hospitals typically rely on historical data to inform their supply needs in the coming quarters, years, etc.
But here’s the thing: the historical models didn’t have to account for a rapidly changing and developing pandemic. While we have a couple years now under our belt dealing with this pandemic, the fact is that month to month, the pandemic changes.
From strict mask requirements to relaxing mandates to reintroducing lockdowns all of the sudden due to a new variant, planning for these rapidly changing conditions is challenging—but not impossible.
One key factor is whether the provider has access to real-time data that can inform how much stock is needed and provide insights into near-future demand. In fact, the best way is to be able to adapt to the situation in short order. Which brings us to our next point…
Lack of Flexibility
Many healthcare providers lack the flexibility to adjust their approach to the facts on the ground. The simple fact is that healthcare institutions are not usually the fastest moving organizations, often saddled as they are with bureaucracy. That lack of flexibility could be devastating in these unpredictable times that necessitate flexibility and adaptability.
Being able to quickly source the products you need without incurring a substantial increase in spending while also being able to cut on certain supplies that go unused is critical in our current supply chain-impaired situation. This is especially important given our healthcare fulfillment challenges that cropped up due to the supply chain impairments, which requires providers to be quick on their feet sourcing equipment and goods from different companies should one fail to meet their needs.
These challenges hit subsectors in different ways, with the pharmaceutical supply chain being especially vulnerable to a lack of flexibility.
It’s only natural that healthcare providers, given the gravity and stakes of their job, want to ensure that they have all the supplies they would need for any given situation. The problem here is that this can induce a hoarding mentality. That means that some providers will hold certain equipment, medicines, etc. (or hoard them) while others have a desperate need of them.
This is an especially troubling issue considering the healthcare fulfillment challenges, when new supplies and equipment are not always guaranteed to arrive on time.
Ventilators, for instance, were in extremely high demand during the peaks of the pandemic, but yet still some sat unused in warehouses. This can be solved by proper warehouse management that better puts to efficient use this equipment and medication that is desperately needed—oftentimes with life-saving results.
How APS Fulfilment, Inc. Can Solve Your Healthcare Supply Chain Challenges
No single person or organization can fix the supply chain issues. But what you can do is adapt to them and minimize their impact on healthcare—one of the most important industries, where the stakes can literally be life or death.
To that end, one of the best ways to account for these challenges is to have support when it comes to inventory management, shipping and receiving, storing goods, etc. That way, you can do more with the inventory you already have, maximizing its utility.
And there are few better at helping you maximize the utility of your inventory than APS Fulfillment Inc.
We offer full-service e-commerce fulfillment out of Miami that includes state-of-the-art warehouse management software (WMS) and we make inventory management and goods tracking easy. We’ll also support your business and automate the warehousing, prepping, shipping, picking, and packing of your orders!
Get in touch with us and one of our consultants will tailor a fulfillment plan designed to grow your business. Book a consultation by calling (954) 582-7450 or email [email protected].