One of the most complicated types of supply chains are those meant for pharmaceutical and/or medical device fulfillment. These complex products have highly-regulated quality controls, varied and precise lifecycles, numerous safety and security concerns and warehousing needs, and feature a quickly increasing number of stock keeping units (SKUs). Despite, or sometimes because, of these challenges, supply chains for healthcare fulfillment need to constantly work to improve their cost, speed, and accuracy or else risk getting left behind as their fields advance. Managing to create a properly integrated global supply chain is a multi-faceted effort that affects everything from strategy to fulfillment processes to organization.
Whether you are a pharmaceutical or medical supply company entering a new market, or a fulfillment provider expanding into medicine, a strategy is essential. Going into a new market environment without a strategy is like walking blindfolded into a minefield—naive at best and inevitably damaging at worst. A good strategy is formed by examining the potential marketplace and the key figures within it. This could include how the local government works (if crossing state or international lines), how the local hospital infrastructure is set up, and the management style and abilities of the people you would be working with. Analyzing these elements allows you to design a strategy that can integrate and take advantage of local strengths while avoiding pitfalls in your overall healthcare fulfillment operations.
If the strategy is a more broad scale approach, the fulfillment plan is where the details are worked out. Pharmaceuticals and medical devices are acquired from a wide range of parties including pharmacies, retail outlets, clinics, wholesalers, and e-commerce sources. Your healthcare fulfillment plan, therefore, needs to be able to give full support to each one of these distribution methods. The key point will be not only accomplishing this, but doing so in compliance with local regulations and while maintaining efficiency at the same time. Properly arranging your distribution and fulfillment system can provide these results.
As the scope of operations expands into other states or countries, it is increasingly likely that different parts of the supply chain will begin developing independent management styles or processes. While this can be beneficial at a local level, when considering a globally integrated operation, such behavior dampens communication and can impact the success of the overall strategy. Everyone needs to be on the same page about how things are done in order for a global strategy to succeed. Therefore, it’s important to have a strong central organization and leadership that is capable of building, training, and instilling local teams with your strategy’s values and objectives.
APS Fulfillment, Inc. is a specialist in direct mail marketing and warehouse order fulfillment based in Florida. We’ve stored, sorted, and delivered products of all shapes and sizes for all kinds of companies and industries. Look to our web site at www.APSfulfillment.com for more tips on how to find the best fulfillment shipping service, whether for healthcare needs or anything else.