What is different in Healthcare domain as compared to other domains? Stringent Regulatory Compliance and High Risk! Whether you are delivering medical supplies or equipment, there is a time sensitivity and a need for visibility of the goods in transit. Added to that are the regulations that need to be strictly adhered to in storage, transportation and handling. Healthcare supply chains are complex due to high risks, stringent regulations, and cost pressures. A study revealed that more than 60% in the Healthcare logistics domain felt that regulatory compliance was the biggest challenge. FDA claims against organizations have shot up with increased complexity in regulation and the shift towards risk based classification in medical devices.
In healthcare, there is a need for product security and ensure there is no spoilage. Therefore, there is a need for monitoring the condition of the goods during transportation. As the risk involved is high, paperwork is important. Documentation and proof of delivery and service are the weapons to protect yourself from false liabilities. Proof of delivery can also be a competitive advantage with your customer as they deal with the insurance company’s documentation requirements. Anyone who has dealt with a claim will understand how critical it is to have proof of good/bad condition of goods.
Some of the healthcare suppliers deliver to other businesses such as small hospitals and nursing homes. The daily operations at these nursing homes are heavily dependent on the deliveries from the healthcare suppliers since inventory carrying costs are high. Some hospitals have regular scheduled deliveries which need to be like clockwork for the smooth functioning of nursing home/hospital activities. Most business to business transactions are through long-term relationships and hence stakes are high, dependency is great and a slip-up in the delivery can adversely impact the contract and hence business. Sometimes an untoward incident could lead to dissatisfaction and result in a loss of a long-term account.
In essence, the healthcare suppliers are looking at providing this superior level of service that includes documentation, visibility, transparency and communication coupled with efficiency. Keeping a check on supply chain costs is also a key concern for the healthcare suppliers. Ideally, everything from the driver’s hours on the road to the customer’s proof of delivery signature should be well documented, and cost the least amount of time and money.
— Tony Mitchell
General Manager, American Furniture Warehouse