Healthcare, Life Science Logistics Execs See Supply Chain Improvements

UPS Pain in the (Supply) Chain’s 2015 survey results show progress in product security and adapting to regulatory changes.

UPS’s 2015 Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey reveals that healthcare companies have made significant strides in just one year to address some top supply chain pain points, as evidenced by the following:

• 75% of respondents reported success addressing product security vs 55% in 2014

• 70% of respondents reported success in addressing regulatory compliance vs 57% in 2014

Despite those gains, issues remain in the healthcare supply chain. For example, the survey shows that only 50% of respondents indicated success addressing supply chain cost management. The top challenge to managing costs is rapid business growth, cited by 56%. In order to address this, healthcare logisticians see the most opportunity in optimizing their transportation costs and gaining better inventory visibility.

Other issues noted by respondents included the following:

• Physical protection from theft (46%) and poor supply chain visibility and too many supply chain hand-offs (40%) represented the biggest product security challenges

• Contingency planning is not prioritized by healthcare executives

• Partnerships are the top successful strategy healthcare companies are using to address regulatory compliance, product damage and spoilage and cost management

As products continue to become more complex and in many cases require special handling, healthcare decision-makers recognize the importance of selecting higher-quality carriers, faster shipping speed, and in-transit intervention capabilities needed to drive success in mitigating product damage and spoilage.

UPS surveyed the healthcare and life sciences industry about supply chain issues since 2008. Its initial intention was to understand its customers’ needs in order to better serve them. Over the years, the survey has become a popular barometer of supply chain issues for the healthcare industry.

The eighth UPS Pain in the Chain survey was conducted by TNS between April and June 2015. A total of 421 interviews of healthcare logistics executives were carried out in 16 countries. Fifteen separate, qualitative interviews were conducted in North America to gain further insights into trends, challenges, and opportunities impacting healthcare logistics.

Here’s the online version of the Survey Snapshot.

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