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UPS survey: Product protection top supply chain concern for healthcare logistics executives in Asia

UPS marks its 6th “Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey” this year, which is conducted annually across North America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific (interactive executive summary) and Latin America. This week, we focus on the findings from the Asia Pacific region where healthcare logistics executives are particularly concerned about product protection, which include both product security and product spoilage.

 Product security ranks as the number one supply chain concern for healthcare logistics executives in Asia, cited by 76 percent of respondents as an issue – the highest level of concern globally and significantly higher than their peers in North America and Western Europe. In addition, 67 percent in Asia Pacific cite product damage and spoilage as a top supply chain concern – nearly double that of their peers in North America and Western Europe. This gives a good indication that much focus must be made in this area where more progress is needed.

 Challenges around product protection are likely higher in Asia due to the geographically-dispersed nature of the region coupled with relatively immature transportation infrastructure. The potential for shipment delays and product spoilage and therefore the efforts required to protect the integrity of healthcare products increases. The introduction of more sophisticated products such as biologics has added an additional dimension of complexity as a result. Industry experts estimate that 25 percent of healthcare products are time and temperature-sensitive and require constant cold-chain transportation and storage.

 Concerns over product protection have led to investments in technology. Over the next three to five years, 72 percent of healthcare supply chain decision makers in Asia will invest in technology as a top strategy for improving efficiencies and competitiveness. Manufacturers are also strategically developing more partnerships with third party logistics service providers to implement integrated solutions to capitalize on global market expansion and new distribution models.

 In Asia, concern surrounding regulatory compliance remains a key supply chain pain point. Trade and healthcare regulations vary across different countries. It is imperative for healthcare companies to continually stay abreast of changes needed to address the latest regulations. Third parties, such as UPS, are thus an important resource to offer solutions and expertise to address regulatory compliance issues while companies focus on their core businesses.

To learn more about product protection challenges in Asia as well as other top business and supply chain concerns and investment plans in the region, click and watch this video.

Category: Healthcare
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