For many companies, particularly in cutting-edge high technology industries, an evolution has occurred as post-sales services have become an important part of their business. Post-sales services have become a significant source of revenue and profit, a way to build long-term customer relationships, and a source of competitive advantage. As healthcare evolves, the importance of services is likely to grow, creating a corresponding need for post-sales supply chain management.
Supply chains can be thought of in three categories:
Flying pretty much anywhere these days is expensive. And it’s almost twice as expensive when I travel with my daughter.
And the reason is simple: The route from airport security to the departure gate is littered with opportunities to spend money. There are stores that sell expensive clothes, jewelry, electronics, duty-free goods, food and tacky tee-shirts that announce to the world that the wearer has spent time in the City of Atlanta. (The “I’m a Georgia Peach” key ring complements the tee shirt nicely, by the way.)
Traveling to see family in China once, my daughter and I had too much time to kill in the airport. And, like a wasp to blueberry jelly, she was immediately drawn to the most expensive items for sale in the retail area.
How can I create business advantage with my supply chain? This is a question healthcare companies are increasingly asking themselves, and their logistics service providers, as the market becomes more competitive, more global, and frankly more challenging. Healthcare companies are recognizing that their supply chain’s performance can have a significant impact on their overall performance and are a source of competitive advantage.
UPS recently launched our 6th annual UPS Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey, which takes the pulse of healthcare logistics executives around the world on their top business and supply chain concerns and “pain points,” successful strategies they have put in place to address issues and future investment plans.
This post focuses on top findings in Western Europe, where executives are seeing success in strategies they have put in place to address regulatory compliance issues and are planning further investments, even in a difficult economic environment.
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.
Today, we are releasing our 6th annual UPS Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey, conducted by the research firm TNS. The survey reveals insights into the top challenges facing global healthcare logistics executives and highlights their future investment plans. This year we added new geographies to the survey and probed deeper to uncover strategies that successful healthcare executives are implementing to overcome their top supply chain challenges.
Surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges in healthcare over the past five years has been a shortage of pharmaceuticals. From 2006 to 2011 drug shortages grew by 400%. It is now a common practice for hospital pharmacies to maintain lists of which pharmaceuticals are available for physicians to prescribe.
A famous saying in both politics and business is “demographics are destiny.” Demographics provide a picture of what a society looks like today and can also be used to understand trends that change a population over time.
A good example of the way that demographics can change a society is in the generation born after World War II. After the declining birthrates of the 1930’s, there was a huge increase in family growth as soldiers returned home. More than 50 years ago, Business Week coined the phrase “Baby Boomers” to describe the twelfth, and largest, generation born in America of 77 million who’ve been since then called the “love generation,” “me generation,” and as they enter retirement, “the Gray Tsunami.”
In 1992 Nike produced their award-winning “Bo Knows” campaign, featuring the amazingly talented Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson. Bo was the first athlete to achieve All-Star recognition in two different sports: football and baseball.
But, Bo’s future as an athlete became uncertain in 1991, when he was tackled and sustained a devastating hip injury. His football career ended, and he missed the 1992 Major League Baseball season to have hip replacement surgery. Though Bo never waivered in asserting that he would return to baseball, many doubted that it was a realistic goal.
Instead of dropping Bo as a spokesman, Nike paired him with comedian Denis Leary, who went on to obnoxiously challenge the audience to reflect on the fact that they’re sitting on the sofa while Bo and his new hip are out cross-training.
And Bo answered Denis’ sneering narration by returning to the baseball diamond, hitting a home run on his first-at-bat, the first of 16 homers he would deliver in his first post-surgery season. Nike printed a full page ad reading “Bo Knew”.
Last summer it seemed like the media reports of record-breaking temperatures, wildfires and droughts were never-ending. And like farmers and ski resort managers, heat and cold are of particular interest to me because of my role at UPS as a temperature-sensitive packaging professional.
Keeping medicines at the right temperature is essential if they are to work well, and it’s vital to the health of patients. Whether you need an annual flu shot or your regular supply of insulin, it’s likely that a great deal of work has gone into designing the packaging it’s shipped in. Packaging may be the only protection that stands between your medicine and the outside world, from the manufacturer to the point of care, whether that’s a doctor’s office, an outpatient surgery center or even your own home. In fact, a recent UPS survey investigating healthcare supply chain challenges found that product protection is one of the biggest challenges healthcare manufacturers face.