BURLINGTON, Ont.– UPS has released findings from its latest Global Healthcare Survey. The 7th annual Pain in the Supply Chain survey examined several pertinent trends driving change, and impacting healthcare companies’ businesses and supply chains. Among the trends were changing or increasing regulatory requirements, increasing product development specialization, and changing reimbursement levels.
Healthcare executives surveyed reported their top supply chain concerns were regulatory compliance, product security, supply chain cost management, and product damage or spoilage (a top concern particularly in Asia).
North American healthcare executives find that they are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, but they do report that they are successfully addressing a number of top supply chain challenges, including: product security, product damage and spoilage, and changing distribution channels.
Regulatory complexity remains a top challenge in North America, cited by 66 percent of those surveyed. Executives whose companies are entering new markets are also grappling with intellectual property protection and – in some markets – limited transportation infrastructure.
Collaboration and partnerships, investment in IT, and/or investment in building in-house expertise are some successful strategies executives are employing to address issues.
There are challenges, however, that many companies have been slower to tackle, often because of risk associated with making changes to supply chains. Logistics executives report, for example, they have had least success in addressing supply chain costs. Yet achieving the next level of business growth almost inevitably requires implementing change, the report said.
Consequently, many say they are turning to logistics and distribution partnerships to overcome this challenge. They’re also planning for significant technology investments to enable order flexibility and visibility, and to better protect products moving through elongated supply chains.
“The winners in tomorrow’s healthcare marketplace will be the companies that have created agile, efficient, and flexible supply chains. Now is the time for companies to take action, to make the strategic supply chain changes that will allow them to capitalize on untapped opportunities,” the survey said.