Insights for FDA Regulated and HIPAA Compliant Organizations

Innovative Supply Chain Partners are Good Medicine


Shifting customer needs have always been a driver for innovation. Life science organizations will need the services of innovative supply chain partners that can deliver one-stop shopping for all their product delivery requirements, both locally and around the world.

Life science companies are adapting to distributing to more locations, including residential homes, retirement homes and community centers.

Finding more economical ways to access local settings is key, and creating economies of scale is essential to ensure that numerous locations can be reached with ease.

Adapting your supply chains to changing market opportunities and customer demands enables you to put in place dynamic planning that allows you to continually fine-tune operations.

Integrating new business partners like TAGmedica that have the ability to implement state-of-the-art automation enhancements such as programs that securely enable easy yet sophisticated shipping, tracking and reporting that delivers real value through reduced cost and time saved.

The old model was to wait until the end of the month or quarter to shift production and supply based on shipments and sales. The new model calls for more continuous, dynamic supply chain adjustments to rapidly respond to market changes. This can minimize or even eliminate shocks across the supply network.

The results include better visibility; enhanced collaboration across the value chain, including sourcing and supply, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, and distribution, and accelerated decision-making with better analytics and support.

An example of innovative business strategies is best exemplified through a combination of innovative business services, technology and expertise.

In his seminal work "The Innovator's Dilemma," thought leader Clay Christensen describes two types of product innovation; sustaining and disruptive.

Sustaining innovations make products better through lower prices or added features, thus sustaining the enterprises' market position.

Disruptive innovations change the product offering by redefining the value proposition. Supply Chain Innovation (SCI) can be sustaining or disruptive as well.

And although process innovations tend to follow a different path than those in the product world, there are some important parallels.

For example, research indicates that sustaining SCIs improve the process, perhaps by lowering costs, shortening cycle times, and raising the quality bar. These innovations also help to sustain a company's competitive position.

Many opportunities require deeper consideration regarding the role and impact of supply chain suppliers and how these suppliers are positioned to add sustaining and disruptive innovation to a firms' procurement and sourcing teams.

As consumer preferences become more personalized and complex, life science executives are asking their suppliers and logistics providers to step up to the plate.

This means more customized orders, tighter delivery windows, and an increased focus on risk and vendor compliance.

As order to shelf cycles tighten, companies are looking for their service providers to help them keep inventories low, and be able to fulfil orders at the last minute to better match consumer purchasing trends.

Both now and into the foreseeable future, processes in the supply chain must be strategically agile, innovative and distributive or, more clearly, flexible and interactive, ensuring high-quality delivery results.

Additionally, these services free up valuable resources, streamline distribution, increase speed to end-users as well as provide a documented process for greater visibility into stock statuses and inventory levels for better performance.

Supply chain management stands for the ability to cope with unforeseen events through the use of lightning-fast decision making. The implementation of this management approach requires more than just the commitment of those involved. Delivering value through innovation is not an additional component, it is essential for executives in life science companies to deal with the unplannable.

Life Science CEOs have come to realize that their supply chain is much more than the cost of getting products into customers' hands. It is a corporate strategy with interactions both within and beyond the organization.

Ultimately, it is the supply chain that satisfies or disappoints their customers.

A broader definition of the supply chain—one that includes planning, information sharing, and value-adding activities, from raw material to final distribution, rather than just logistics, is the lifeblood of the life sciences industry.

And helping bring innovative products that improve patient health to people around the world is good medicine.

Learn More about TAGmedica

Brian Butler is the VP Business Development of The Allied Group and TAGmedica. He is also the author of two books: Find 'Em Get 'Em Keep 'Em and the recently released In Search Of...Customers!

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