Four Ways Healthcare Logistics Helps Build Resilient Supply Chains

June 14, 2024

In today’s healthcare landscape, supply chain management is stressed due to limited medical supplies and the evolving needs of healthcare providers. When medical supplies aren’t readily available, issues like staff burnout, stress, and turnover amplify – underscoring how current supply chain management methods are no longer enough to prepare for the unexpected.

Oftentimes, healthcare providers that experience extended supply chain stress have limited resources, processes, and infrastructure to combat shortages or contain costs. A solution to fill these gaps are Healthcare logistics companies who distribute a wide breadth of products that hospitals can purchase when additional inventory is needed.

“Supply chain management shouldn’t bog down healthcare professionals, making it critical to work with the right healthcare logistics company to withstand no matter what comes next,” said Angela McNally, Vice President of Products and Healthcare Services at Owens & Minor. “Additionally, healthcare leaders shouldn’t wait for another emergency before addressing their challenges.”

Owens & Minor is no stranger to helping customers before, during, and after emergency situations. However, it’s time for healthcare to think beyond the pandemic to ensure they’re not overlooking vulnerabilities in their supply chain in preparation for future scenarios.

The following are four essential solutions to foster resilience in your supply chain.

1. Unmatched Expertise

The first step to a resilient supply chain is identifying the root causes of vulnerabilities. However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all to medical logistics, and supply chain leaders should implement customized and actionable emergency and pandemic preparedness plans before another crisis hits. This should include utilizing strategic stockpile services to help alleviate the burden of a hospital storing increased amounts of inventory onsite to support increased patient care demand during an emergency or pandemic. This can be accomplished by leveraging comprehensive supply chain consulting and expertise offered by healthcare logistics companies like Owens & Minor.

2. Manufacturing + Distribution Within Reach

Proximity to medical supply distribution and manufacturing is key to ensuring the right product, at the right time, at the right place. Rapid production and delivery times are crucial during peaks of increased demand for medical supplies. Organizations should prioritize healthcare logistics companies with an Americas-based footprint. Owens & Minor’s Americas-based network allows the company to deliver in a reliable and timely manner.

3. Strong Relationships for Rapid Response

Whether with suppliers, industry associations, or government agencies, working with a medical logistics company that has strong relationships is vital. Owens & Minor has one of the largest portfolios of leading suppliers and distribution centers worldwide – each with emergency action plans and protocols in place – driving greater response, control, and access.

4. Business Continuity Plans

Business continuity is essential for a secure supply chain. A medical supply distributor and logistics company should have product allocation protocols and additional resources on standby to preserve supplies and ensure point-of-care delivery. As an example, if at any time during a crisis one facility cannot serve its customers, Owens & Minor will reroute orders and shipments through another facility.

By working with a healthcare logistics company that has these four solutions, you can eliminate unnecessary costs and disruptions to bolster resiliency and focus on the most important task during a crisis: caring for patients and healthcare workers.

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