Delivering critical medicines on time in carefully-controlled conditions is vital for the pharmaceutical industry. You need excellent inventory and warehouse management, temperature controlled equipment, and a fully coordinated supply chain for trusted 3PL solutions. Otherwise, high value, highly sensitive products could expire, face damage, or become steadily more expensive to transport. Reliable cold chain logistics are needed to avoid an increasing drain on your bottom line and possibly dangerous consequences for patients.
The proper management of risks to your supply chain is key in ensuring your product is safe, delivered on time, and fully visible throughout the process. Frank Packman (General Manager, Healthcare) highlighted that your logistics provider should have a GDP certification as a clear sign that that they are meeting stringent international healthcare storage and transit standards.
Certainly, a reliable cold chain logistics partner will have robust systems in place to make a significant difference in your supply chain management.
In order to get the best from your 3PL partner, make sure you identify three main strengths for reliable cold chain logistics.
- Trusted expertise and experience
A tried and tested 3PL provider is more likely to have comprehensive supply chain systems that are a proven success.
When it comes to procuring a logistics contract, they need to demonstrate a wealth of experience with their existing long-term partnerships. If their customer testimonials and case studies showcase a flexible and bespoke service with solution engineering, you can be more confident that your provider will meet your needs.
Most likely, their experience will provide ready-made solutions. They’ll have the right technology to maintain and monitor temperature controlled supply chains to ensure the physical stability of sensitive products throughout the supply chain. For example, a European Superhighway can offer a strategic network of specialist pharmaceutical hubs to consolidate and cross-dock products for onward delivery throughout Western and Eastern Europe.
It’s only with experience that your 3PL provider can identify and implement lean principles to optimise your supply chain and international freight movement.
- An integrated approach with end-to-end solutions
Rather than working in disjointed silos, your supply chain should be managed as a whole with an end-to-end solution.
Privett and Gonsalvez’ study highlighted that a lack of coordination is a primary issue for healthcare supply chain management. Complex systems mean that time is wasted, resources are not optimised, and the supply chain fails to be implemented properly. If there are any market changes, you’ll struggle to act as fast as you need to.
Using an integrated approach with forecasting will strengthen the security of your cold chain logistics, with one common standard for security provision across the whole supply chain. You can even have increased visibility with a control tower management system in place. This gives central control from end-to-end, with sight of all cross-docking possibilities and multi-mode solutions to give you increased coordination.
- Track and Trace for improved visibility
With amplified supply chain complexity driving extended lead times, it’s not surprising that visibility is a key concern for sensitive pharmaceutical products. Healthcare companies want a guarantee that critical medicines will be useable when delivered – and assurance that their high value product is secure throughout the supply chain.
GPS tracking and smart systems can give you the confidence you need that your 3PL provider is reliable. An IT portal like Vision gives real-time reports on your products’ progress.
It can track product integrity with live information on temperature controlled environments, allowing your 3PL partner to act fast if any issues arise. A traffic light system lets you monitor progress for accurate delivery reporting and you’re better placed to protect drivers and cargo with a check-in feature.
Finding a 3PL partner who is tried and tested will ensure that your high value products are in the best hands – with reliable systems and expertise that are a proven success.