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Challenges and opportunities for healthcare and life science supply chains

Healthcare Supply Chains

The way pharmaceutical manufacturers equip and run their supply chain is changing. New healthcare regulations, an ageing population and price pressure are all contributing to a huge shift in the way companies produce pharmaceutical goods. To keep up with this changing landscape, healthcare and life science supply chains must reevaluate the way they run.

Keeping up with regulations

A plethora of new regulations, forcing step by step tracking requirements upon every stage of production is the driving force behind the change. These regulations make it easier for products to be tracked and recalled should there be an issue but create potential problems for supply chains.

From the moment of production to shelf distribution products need to be tracked, making it essential for companies to implement intelligent machinery into their supply chains.

Bringing production in-house

Bringing production in-house

Whilst more regulations might sound like a negative thing, they’re actually accelerating the speed and growth of medical supply chains which in turn, can create more opportunities for businesses.

The main problems come from the speed of expansion. Supply chains are accelerating so quickly that many small to medium sized businesses are being forced to outsource goods production.

Despite these challenges, it is possible for many small businesses to bring their production back in-house by optimising their supply chain. Working with a supply chain consultant, small businesses can look at alternative options to cut costs and improve efficiency. These can include direct to market products and alternative distribution models.

Harnessing machine learning

Harnessing machine learning

With many smaller life science and healthcare supply chains slow to catch up with these new regulations, supply chain optimisation can be used to integrate new, intelligent machinery into the everyday workings of the business.

If they wish to keep up with demand, businesses must look towards intelligent tools and machinery that will allow them to automate large parts of their supply chain. A very different approach from traditional models, Hi-tech, virtual supply chains move away from the old-fashioned boxes and material chain and allow greater optimisation of the supply chain.

New technology offers a lot of unique opportunities for both smaller and larger businesses. Working with a supply chain consultant, there is room for innovative solutions to both current and future supply chain challenges.

The importance of speed

Ultimately, speed and integration are what most consumers and businesses are looking for. More efficient supply chains, which are well tracked and utilise advanced integrated machinery, are what is needed to keep up with demand.

As the healthcare and life science industry landscape changes, so too must their supply chains.

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