UPS of­fers holis­tic health­care ser­vice

Lead­ing com­pa­nies like UPS think it is cru­cial to nur­ture health­care. Jan De­necker, Health­care Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor, UPS Europe and Rob Funke, Con­tract Man­ager, UPS Health­care, share their views on this topic.

Cargo Talk - - International - KALPANA LOHUMI COLOGNE FROM

What brought you to en­ter health­care?

Rob Funke: There are dif­fer­ent rea­sons for en­ter­ing health­care. The seg­ment has be­come a strate­gic pri­or­ity for UPS, where we con­tinue to in­vest in. We have in­vested in this seg­ment with ac­qui­si­tions, de­vel­op­ing strate­gies, and bring­ing health­care ex­per­tise.

The health­care in­dus­tries in terms of sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tics is very com­plex. The main prob­lem that in­dus­try is fac­ing to­day, across the world, is we have to work with fewer re­sources, be it fi­nan­cial re­sources or skilled peo­ple. On the other hand, need for health­care is in­creas­ing due to sev­eral rea­sons like age­ing pop­u­la­tion or in­crease of chronic dis­eases world­wide. More­over, this sig­nif­i­cant in­crease of chronic dis­eases is ex­pected to in­crease fur­ther over the next 1015 years. In the health­care in­dus­try, ev­ery­thing has to do with lo­gis­tics, be it stock man­age­ment, get­ting the prod­uct at the right place and at the right time, all of that needs to be man­aged. At UPS, we are bring­ing tech­nol­ogy that can ben­e­fit health­care in­dus­try and other re­li­able ser­vices to man­age the sup­ply chain.

The other trends that are adding to the com­plex­ity be­cause of fewer re­sources and more need for health­care is more reg­u­la­tory scru­tiny. And, that’s again a trend that is hap­pen­ing ev­ery­where. We see that more phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts are tem­per­a­ture sen­si­tive. Hence, this in­creases the bur­den of man­ag­ing con­trolled tem­per­a­ture through the sup­ply chain. In Europe, we have Goods Dis­tri­bu­tion Prac­tices that ex­pects all the stake­hold­ers to man­age cold chain. The other part is about dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels; there is lot of dis­tri­bu­tion into phar­ma­cies or hos­pi­tals often through lo­cal dis­trib­u­tors or whole­salers. Many health­care sup­pli­ers are also trend­ing towards more direct dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels that is ei­ther di­rectly from the sup­plier to the hos­pi­tals or from the sup­plier to the phar­macy and even from the sup­plier to the pa­tient. All th­ese dif­fer­ent dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels also need to be prop­erly man­aged not only from the ef­fi­ciency per­spec­tive but also other as­pects be­cause direct de­liv­ery to pa­tient re­quires to over­come sup­ply chain chal­lenges. What is the USP of Euro­pean Health­care fa­cil­ity, Nether­lands?

Jan De­necker: Its strate­gic lo­ca­tion; the fa­cil­ity is built in close prox­im­ity to UPS’s Euro­pean air hub, al­low­ing for short tran­sit times, in­clud­ing next-day and two-day ser­vice to global des­ti­na­tions. Over the last seven to eight years, we have de­vel­oped our net­work start­ing from Nether­lands to Cologne. We have fur­ther de­vel­oped our net­work to Spain, Italy, Cen­tral & East­ern Europe, where we com­ple­mented the Euro­pean dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre with kind of satel­lite health­care fa­cil­i­ties and that’s why we have in­vested in dif­fer­ent ware­houses through ac­qui­si­tions. We also in­clude Reg­u­la­tory Af­fairs and Qual­ity As­sur­ance ex­perts.

We also have health­care ded­i­cated UPS ve­hi­cle that are tem­per­a­ture con­trolled to han­dle and de­liver only health­care prod­ucts We have in­vested in this seg­ment with ac­qui­si­tions, de­vel­op­ing strate­gies, and bring­ing health­care ex­per­tise

Why UPS has cho­sen Marken for health­care seg­ment?

Rob Funke: We have ac­quired Marken to ex­pand health­care lo­gis­tics ser­vices on clin­i­cal tri­als side. It has im­por­tant ca­pa­bil­i­ties and cred­i­bil­ity in this space. The com­pany is a provider of global sup­ply chain so­lu­tions for the life sciences in­dus­try based in Durham, NC and Lon­don, Eng­land. Clin­i­cal tri­als re­quire strict reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance, stream­lined lo­gis­tics ser­vices, and global reach, which is where Marken’s op­er­a­tions of a global net­work of clin­i­cal sup­ply chain ser­vices to meet in­creas­ingly com­plex cus­tomer de­mands, makes it a good fit. What are your re­cent devel­op­ments?

Jan De­necker: Our re­cent de­vel­op­ment is Pack­ag­ing Cen­tre. We have a pack­ag­ing cen­tre in Nether­lands also, but that is ba­si­cally tem­per­a­ture sen­si­tive pack­ag­ing; most of which is sin­gle use that is de­liv­ered to hos­pi­tal or provider. Once the prod­uct is un­wrapped the pack­ag­ing is use­less. It needs to be dis­posed of and this is com­plex be­cause ei­ther the health­care provider is asked to sup­plier to come and pick it up to dis­pose or hos­pi­tal needs to man­age it on their own which is again a bur­den on them. More­over, that pack­ag­ing is quite ex­pen­sive. So, an­other de­vel­op­ment that we have launched from UPS per­spec­tive is pro­vid­ing so­lu­tion with re-us­able pack­ag­ing which pro­tect the prod­uct with a range of time and tem­per­a­ture re­quire­ments and then de­pend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion it will go to the sup­plier and then to the health­care provider; he will take out the prod­uct and then re­turn or re­verse lo­gis­tics kick in. We also have health­care ded­i­cated UPS ve­hi­cle that are tem­per­a­ture con­trolled to han­dle and de­liver only health­care prod­ucts and th­ese are not only be­ing used to de­liver in the UK to phar­ma­cies or hos­pi­tals, but also direct to pa­tients where our drivers our trained to go be­yond thresh­old.

In terms of tem­per­a­ture sen­si­tive pack­ag­ing, we are work­ing with part­ners who pro­vide dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies such as gel packs, dry ice and all of that can be man­aged de­pend­ing on sup­plier re­quire­ments or ex­pec­ta­tions on the prod­ucts. We also have de­vice that cor­rect tem­per­a­ture through­out the de­liv­ery process to make the prod­uct more cus­tomer spe­cific.



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