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Navigating Risk Along Every Link Of The Healthcare Supply Chain

By Karen Reddington | September 12, 2019

Prevention is better than cure. Our APAC President Karen Reddington shares how innovation and compliance can go hand-in-hand to ensure product integrity of sensitive healthcare shipments with end-to-end visibility.

The healthcare industry in Asia-Pacific is booming. Factors like aging populations, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and increased urbanization are fueling heightened demand for healthcare solutions throughout the region.

As a result, healthcare suppliers and businesses need to shield themselves against potential risks in the supply chain as well as avail themselves of benefits arising from recent industry growth.

Today’s biopharma shipments present a journey of unique risk from origin to destination. Not only must there be a step-up in service quantity to meet demand, recent technological advancements necessitate a step-up in the quality of solutions, to ensure that increasingly sensitive shipments are safeguarded from the beginning of the supply chain right to the end.

Risk factor analysis

Transferal of agency during cross-border handling, changes in temperature, risk of theft, and trans-market disruption are all very real factors that can affect the speedy and safe delivery of your healthcare shipment. In the face of these potential hazards, healthcare industry leaders must strive to ensure they are covered and compliant with all regulations.

Finding a logistics partner that understands the importance of compliance regulation, can help support your business growth goals, through a shared commitment to investment in quality supply chain control.

With great care comes great responsibility

Due to the sensitive nature of many healthcare products that require strict regulated temperatures and conditions, the onus is on logistics companies to bring an unprecedented level of quality and control to the supply chain.

End-to-end visibility helps maintain control

The need for end-to-end visibility has never been higher, particularly for intra-Asia biologics. Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are heat sensitive and contamination prone and particularly susceptible to the rigors of cross-border shipping, meaning that full quality control is non-negotiable.

At FedEx, product integrity is our number one priority. To achieve this, we focus on end-to-end visibility of three key components: temperature, time and location.

Continuing to leverage digital transformation is key. This enables us to develop innovations that provide customers with a transparent, up-to-the-minute line of sight into all stages of the supply chain.

Crucially, a robust supply chain with knowledge of all timing and temperature issues makes it possible to identify pain points between the supplier, vendor, factory and other stakeholders as soon as they emerge.

Innovation and compliance go hand-in-hand

The priority for healthcare logistics continues to be building a future where innovation equals automatic compliance. FedEx Quality Management System (QMS) is designed to support regulatory compliance and meet the unique requirements of the healthcare industry. QMS ensures consistent results for our customers’ shipments with trained, dedicated professionals who process monitoring, controls and audits. Taking away some of the barriers to regulatory compliance understanding means that customers can focus on advancing their healthcare solutions and the life-changing possibilities they create.

Capitalize on a full spectrum of solutions

Protecting against risks can be aided by a spectrum of solutions that helps deliver and ensure safety at the highest of standards. That’s why FedEx is working to ensure that our customers have access to a comprehensive suite of services.

For example, our customers can rely on dedicated support from – a global service providing around-the-clock support, advanced shipment monitoring, proactive, personalized notification in the event of a delay, and when necessary, customized package recovery.

They can also protect the integrity of their clinical samples, subjects and research with a portfolio of temperature-controlled solutions we call .

Finally, our latest cold-chain innovation, , provides real-time monitoring by combining an advanced multi-sensor device with a powerful web-based application for intuitive, in-depth tracking. Tech-assisted knowledge and foresight, here, is crucial in oiling the wheels of successful end-to-end delivery. Closing the information gap at each stage of the distribution journey means customers are empowered to take control of their shipment, helping to mitigate many of the risks along a complex supply chain that is far from linear or simple.

Innovations opening up possibilities at every turn

FedEx understands the possibilities that clinical trials bring, and the investments required by companies to realize them. So, we are continually leveraging technology to develop innovations that – on their own or paired with other solutions – can provide robust support against any weak links in the supply chain.

We aren’t just keeping up with one of Asia Pacific’s fastest-growing sectors, we are leading it, with priority service, specialized packaging, temperature-control and customized services aimed at preserving product integrity and maintaining full connectivity every step of the way.

Want to find out more about how you can monitor and mitigate risks associated with today’s healthcare shipments?
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About the Author
the author bio

Karen Reddington

Regional President of Europe,
FedEx Express

President of FedEx Express Asia Pacific for 5 years, Karen is now the FedEx Express President of Europe and CEO of TNT. Karen is based in the Netherlands.

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