DHL whitepaper examines trends affecting the medical device supply chain

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A new whitepaper commissioned by DHL has been released examining how changes in the European healthcare market are impacting supply chain models.

The report, Transforming the European medical device supply chain: adding value and reducing costs, explains what modifications medical device supply chains must undergo in order to survive in today’s new healthcare environment and ensure first-class service for patient care.

The European medical device industry is weathering a perfect storm, which is shifting the business paradigm. Value-based healthcare, cost and margin pressures, and increasing regulatory and compliance requirements characterize modern European healthcare operations. These dynamics are forcing manufacturers to re-evaluate their supply chain operations to remain competitive, and to continue supporting healthcare providers by putting their patients first.

“The pressures facing the European medical device industry are not new – what’s changing is their intensity and momentum,” said Susanne Amholt, DHL Supply Chain’s vice president for business development, life sciences and healthcare, Europe.

“We understand the regulatory and quality assurance environment which is rapidly adding new layers of complexity and cost to the medical device supply chain at a time when pressure to cut costs – from governments, payers, healthcare providers and patients – has never been greater. Meanwhile, there are significant differences in markets and operations.

“Illness patterns in the emerging Eastern European markets are starting to match those in the mature Western European countries, but product preferences, payer mechanisms, regulations and distribution channels continue to differ widely by country. These practices vary country-by-country, making Europe a very complex market to serve,” added Amholt.

The whitepaper discusses: the current state of the market; how trends impact the European medical device supply chain; and what new supply chain strategies, practices and solutions are available to address these developments.

Outlined in the paper are four important strategies that medical device and life science companies can implement to address these changes. These strategies are segmenting supply chains by product value, creating a direct to customer channel, leveraging shared-use distribution centers, and outsourcing logistics to a third party.

The paper was prepared by Lisa Harrington, president of The LHarrington Group, who said, “The time has come to re-think the European medical device operating model in general and the supply chain in particular. Leading manufacturers are doing just that. They are working with their logistics service providers to reengineer their supply chains to embrace outsourcing solutions, shared services and other supply chain solutions.

“Meeting the twin challenges of reducing costs and delivering on service commitments is not an easy task. However, with the right partnerships, it can be done in a manner where everyone wins, including the ultimate customer – the patient.”

You can download the whitepaper here. 

June 23, 2015

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, editor-in-chief

Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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