As the complexity of health systems increases, the complexity of the logistics in their day-to-day operations increases as well. Imagine you could pick up a modern hospital, turn it upside down, and shake it. Everything that would fall out—saline bags, PPE, medications, MRI machines—must be shipped from somewhere. Many of those items would be recurring orders that need to arrive on a tight schedule, or else the medical care the hospital offers its patients could suffer.
Who is tracking those shipments? Who is watching for disruptions in the supply chain that might affect the delivery schedule? Who is coordinating with the hundreds of vendors necessary to supply the facility? Given the importance and dizzying volume of this task, it’s no surprise that many health systems turn to third-party logistics partners for help. This approach has several benefits.
While one might assume that a third-party healthcare logistics partnership is more expensive than the alternatives, I would argue this is not true. Often, the upfront price of a good third-party logistics team will be more than offset in the long term, as the team identifies and corrects inefficiencies embedded in their partner’s shipping practices. Increases in efficiency lead to reduced costs from hindrances like lost shipments, delays, redundant ordering, and suboptimal choices in courier and vendor services. Moreover, a third-party solution frees up time, energy, and resources for healthcare workers whose jobs demand their full attention.
Actionable intelligence reporting is worth its weight in gold, and it’s hard to acquire about yourself by yourself. Health systems can’t be expected to do thorough meta-analyses of their supply chain practices, and then correct problems they find, on top of managing their actual shipments—they’re just trying to get supplies in the door on time! An outside perspective can be the answer, as logistics experts know where to look for sticking points, what solutions to implement, and how to communicate those changes to their partners for lasting change. That in turn can have a big impact on a company’s bottom line, not just one time but forever.
Shorter Delivery Times
When you contract with third-party logistics specialists, you gain many advantages at once: their knowledge of industry vendors, their network of couriers, their resourcefulness in the face of unexpected obstacles, their optimization technologies. All these things add up to shorter delivery times.
One vendor is out of stock?
Your logistics partner has a backup on standby.
A shipment is delayed by weather?
Your partner might find a way around the problem by tapping courier relationships.
In healthcare, where time is often in short supply, the capabilities a third party can offer may be the difference between things running smoothly or grinding to a halt.
A trend we have seen at TRIOSE lately is a move toward same-day delivery, particularly for prescriptions from hospital pharmacies to patients’ homes. This helps simplify the healthcare process for consumers. However, it also creates greater demand for reliable courier networks, making it more important than ever to evaluate courier KPIs and processes to ensure you find the service you want. Here too, a third-party logistics partner can be a valuable asset, since they know the courier landscape and can help you measure performance.
Improved Customer Experience
Lost, mishandled, misdelivered, or delayed shipments all translate to a bad customer experience. Now, for example, many couriers operate on the honor system, meaning there is no real-time tracking of packages available, and no reporting as a package moves through the chain of custody. Inevitably, this results in packages being stored improperly, lost, or winding up at the wrong place, which frustrates health systems and patients alike. One way TRIOSE has prepared for the rise in courier deliveries is by launching tools that give better visibility to courier shipments in transit. That means problems with fewer packages, and less stress for healthcare providers and consumers. That kind of innovation would be hard to develop in-house.
An example of this is our CourieriQ, which provides proactive notification and real time shipment tracking, allowing you to get a full picture of your courier network, track your courier’s KPIs, avoid costly issues before they happen, and set the foundation for a courier network that grows as you do.
By relying on third-party logistics from a company with a wide range of shipping expertise—from pharmacy mail-order to traditional freight management—healthcare companies put themselves in a good position to meet the demands of their industry. But if their logistics partner goes beyond providing expertise to also provide white-glove account management, that’s when the value of these partnerships really stands out.
And ask yourself: With people’s lives on the line, should you expect anything less?
Armond Green serves as Enterprise Account Executive at TRIOSE Inc., where he secures high-value accounts through consultative selling, effective customer solutions and promoting compelling business opportunities. In his tenure at TRIOSE Inc., Green has proven to be an accomplished and creative leader adept at forging lucrative relationships with key partners and is a trusted advisor to pharmacy and supply chain leaders. Notable accomplishments include winning the Sales Metrix Award his first year in the industry and recently being awarded the 2021 TRIOSE Sales Champion Award for outstanding commitment to sales. For more information about Armond or TRIOSE logistics solutions, visit triose.com.