To ensure that items arrive in secure condition, the healthcare industry has historically relied on logistics partners. These commodities may include pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and precision equipment in the healthcare industry, all of which are particularly sensitive to the environment in which they work.
Technology has expanded the capabilities of healthcare items, but it has also increased the sensitivity of these products to temperature variations. The healthcare cold chain logistics business is predicted to increase at a 7% annual rate until 2026, according to a 2020 forecast from consulting firm IMARC. Smart healthcare equipment with specific storage and transportation requirements will account for the majority of this expansion.
To track the conditions of products in transit, practically all of the industry’s main manufacturers, distributors, and supply chain companies now employ temperature sensors built for healthcare logistics. These monitors, on the other hand, do a lot more than just keep track of temperature. This is how they’re changing the healthcare logistics industry.
Expiration dates for healthcare products are well-defined. Unlike certain other products that can be used after their expiration date, utilizing expired healthcare products can be fatal. Every stakeholder in the healthcare supply chain is aware of the situation.
The fact that items have a set expiration date makes it difficult for producers to arrange production plans. To forecast production schedules, every manufacturer must undertake demand analysis. This analysis considers a number of factors, including consumer purchasing habits and product shelf life.
Temperature monitoring systems are used to keep track of storage conditions in a warehouse, a transport vehicle, and a health clinic’s stock room. Manufacturers can predict how long a batch of medications will last on shelves by comparing temperature data to the product’s recorded shelf life.
When working with logistics partners to establish delivery routes, shelf life is a crucial factor to consider. It enables Northwest haulage companies to create a delivery priority list depending on the likelihood of expiration. The temperature monitor is at the heart of this investigation.
Analyzing storage condition data at specific places might potentially reveal patterns that point to probable deterioration. For example, a pharmacy that orders abnormally large quantities of a product may be seeing higher consumer demand. They may, however, be ordering more since their products expire more quickly due to improper storage.
Temperature data can show weak links in the supply chain, allowing businesses to forecast demand more accurately. Other production operations, such as procurement and transportation, will follow once this information is in place.
Opportunities for Vendor Collaboration
Thanks to tremendous technological advancements, smart manufacturing processes are now the norm. Every equipment in the healthcare manufacturing line is enabled with IoT functionality at several companies. As a result, manufacturers have access to a lot of data, which they use to build more efficient systems using analytics platforms.
Vendors are an important part of these operations since production schedules will fall behind if supplies are not delivered on time. In the healthcare industry, the consequences of delays and damaged goods are significant. These goods are typically sophisticated and have a long lead time.
The latter can provide a seamless link from procurement to production by establishing data integrations between logistics vendors’ and manufacturers’ systems. Manufacturers obtain knowledge about their best-performing transportation partners and the situations in which they flourish based on data collected by temperature monitoring devices.
Vendor A, for example, may have a stellar track record when it comes to on-time delivery, but data tracking the circumstances in which they store items may suggest that faults are more likely after a particular volume has been reached. In this circumstance, manufacturers can choose their next best alternative and obtain the same raw material from a variety of vendors, based on the factors that are most relevant to specific situations.
In the medical device manufacturing industry, this approach is very important. Healthcare machines are extremely sensitive and must be handled with care at all times. Temperature and other condition-related data assist manufacturers in better understanding their vendors and developing an integrated platform that ensures optimal delivery at all times.
Healthcare, like every other business, is fueled by data analytics. Because improper temperatures are nearly always a factor in product failure, temperature data is the most critical dataset in healthcare logistics. Temperature tracking, in conjunction with condition monitoring data, can expose potential weaknesses along a scheduled delivery path.
When arranging a delivery route, for example, selecting the option with the shortest distance may appear to be a smart idea at first. If a pattern of temperature alerts appears along that path, it’s a good sign that either storage conditions or infrastructure are inadequate. Firms can prepare alternate routes that are longer but safer in such instances.
Route planning is one of the most complex tasks that logistics companies face, and data analytics are at the heart of every choice made in this area. While geopolitical and regulatory data are important, temperature data can help determine if a route is effective or not.
Many Uses for Simple Data
Temperature sensors may appear to be simple devices, but the information they collect is critical to the healthcare logistics business. They play a key role in assuring the safety of the items we consume, from demand planning to vendor analysis.