Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Supply chain professionals at biotech and medical device manufacturers face a complicated, demanding environment in which goals such as clinical quality, manufacturability, and supply chain optimization, and the recent surge in demands seem to be at odds with each other. Companies look for economical solutions, however regulatory and quality action must be implemented regardless of the price (Mathew et al., 2013). As regulations demand transparency into the supply chain in the case of product failures or recalls, quality and compliance challenges are becoming more prevalent. The fragmented nature of the healthcare chain limits the capacity of the healthcare industry to address its issue. As regulations demand transparency into the supply chain in the case of product failures or recalls, quality and compliance challenges are becoming more prevalent. The fragmented nature of the healthcare chain limits the capacity of the healthcare industry to address its issue. A survey reported that medical devices providers incur $5 million annually only in waste (PNC, 2011).
For many firms in the medical devices industry, it is imperative to have a lean supply of healthcare and medical products in order to stay competitive. Lean supply chains minimize waste and unnecessary operations while improving value for the customer. To help identify unnecessary components in the supply chain, it is critical for companies to identify unnecessary elements, such as having two contact points for a product, excessive inventory, or a warehouse network that does not correspond with the current client base (Borges et al., 2019). However, the recent surges in the demand for medical devices and products call for the responsive supply chain management. Effective supply chain management with a balanced combination of lean and agile approaches can provide access for people worldwide to safer and economical medications and medical equipment. It can also help in cutting costs and provide companies with additional streams of revenue.
Borges, G. A., Tortorella, G., Rossini, M., & Portioli-Staudacher, A. (2019). Lean implementation in healthcare supply chain: a scoping review. Journal of Health Organiz
ation and Management.
Mathew, J., John, J., & Kumar, S. (2013, May). New trends in the healthcare supply chain. In annals of POMS conference proceedings; Denver (pp. 1-10).
PNC Healthcare (2011, August); GHX quantitative research study