Supply chains are the invisible plumbing behind our world’s major industries. Healthcare, in particular, depends on complex supply chains that involve manufacturers, global logistics providers, and last-mile shippers – all with their own strict regulatory and safety requirements.
Technology these days is fast changing the way vital healthcare products are delivered. Devices such as the healthcare logistics temperature monitor are examples of the advances that are simplifying supply chain visibility and increasing consumer trust in healthcare products.
Temperature monitoring has quickly emerged as the lynchpin of healthcare logistics technology. Here are some key ways in which the healthcare supply chain is changing thanks to temperature monitors.
Mitigate Delivery Issues
On the surface, temperature monitoring has a small scope. However, the data generated by these devices go a long way towards mitigating delivery issues. Healthcare products such as vaccines, lab supplies and medications must be stored in fixed conditions throughout transport. Failure to do so will result in an ineffective product at best.
Temperature monitors track and transmit condition-related data in real-time to control centers. Best of all, these datasets are available to stakeholders throughout the supply chain, ensuring constant monitoring. If the shipment deviates from ideal storage conditions, teams can alert the transport vehicle’s operator and have them take mitigative action immediately.
These actions help prevent unnecessary losses and boost profits in an industry that operates on razor-thin margins. Temperature-related data also helps companies pinpoint their best logistics partners and cold chain technology.
For instance, a vendor that routinely delivers goods dangerously close to storage thresholds may be a risky bet to work with. Whether it is their cold chain technology or lack of operator training, manufacturers will likely want to avoid such vendors. In-transit temperature-related data forms the basis of such decisions.
Pinpoint Insurance Liability
Supply chain stakeholders operate on thin profit margins. Logistics providers are especially vulnerable, since they assume several risks and provide lengthy credit cycles to their partners. Issues with shipments often result in blame placed on logistics providers with little recourse.
Technology is changing this picture by allowing stakeholders to locate and pinpoint damage responsibility. Unsurprisingly, temperature-related data gathered by monitors are at the forefront of this change. Stakeholders these days specify product storage thresholds and receive alerts when goods deviate from them.
These alerts are useful when conducting damage investigations. For instance, a product might have exceeded safe thresholds in a manufacturer’s warehouse, even though the damage was detected en-route. In such scenarios, the manufacturer is liable, not the logistics provider.
Temperature audit trails help insurance investigators locate failure points and determine liability accordingly. This prevents unwarranted premium increases and saves logistics operators unnecessary costs.
Increase Manufacturing Efficiency
Manufacturing is a complex process that requires input from different functions. Procurement, inventory, and storage are essential processes that feed into manufacturing decisions. Along with other data sets generated by IoT devices, temperature data helps manufacturers identify weak points in their systems and mitigate them quickly.
A good example of this is the way manufacturers evaluate ideal inventory levels. These are determined by consumer demand and storage infrastructure.
Healthcare products range from medicines to precision equipment, and as such, storage space is a key factor in the overall equation. Industry regulators impose storage standards to ensure device and product safety at all times.
Moreover, manufacturers must consider the temperature after-effects their storage spaces have on products before fixing production levels. Temperature monitor tags thus generate valuable data that feeds into these models. The result is ideal production levels and top-notch manufacturing efficiency.
Monitor Retail Storage
Supply chains often come undone due to inadequate technology in consumer-facing units. Healthcare manufacturers are vulnerable to the storage facilities pharmacies, clinics, and drug retailers have. A lack of storage facilities will result in product recalls and increased manufacturing stress.
Stakeholders in the supply chain can take those conditions into account by examining historical temperature-related data. Pharmacies, for instance, can transmit these data to manufacturing partners and wholesalers and verify whether their facilities are appropriate.
New drugs might require upgraded infrastructure, and manufacturers can specify parameters, and monitor them via temperature monitoring devices at the retail site. The result is complete transparency throughout the healthcare supply chain.
Retailers can also increase consumer confidence in their products by offering storage and supply chain data to their customers. By viewing the source of their products and the conditions they were stored in, consumers can relax in the knowledge that the products they’re consuming are safe.
Temperature Monitoring Brings Progress
Temperature monitoring, on the surface, seems like a small function, but it has significant ramifications on the healthcare supply chain. Thanks to improved monitoring technology, healthcare supply chain stakeholders are delivering safe products to consumers and building greater efficiency in their processes.