Now, logistics accounts for a sizeable portion of healthcare operations budget. But a few challenges faced by healthcare logistics service are:
Lack of modern technology to forecast demand and supply
The healthcare industry is still dependent on traditional statistical methods and outdated technology to forecast demand using relevant data and customer insights, which leads to inefficient supply chain management. Incorporating the use of smart technologies and tools in planning the optimal supply chain is the need of the hour. This would ensure sufficient resources in hand to meet urgent or last-minute demands.
·Changing regulatory frameworks
The quality compliance, regulatory policies, and export formalities are different across markets and are headed by different authorities, leading to a lack of standardization globally. For dealing with such challenges, there should be specific governing bodies that not only keep a stringent check on quality, but also maintain complete clarity and transparency across manufacturing, packaging practices, and transportation.
·Need for improved supply chain infrastructure
The healthcare sector in India has to handle challenges like poor road conditions, ill-equipped seaports and railways, and not fully utilized air transport. Particularly in pharma, the lack of a robust cold chain network has widened the gap in the healthcare supply chain. The current infrastructure makes product visibility and tracking difficult, and companies are not able to get the complete details and assurance on whether the products are stored or transported in required conditions or not.
·Lack of transparency and visibility
The supply chain in healthcare is complex and time-sensitive, as it involves proper measures to be maintained along the entire supply chain process. Any deviation from the measures would cause a threat to the life of patients. But, with multiple stakeholders involved in the supply chain, the visibility and traceability of the cargo becomes difficult to maintain, leading to the loss of cargo or the cargo no longer remains usable. With the help of the latest technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and IoT,maintaining communication and transparency is possible along the entire supply chain. It will also prevent the distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the market.