If you think that the emerging healthcare industry supply chain challenges are just the implications of the global economy that is currently held hostage by the coronavirus pandemic, you may want to give it a second thought. While healthcare enterprises are exploring the feasibility of coronavirus risk assessment strategies to glue together the loose ends of their disrupted supply chains, it can be safely concluded that the pandemic has amplified supply chain challenges that were long eroding the growth prospects of several enterprises in the healthcare industry.
Shortage of PPE, masks, sanitizers, essential medical devices is crippling the endeavors of healthcare taskforces who are at a war footing to contain the pandemic. These emerging challenges serve as an eerie reminder of the immense healthcare industry supply chain challenges and procurement catastrophes faced in the US that were triggered by Hurricane Maria in 2017. This natural disaster laid waste on the island of Puerto Rico, which was also one of the main IV suppliers for the US.
This time this pandemic has issued the message bold and clear that careful implementation of coronavirus risk assessment strategies is the need of the hour to not only redeem the supply chains but to build the resilience of the same in the healthcare industry that can weather any future pandemic shocks.@SpendEdge
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A Quick Look into the Top 5 Coronavirus Risk Assessment Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Industry Supply Chain Challenges
Adopt multiple sourcing options: Most of the leading healthcare sectors across regions are highly reliant on the supply of essential medical and pharmaceutical commodities. The pandemic-induced lockdown has choked most of the supply sources which reinstates the importance to source from multiple suppliers and ideally have a supply back-up. Adopting multiple sourcing options can serve as one of the straight-forward and simplest coronavirus risk assessment strategies that will help to mitigate an imposing healthcare industry supply chain challenge.
Adopt big data analytics in the sourcing process- Trusted as one of the effective coronavirus risk assessment strategies to address healthcare industry supply chain challenges, the adoption of big data analytics will help enterprises conduct an effective demand projection. This is particularly relevant in the current state of the healthcare industry. It will aid in inventory management through analysis of required inventories, holding time, and time to purchase. Big data analytics will offer real-time visibility of data to either party by ensuring transparency in the supply chain which is deemed as a crucial coronavirus risk assessment strategy.
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Adopt collaborative supply chain planning- Stock shortage is emerging as an imminent healthcare industry supply chain challenge that is also the result of the lack of involvement of both buyers and suppliers in the procurement process. Adoption of a collaborative procurement process is deemed as an essential coronavirus risk assessment strategy that considers factors, such as transparency in sourcing, inventory status, demand projection, and R&D processes, as well as solutions to mitigate the challenges faced by parties in the value chain.
Assess the implementation of VMI programs by suppliers- Not only is VMI seen as one of the best ways to reduce inventory cost but it is also an essential part of the widely accepted coronavirus risk assessment strategies to ensure a continuous supply to enterprises in the healthcare industry. Buyers should engage with suppliers who provide efficient inventory management solutions, such as JIT, that help to reduce inventory maintenance and storage costs.
Engage with suppliers who can meet demand variations- Medical facilities can face unprecedented demand for ad hoc procurement of components, particularly during episodes of epidemics. In light of the recent pandemic situation, one of the key coronavirus risk assessment strategies stresses engagement with suppliers who exhibit sufficient spare production capacity to meet any ad hoc variations in product demand. This will, in turn, enable buyers to reduce procurement time in such cases, that would otherwise be required for selecting a new supplier and check adherence of its products to quality and regulatory norms.
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