How to Bolster a Life Science or Pharmaceutical Supply Chain—and Bring Shipping Costs Down

For much of the life science and pharmaceutical supply chain, shipping is a serious challenge. Complex transportation requirements, strict safety protocols, and a high degree of risk often send logistics costs soaring, resulting in tighter and tighter margins—especially after patent protection expires and the value of a drug plummets.

While this industry undoubtedly faces unique challenges, they’re far from insurmountable. Here are a few steps that life science and pharma shippers can take to bring their costs down—without sacrificing quality or safety.

Take full advantage of freight auditing

While the additional requirements involved in transporting life science materials often force companies to use more expensive shipping options, many still find themselves overpaying. Why? Because they’re not auditing their freight costs.

Take late deliveries. By comparing actual delivery times with projections and recouping the cost of late shipments, life science companies can stand to put thousands of dollars back into the bottom line. Some delays are unavoidable—but that doesn’t mean you should have to pay through the nose for them.

Boost visibility and coordination

The key to a successful life science supply chain is seamless coordination and total visibility. Without an eye on their products at all times, companies can struggle to ensure that safety protocols are being met. And when shipments are poorly coordinated, delays are inevitable.

A powerful transportation management system (TMS) can help life science companies to coordinate their shipments and prevent costly holdups. Using their TMS, shippers can select the carrier that meets their specific requirements—whether it’s a temperature-controlled truck or a very tight timeline—and communicate any special needs. The right TMS can also dramatically improve visibility, allowing companies to track shipments end to end for total peace of mind.

Improve forecasting with business intelligence

Accurate forecasting is a must for pharmaceutical companies, helping them prevent wasteful overstock or dangerous shortages. Business intelligence tools make this easier, allowing them to unlock strategic insights to predict shifts in supply and demand.

For example, for pharma companies that specialize in flu vaccines and medications, demand is likely to spike in February and December. While many may suspect that this is the case, data from a company’s TMS can back up a manager’s instincts, allowing them to get their supply chain ready to handle these fluctuations smoothly. This data can also help them predict when demand is likely to level out and drop off, ensuring they don’t overproduce products that will ultimately go to waste.

Partner with the experts

At CTSI-Global, we understand the challenges facing life science companies because we work with some of the biggest in the industry. But we don’t dwell on the challenge—we focus on the solution.

Our industry-leading TMS, business intelligence tools, and freight audit and payment solutions can help life science and pharmaceutical companies streamline their logistics operations and reduce freight costs, without putting the end-user in harm’s way.

Our clients also have access to our 20,000-strong network of trusted carriers—including major cold chain operators. This allows companies to find capacity whenever they need it for whatever type of freight they need to ship—and always at the optimal rate.

Life science logistics and pharmaceutical supply chain are unique. Don’t cut corners—ship smarter. Contact a pharma-friendly logistics firm today.

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