Health care executives now face a variety of unprecedented demands, many of which center on their relatively new networks of extensive global supply chains.
In fact, the combination of extended supply chains due to globalization and the introduction of more specialized products into the marketplace has many health care executives particularly concerned about regulatory compliance, product integrity and security, according to new results from the fourth annual Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey from UPS.
More specifically, the survey, which questioned senior-level healthcare supply chain executives at pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies in the US, Europe and Asia, found that:
Regulatory compliance tops the list of supply chain concerns. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of survey respondents said regulatory compliance is their primary supply chain concern. Managing supply chain costs came in second overall, with 64 percent, followed by product security (61 percent) and product damage / spoilage (56 percent).
Supply chain cost management remains a challenge. Only 42 percent those surveyed reported success in supply chain cost management. In the US, however, companies appear to be getting better at cost management, with 53 percent of US executives reporting success in this area in 2011 versus 44 percent in 2010.
Supply chain concerns vary by region. Companies in Asia were much more concerned about product security as a supply chain issue, with 71 percent reporting high concern versus 53 percent in the US and just 51 percent in Europe. Product damage and spoilage was a much larger issue of concern in Asia (70 percent) and the US (67 percent) than in Europe (only 27 percent).
Companies are investing in supply chain to increase their competitiveness. Technology investments ranked as the No. 1 strategy, with 86 percent of respondents reporting that they would invest in new technologies over the next three to five years. Tapping into new global markets was the second top strategy for increasing competitiveness, with 81 percent of respondents reporting plans to expand in new areas in the next three to five years.
More information on these findings and an executive summary of survey results is available here and at pressroom.ups.com/healthcare.