How can supply chains in the healthcare industry be improved?

There is no other supply chain that has been more profoundly impacted than that of the healthcare industry due to the necessity to comply with health, communication, and data security standards. It’s more of a vicious circle because, on one hand, there are regulations that must be adhered to, requiring constant updates to the entire medical infrastructure, while, on the other hand, each new upgrade brings complexities that didn’t exist before.


Another challenge in the healthcare industry revolves around the fact that funding is typically directed towards the patient and research, leaving too few resources for a major digital transformation.

However, there is an approach of taking small steps that these organizations can follow to achieve an integrated supply chain. Great achievements can be reached with small but sure steps. Below, we have described some straightforward and easy-to-follow steps that will yield fantastic results in the long run:

  1. Start with EDI

As industries slowly move towards digitization and automation, the healthcare industry is also reorganizing to become more data-centric. Medical organizations need to achieve maximum document interoperability because they deal with patient records daily, and any time saved can make a significant difference in some cases. These documents need to be sent and received rapidly while traveling in a highly secure environment. Moreover, these documents must be accessible and readable on any medium, with complete system compatibility.

With B2B and EDI tools at their disposal, medical companies can expedite both business processes and inventory turnover, ultimately leading to significant cost reductions.

Have you considered that if your front-end applications were integrated with the supply chain, you would gain greater visibility and better control over how resources are allocated and spent?

Organizations can thereby have access to clear information when they want to identify average costs, how they can be reduced, and so on.

  1. Think of patients and opt for B2B integration.

While there are very few similarities between regular business clients and medical patients, it’s time to start looking at them in the same way and giving them more influence and power. If you start seeing medical patients as business partners, it will create a collaborative relationship. It will make you increasingly consider their needs, obliging you to address and solve them. You will soon notice that business processes have accelerated, there is less stagnant inventory, and costs have decreased.

This way, you will deliver the quality services that medical patients need. Compared to other industries, such as the retail industry, the healthcare industry requires a unique level of empathy towards end users of medical services. That’s why it’s important to provide patients with high-quality products and services, thus propelling the healthcare industry forward and changing the way we operate.

  1. Take advantage of the benefits of externally managed services.

Like in any other industry, the challenges faced by the healthcare industry stem from a lack of personnel and resources needed for a transformation that can create a truly interoperable supply chain.

However, there is a solution that can take the difficulties out of the hands of medical organizations. There is a great alternative to handling all the new information and challenging tasks on your own: entrust everything to an externally managed B2B service provider.

This provider not only has the necessary expertise to manage the implementation and the required steps for a robust transformation but also offers dedicated support, maintenance, and ongoing upgrades. This means that medical organizations will have more time to invest in patient-focused research and innovation, as well as to concentrate on their overarching objectives.

  1. Don’t forget that even warehouses require efficient management.

Often, most companies tend to consider warehouse management as one of the less important tasks. To claim that you have an efficient warehouse management system, you need strategies that address all types of issues, whether they originate internally or externally, such as natural disasters.

In any case, you need a system that performs damage control for any issues that may arise along the way. Considering it’s the healthcare industry, it’s extremely important for supply chains to become interoperable to accelerate processes, redirect orders and distribution, and save valuable time in case of a crisis.

By following all the steps mentioned above, you’ll be gradually dismantling the roadblock that hinders your progress and delivering better results. The approach of taking small but sure steps will help you optimize the supply chain.