Supply chain management in the diagnostic market demands operational excellence at every turn. Every process should have a reason to exist, and (to borrow a term) no stone should be left unoptimized. That said, all processes can be improved (after all, they exist to serve dynamically changing needs). Diagnostic supply chain management is no different.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of diagnostic supply chain reliability was brought into stark focus. At its core, a reliable supply chain requires flexibility, risk mitigation, and efficiency. Here are four strategies to achieve more-reliable diagnostic supply chain management:
Flexibility and forecasting are pivotal to the reduction of supply chain risk. Flexibility appears in various forms, from process flexibility to corporate agility. Process flexibility and planning allow a manufacturer to adapt to changes in the supply chain with minimal impact. This often relies on an open dialogue between the manufacturer, supply chain partners, and customers. On the other hand, corporate agility is important for a company’s responsiveness and resilience to market changes. A manufacturer with an agile, flexible corporate process is often more proactive than reactive. This can be essential when communicating with supply chain partners and adapting to shifting market demands. Lastly, while it’s a good business practice to be aware of market demands in the market, standards and regulations can change just as easily. It’s up to manufacturers to be aware of regulatory constraints and requirements in the manufacturing and marketing of diagnostic products.
2. Optimize the Supply Chain with KPIs
A good supply chain assesses itself regularly to optimize its processes. This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come into play. A manufacturer needs reliable metrics to inform the company’s performance in various operational areas. A manufacturer can identify where and how to improve its processes by monitoring and assessing KPIs over time. For example, a manufacturer may want to track fulfillment metrics or the frequency with which the company maintains quantity and timing targets for customers. This can also involve KPIs on back orders and an analysis of which inventory is slowing down order fulfillment.
3. Include Raw Materials and Components in the Supply Chain
A supply chain in which raw materials are controlled is essential to reliability and stability. In early 2021, the American Society for Microbiology published an article that detailed significant supply shortages for COVID-19 and non-COVID testing activities. They observed shortages of mediums, reagents, collection devices, and consumables. During the pandemic, many manufacturers also faced similar shortages of finished products, active ingredients, and components. With harsh lessons learned from the pandemic, manufacturers are encouraged to integrate raw materials and components into their supply chain to remove any vulnerabilities that could affect manufacturing activities and order fulfillment.
4. Localize Manufacturing Activities
Many aspects of diagnostic manufacturing rely on a solid global supply chain. However, there is a growing consensus that localizing manufacturing activities onshore (or in the country of sale) will result in a stronger supply chain. In the US, there is bipartisan political support and growing favor from many businesses and the public for local manufacturing across many industries (e.g., the CHIPS and Science Act), including medical diagnostics. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on manufacturing and supply chains has created a demand for reliable supply chains that can operate even during times of crisis. Local manufacturing activities can improve crisis preparedness, stability, predictability, and biodefense.
CorDx has implemented these strategies as well as many other network-optimization techniques to bring reliability, transparency, and speed to its supply chain and diagnostic customers. Learn more about CorDx’s manufacturing network in the United States, including newly opened manufacturing facilities in San Diego, Calif., and Atlanta, Ga.
From its headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., CorDx is transforming the global diagnostics industry with innovative R&D solutions, a vertically integrated supply chain, and manufacturing footprints in the United States and around the world. Through its product realization partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies, CorDx develops, manufactures, and distributes diagnostics and related tools that empower users to monitor and improve their health. Its proprietary line of diagnostics solutions is recognized by families and medical professionals for reliability, affordability, and rapid results.
CorDx is a member of the CorDx Union, a biotechnology organization that delivers medical device solutions to healthcare industries and over a billion users in more than 170 countries. To learn more, visit CorDx.com.