Eduardo Tapia
Director of Life Science and Healthcare
DHL
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View from the Top

Cold Chain a Growing Priority for Life Sciences

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 17:16

Q: How does DHL improve its clients’ supply chains in the life sciences sector?
A: DHL invests in the generation of solutions specific to our client’s needs. The company analyzes its clients’ supply chains to identify areas that can be improved in terms of efficiency or service. Our goal is to find ways to add value to their supply chain and to work together with clients to develop better strategies to deliver the medication or medical device to the patient. For instance, some clients in Mexico have asked us for strategies to reach their diabetic patients faster. In these cases, we are improving and developing e-commerce platforms that allow us to deliver the medication as soon as the diabetic patient needs it.
DHL Supply Chain Mexico has 100,000m2 exclusively adapted for pharmaceutical products and medical devices. The company has over 20 years of experience in this sector, through which it gained significant knowledge in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, diagnostics and animal health. Mexico is the seventh-largest market for DHL Supply Chain’s pharmaceutical division. We have over 60,000m2 with controlled temperature, which is essential for the pharmaceutical sector. We ensure that these rooms adhere to the highest standards of quality thanks to the almost 1,000 employees that specialize in the life sciences area.
Q: What investments has DHL Supply Chain made to continue improving its services for the life sciences sector?
A: In 2018, we developed areas in our warehouses to wash surgical instruments. These areas, which are located in warehouses close to hospitals, receive medical devices and washing them so doctors can use them right away. Our objective is to help clients take advantage of the infrastructure capabilities of a logistics operator to bring products closer to customers.
Q: How is DHL supporting Mexican hospitals to manage their own logistics?
A: DHL provides logistics services to a major hospital in Mexico. In this case, we receive, administer and redistribute the products from many medical device suppliers, improving the hospital’s inventory processes. We are seeing an increasing number of hospitals willing to partner with logistics operators to take advantage of the latter’s platforms, systems, infrastructure and experience.
Q: How does DHL offer added value to manufacturers of biotechnological products and APIs?
A: The market for biotechnological products has grown significantly in Mexico and all these players look for logistics companies that offer solid controlled-temperature solutions. These clients know that DHL already has experience in the management of these products. We provide clients with the entire solution and equipment they need to safely transport the product to the patient.  
Q: What are the three main goals for the life sciences division and your growth expectations for the coming year?
A: We will continue growing alongside our clients. We are already strong in the sector but we want to strengthen our medical devices division and create more alliances with local manufacturers. In the past couple years, we have focused on animal health, for which we now have solid operations.
During 2018, we increased our investment in the life sciences sector by 70 percent, especially to strengthen our cold-chain capabilities. We will continue investing in infrastructure and training and continue improving our processes for the proper handling of medications. We will also invest in the development of platforms to allow us to have a greater amount of real-time information with which to make decisions. We are investing heavily in IoT principles, which will allow us to provide more information to clients on the status of their products on the road. We can also provide them with a comprehensive analysis of their logistics and commercial strategy. This information will allow clients to make better-informed decisions.