Evolving to Take on New Supply-Chain ChallengesThu, 09/07/2017 - 13:56
Logistics services can be a challenge for the Mexican health industry’s supply chain. Companies have to maintain safety, ensure the chain of custody and comply with their customers’ requirements in times of high delinquency and peso depreciation. To mitigate these challenges, health companies like Medistik have developed strategic solutions, latching onto new opportunities in the process, says Daniel Pardo, the company's CEO.
The company, formerly Bomi Mexico, a business with 20 years of experience in the healthcare logistics sector in Mexico, is looking to reinvent itself and expand in the local market, which has limited integral logistics solutions. It wants to triple in size in the next five years through organic growth that includes improving its services and offering solutions to new health segments. To further underpin its evolution, Medistik has developed and implemented a training and repair center to which clients can bring their equipment and personnel, who receive full training on how to use it.
Insecurity in the country has also created the need for stringent security measures, especially in high-risk areas such as Mexico City or the State of Mexico, says Pardo. There were around 1,000 assaults on cargo vehicles on highways from January to November 2016, according to the National Public Security System (SNSP), although that number might be higher because many companies do not report the crimes, according to Mario Espinosa, President of the Mexican Association of Vehicle Tracking and Protection (ANERPV).
The company has taken several steps to maintain safety and ensure the chain of custody. “We started by establishing a security manager position. We then enhanced our recruitment process to ensure the trustworthiness of all our drivers,” Pardo says. A report from FreightWatch International, a security logistics agency, says that assailants usually operate in groups of six to eight people in three cars and use systems that block their target’s communications network. Pardo says this is why Medistik changed the GPS system on all its trucks to have redundancy control. Now, they use a dual GPS system that can detect jammers and can send an alert to the monitoring center that works with authorities to recover stolen vehicles. Trucks have electromagnetic closures, so they can only be opened at the delivery point. When transporting certain products, Medistik also works with private-security agencies that offer escort services.
Besides insecurity, another challenge the logistics sector is trying to mitigate is the peso’s depreciation. The cost of equipment, rent and other elements are usually in dollars, which affects companies and customers. As Pardo explains, Medistik is working to become more efficient by proactively improving transportation and warehouse management. Part of its responsibility is ensuring companies gain control of their products through better inventory management. Pardo highlights that the main issue in this area is that large healthcare institutions like hospitals do not have total product visibility. The company looks to implement technological tools that will provide clarity on the location and quantity of every product, reducing inventory-related costs. “We are adapting, anticipating and inviting our clients to join us in this process,” says Pardo.
Ensuring full compliance with the supply chain and product requirements is among the most difficult tasks, specifically in Mexico, where the challenge in such an extensive territory is being able to get everywhere. “Any given company cannot cover the whole country. The service we provide should help our clients deliver further and reach the point of sale faster.”
Medistik hopes to offer the public sector some of the solutions already in place for the private sphere, which accounts for 100 percent of the company’s customers. “We do keep in mind that the government is the largest user. There are big opportunities to help it to be more actively efficient and to drive down the cost of healthcare,” says Pardo. He believes that Medistik’s evolution is not limited to updating its image but in also giving the broad vision of its service a makeover.