Alesio Bereciartu
Commercial Director of the Life Sciences Division Latin America
OCASA
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A Logistics Ally for COVID-19 Testing, Vaccine Distribution

By Miriam Bello | Mon, 07/12/2021 - 13:07

Q: How has technology been a differentiator for OCASA’s specialized services?

A: Last year was marked by many changes and technology allowed us to move at a faster pace than usual, from a management standpoint to the way we operate. OCASA integrated technology solutions that provided the client with the opportunity to have real-time tracking of their logistics process. The company was already adopting digital trends prior to COVID-19. When the pandemic arrived, we were one step ahead and ready to live up to our clients’ high expectations.

Our real-time tracking in direct-to-patient and direct-from-patient services for the health division made a significant difference to our clients and their patients in Latin America. For the direct-to-patient service in particular, we collected COVID-19 test samples to reduce the risk of contagion and overcrowded hospitals that would have arisen if patients had delivered their own samples. Using the same logistics service, we are benefiting the client, patients and the health system. Through direct-from-patient services, OCASA supported companies involved in vaccine development by collecting the samples from the patient and delivering them to the company’s central labs, which could be in a different city, state of even country, requiring that we have the right capacity to comply with their process.

None of these services would be possible without a good performance system propelled by technology, including perfectly functional communication, order reception and process and timely supply delivery. OCASA is managing specialized delivery services to the different geographic areas of Latin America despite the logistical challenges.

Q: OCASA doubled the volume of its general deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic. How much did the company’s health division contribute to this growth?

A: OCASA’s health division contributed to this growth from several fronts, including the large number of clinical studies we supported, vaccine supply distribution during their development process and vaccine distribution once approved. OCASA received and transported vaccines from several pharmaceutical companies in various countries. We received the vaccines at international airports and delivered them to the countries’ designated warehouse. We also transported them to different states or provinces according to the government’s provisions for each location.

For a vaccine, the entire logistics process begins once it leaves the production plant. In the EU, for example, it is shipped with real-time tracking to the airport, where our monitored transportation service will receive, register, load and secure it with the support of the national government (depending on each country) to deliver it to the final point. This involves an extensive documentation process. One of the most outstanding aspects of these deliveries is the level of national security involved in the transportation to the final delivery point and this is where OCASA’s real-time tracking plays an essential part.

Q: What are OCASA’s current projects in Mexico?

A: We are hoping to resume projects that we put on hold prior to the pandemic. OCASA is a large distributor of medicines, medical supplies and devices for clinical research, but many facilities paused some care services to respond to the pandemic, and many clinical trials were suspended. When study protocols, programmed surgeries and regular or preventive medical consultations resume, OCASA will be ready to support its clients and help get them back on track. Many countries also limited their logistics operations during the pandemic, which impacted all industries. Although, OCASA as an essential logistic player continued delivering services around the world.

In general, all countries are still facing uncertainty, which makes it hard to put long-term plans in place. Fortunately, OCASA has a robust and flexible infrastructure, and we have supported the health industry with our know-how and execution excellence, especially during COVID-19. We were able to adapt to this new normal, which put the company in a better place to build a strategy for expansion. COVID-19 will continue to shape OCASA’s demand this year, so we expect it to grow. Moreover, as other segments in the industry reopen, we will resume that work and further contribute to our company’s growth and future stability.

 

OCASA is an Argentinian company with more than 35 years of experience in the market. It is present in the US, the EU, India and Latin America. It specializes in clinical research for the pharmaceutical industry. The company also provides solutions for e-commerce and general logistics trough other company divisions.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst