Public Sector a Greenfield for Logistics ServicesThu, 07/18/2019 - 17:26
The size and complexity of the Mexican public health system offers a significant opportunity for technology and know-how transfer from players in the private sector, says Alesio Bereciartu, Commercial Director of the Healthcare Business Unit Latin America at OCASA. “The Mexican public health sector is in need of better logistics services and could greatly benefit from the transfer of technology, quality and know-how coming from the private to the public sector.”
OCASA, an Argentinian company with more than 35 years of experience in the market and presence in the US, Europe, India and Latin America, provides solutions for e-commerce and general logistics, but has developed significant expertise in the health segment. “We understand the particular logistics needs of the health industry. We have the speed that the pharmaceutical industry requires, as well as the needed expertise to support clinical research and other types of activities.”
OCASA’s expertise translates to the three business lines in which the company has ventured within the health sector. One is the collection of biological samples for clinical trials in Latin American countries to be shipped to central labs, mostly in the US. “We have developed an operational structure for sample collection from several Latin American countries that are mostly used for clinical trials. Almost 80 percent of the samples collected go to the US and the rest are sent to cities like Mexico City or Buenos Aires,” says Bereciartu.
Another business niche in which OCASA participates is logistics for hospitals and clinics, although Bereciartu says that in Mexico, the company is still growing its participation to what it has in other countries. “It is hard to make a comparison with other countries, since we have different commercial strategies, according to the particular conditions of each country. We have a stronger presence in this business niche in Argentina than in Mexico. However, this does not mean that our operations in Mexico are less important.” Bereciartu says OCASA’s offering is complemented by its third business line, which focuses on warehousing and distribution services for medical devices companies.
For Bereciartu, OCASA’s success lies not only in its expertise but also in its human capital. “Most of our personnel comes from the pharmaceutical industry and we train all our collaborators in the same processes and standards as any other player in the pharma industry. We have implemented all the procedures and protocols needed and have standardized all our services and processes in all regions where we are present.” Thanks to this approach, the company has succeeded when competing for critical logistics tasks against other logistics providers in the health sector. “Many important laboratories trust their high-volume samples to larger companies but depend on us to manage clinical research samples that require more detailed attention,” he says.
While expertise is one of OCASA’s success drivers, Bereciartu says technology also plays a key role when ensuring that every client requirement is met on time and effectively. “We have a control center that keeps tabs on all our vehicles and units and that can detect any anomaly or delay in the delivery of the products.” Its automated online platform also allows OCASA to manage all information regarding shipments and cargo with low margins of errors, says Bereciartu. “We have to constantly adapt and update our system to make it more precise and more robust. It is what the market demands.”
Although Mexico has been receptive to OCASA’s commercial offering, Bereciartu says the country has a series of complexities and particularities that have made the company’s tasks challenging at times. “Infrastructure and security are important topics for us. In many regions where there are neither resources nor infrastructure, it is a big challenge to have an operation that flows easily. Sometimes, it is also hard to find people available to perform last-mile deliveries in these places,” he says. When it comes to regulatory conditions, Bereciartu says the country’s public institutions tend to be bureaucratic because of their size. Still, Mexico offers significant opportunity areas for a company like OCASA. “The country has a growing population, along with a developed hospital infrastructure. Moreover, its health system allows the participation of third-party players for certain tasks,” he says.