Technology Required For Productivity in Logistics: DeloitteBy Miriam Bello | Tue, 06/30/2020 - 10:16
Q: How have the government’s changes to the health sector impacted your clients?
XO: Our clients in the industry have continued to supply and work responsibly. There was a disruption in the supply chain at the beginning of the year. That was challenging, but now they are all focused on complying with their contracts for both public and private sectors.
Another change not related to the government, but to the logistics sector, is how hospitals are trying to consolidate larger orders to reduce costs in logistics. An ideal scenario in the logistics sector is to deliver larger orders throughout spaced periods of time. In the healthcare sector, however, hospital pharmacies cannot have larger stocks of medicine due to their storage capacity.
Q: How would you encourage your clients in the sector to invest in technological trends?
XO: Technology in logistics is now a requirement to be competitive. Inventory control and planning systems are a must in the pharmaceutical sector, especially now that public and private sectors are working on a more centralized purchasing scheme. Government Bidding sometimes require certain brands and presentation, which means manufacturers can supply different brands of the same type of product in other markets where specific products and brands are a requirement. In terms of Supply Chain, this means further control and planning to avoid shortages, and requirements to implement technology to enhance planning and decision-making. Collaboration is still lacking in most Client-Supplier relationships in the Life Sciences and Health Care industry. However, and as an example, the Retail industry works through collaborations already and should promote the LSHC industry to mature this practice.
Q: What are your client’s main concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic and how are you addressing them?
RM: One of the first symptoms to appear was related to Stock and Supply Chain disruption. Even if many companies have stock systems that help them evaluate requirements, the pandemic situation demanded a thorough review of raw material, finished goods forecast and scenario planning. As advisors, we (Deloitte) have helped our clients to evaluate the current situation, market by market, and for each product (SKU), to determine the right strategy and execute accordingly. We study the company’s situation to determine key indicators required to keep operations going and analyze their type of inventory to identify whether they are compromised at any stage considering many variables, including how fast products are sold or when they will expire.
XO: Another factor that has been key to all industries is Human Resources. Many workers have been sent home due to risk of contagion, while others are returning to work in stages, which can lead to delays in production and distribution. Many companies are offering transportation options for their staff to keep them safe from contagion. Cafeteria spaces are also being adapted and social distancing measures are highly encouraged, as well as daily check-ups before going into a plant or office and upon leaving. In addition, proper tracing of suspicious cases is also carefully evaluated. An outbreak inside a company can stop the whole production chain. We (Deloitte) recommend many measures including preventive, safety and most importantly, feasible ones on the basis of respect toward employees’ privacy.
Q: How can Mexico position itself as a stronger competitor in the manufacturing pharmaceutical sector in a post-COVID-19 world?
A: In Mexico, production is dominated by the generics sector. While it would be very interesting to see more global production settle here, the main aspects of logistics, like accessibility to roads, ports, railway would be the main drivers to bring the production to our country. Mexico is highly competitive as a manufacturer, as in all industries, and having the most accessible logistics will help develop and grow our pharma production.
Q: What are Deloitte’s short-term goals for its healthcare consulting area?
A: As of the current pandemic situation, we are focused on helping our clients with the most relevant recommendations to secure inventory and responsibly protect their Human Resources. The pharmaceutical industry has to think carefully about every step of their production and work. Whereas in the past many risks could be taken from time to time, now is not the time to optimize Operations and Supply Chains to be efficient in terms of Service and costs. At Deloitte, we have been very active in establishing the foundations to provide the right solutions to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deloitte is one of the world’s leading audit, consulting, tax, financial advisory and risk advisory brands, with about 245,000 people working at member firms in 150 countries and territories