Pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and medical supplies providers are experiencing major upheavals resulting from the increasing needs of a healthcare environment undergoing a seismic change. Many companies have responded to the challenge by delivering products that are clinically effective and cost-efficient, but have invested little effort and money in updating their distribution operations. Yet the supply chain is just as important, since it carries a product from the factory floor to the patient’s bedside.
Most pharmaceutical, medical supplies, medical equipment manufacturers have complex supply chains that are underutilized and ill-equipped to cope with the current and future challenges. Most suppliers fail to take into account that the product portfolios of pharmaceutical companies have expanded to include biologicals and tissue-based therapies that require more complex distribution processes than conventional chemical entities. They are highly susceptible to damage and impurities during shipping and distribution, and should therefore be transported in novel delivery devices. Similarly, the transport and distribution of fragile laboratory equipment, diagnostic instruments, and high-cost surgical products, such as vascular and ureteral stents requires special care in order to prevent damage and ensure product quality.
Since the implementation of a value-based healthcare system, healthcare providers and payers have become much more demanding. To slow healthcare spending growth moving forward, employers will consider supply-side management strategies—such as narrower provider networks and value-based purchasing—that focus on bringing price, rather than utilization, down. This has huge implications for pharmaceutical companies, medical device, and medical supplies manufacturers as they will not only have to ensure delivery of superior-quality, safe, and effective products, but will also have to supplement their products with a range of supporting services to make sure that the patient gets the most from the therapy.
As profit margins of pharmaceutical, medical supplies, and medical device manufacturers continue to shrink, they may want to explore new markets that offer better revenue-generation opportunities. However, to achieve this objective, they will have to build a supply chain that is more geographically dispersed, as well as equipped to prevent counterfeiting, diversion, and cargo theft.
In addition, expanding operations to global markets also expose pharmaceutical, medical supplies, and medical device manufacturers to the risk of non-compliance. Greater public scrutiny and pressure to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner will require companies to ensure compliance with the standards set by the FDA, as well as to the local regulations of a country. Failure to ensure this might result in recalls damaging the bottom line and public image of a supplier.
At Allen Austin, we have an in-depth understanding of the diverse spectrum of supply chain-related challenges faced by pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and medical supplies companies. We believe that transformational leadership is the only way companies can manage the change and drive growth amidst uncertainty. We provide highly specialized talent solutions to our clients, helping them recruit and retain the most sought-after leaders for their company.
Our executive search consultants use their industry-specific expertise and experience to deliver tailored leadership development solutions that are aimed at helping clients find leaders who treat transformation as a strategic imperative and have the right skills and experience required to drive their company’s success.