The timely transportation of lifesaving drugs is detrimental to the pharmaceutical industry’s success. Pharma companies work on clinical trials and advanced research that requires drug delivery and storage options. Even the slightest mistake during the logistics process may seriously delay the delivery and impact both Pharma companies and their customers. On top of that, pharmaceutical companies are currently struggling with the logistics process. As the most crucial element, Last-mile delivery services are impacted due to a multitude of factors. It seems that the most efficient solution to this problem is route optimization. Here is how route optimization benefits the pharmaceutical industry and potentially may solve all major issues.
Last-mile delivery services complexities and problems
There is an array of global logistics issues for the Pharma industry. The most common ones include the following:
- supplying cold-chain Pharma products;
- non-refrigerated supplies;
- safety guidelines for geographically varying distribution;
- truck capacity limitations;
- the global shortage of drivers;
- increased needs for special storage requirements;
- complex emergency security measures;
- the change in temperature;
- no visibility over the logistics processes;
- difficulties regarding sudden On-Demand deliveries;
- unpredictable traffic jams;
These are just some of the issues that happen during the last mile delivery services. With that in mind, here is how route optimization may contribute to Pharma companies and solve these issues on a global scale.
Plan flexible delivery schedules
When delivering drugs to Pharma companies and various establishments, one of the most valued resources is time. Shipment must be delivered without delays because that creates a lack of trust. Any issues with the delivery usually happen because there is no flexibility in planning the traditional routes.
Some Pharma companies, like nursing homes, require emergency deliveries, which is where flexible route planning comes into place. It is essential to prioritize and always deliver shipments with higher priority first.
Deliveries of pharma shipments involve many costs due to various shipment needs. As mentioned, some shipments require refrigerated trucks, special storage units, temperature control, and increased driver awareness. On top of that, commercial warehousing costs also come into place. Failure to accommodate these conditions might lead to discarding medical supplies worth a lot of money.
End-to-end technology plays an essential role here because it allows full visibility of the route planning process. That is the best approach to avoid these problematic situations due to non-flexible route planning. With the right technology system in place, you will have real-time status on all vehicles, allowing more control over fleet management and operations.
Route optimization reduces wasteful transportation costs
Over 80% of different types of drugs and 90% of vaccines require temperature-controlled storage during the delivery process. Many costs are involved in maintaining such a complex shipment delivery. Last-mile delivery managers and drivers hold a great responsibility for delivering these products.
If we compare that type of delivery with common goods, we can notice a difference in the price of delivery. Transportation trucks for the pharma industry require controlled room temperature systems, refrigerants, insulated containers, thermal blanketing, and various devices for monitoring temperature. That is why traveling from the storage to the customer needs to happen fast. Otherwise, the companies will lose money on failed shipments and discarded medical products.
Sudden on-demand deliveries benefit from cost-efficient route planning with route optimization software. The system will auto-adjust routes in an emergency and ensure timely delivery to reduce wasteful transportation costs. Furthermore, it also tracks transportation costs, giving you full visibility of your expenses.
Workload distribution is essentials
Another common issue in the pharma industry is uneven workload distribution between multiple trucks. When an urgent delivery happens, a truck must be quickly packed and sent to the delivery address. In case of a poor planning process, the truck will go half empty, while others might be overpacked. This will seriously affect transportation expenses due to fuel costs and potential maintenance issues with trucks.
Furthermore, when planning delivery routes for the entire fleet, the lack of visibility in the workload distribution process might cause additional expenses. All trucks must have proper workload distribution to ensure timely delivery to all locations.
Another reason for this issue is the shortage of experienced delivery staff. Whether we are talking about the drivers or delivery planning managers, this represents a serious issue in logistics. Limited driver capacity must have an unlimited number of requests.
Moreover, not all trucks are suitable for deliveries that require temperature control. If all trucks with the temperature-control system are on delivery, other shipments will have to wait until a truck is free. Routine optimization software can solve these complexities because it ensures even workload distribution. It automatically assigns work and calculates the routes based on driver shortage, traffic conditions, outside temperature, truck capacity, various risk zones, and so on.
The system provides optimized routes in such a way that they do not involve additional costs or any human error. Furthermore, if the plan of the route changes, the system quickly recalculates the next best route.
Route optimization benefits the pharmaceutical industry in many ways
The entire pharma industry depends on the transportation and distribution processes. Advanced technology for route optimization benefits the pharmaceutical industry and ensures on-time urgent deliveries. Furthermore, it reduces unnecessary labor, fuel, and visibility costs and maintains the quality of the last-mile delivery services. The entire future of the pharma industry dramatically depends on route planning and route optimization software.
Lester Martens is a professional blogger and content creator for Bright Futures Treatment Center. He has a huge passion for researching advanced system technologies and project management. Lester aims to help both small and large businesses to ensure the quality of service.