Smart Software Solutions can speed up crucial delivery operations
The current public health crisis has provided a challenging scenario to the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, from firefighting the coronavirus pandemic to delivering the numerous life- saving drugs, medicines and medical devices that are vital for the nation.
Health facilities and retailers want short delivery times and precise timescales. Meeting these expectations often means juggling different transport providers and their various systems, which is not an easy operation to do manually. Consolidating all transport providers into a single platform improves the distribution process and delivers an efficient method of connecting fulfilment and shipping.
Shipping software solutions specialists like SmartFreight® have seen increased enquiries from pharmaceutical companies looking to reduce transport spend and the amount of time keying in orders manually. As one of our clients told us: it’s all about providing a more hassle-free service.
However big or small a business is, streamlining the despatch operation using the latest shipping solutions not only frees up staff but provides an automatic choice of transport provider best suited to the client’s requirement along with the flexibility to manage a dip or spike in volumes during a crisis, whether it’s for ventilators, PPE equipment or hand sanitisers.
When it comes to delivery certainty is everything. Due to the critical nature of pharma goods, a supplier needs to select a service from transport partners knowing they comply with all the regulations relating to the nature of the goods and how time critical it is to deliver. A lack of shipment visibility can lead to customer frustration.
Tracking deliveries enhances trust between provider and customer. From processing and dispatch though to delivery, it’s easy to track a shipment every step of the way. When orders are dispatched, customers receive a branded email from their supplier with all the details they need to track their items on desktop or mobile devices, regardless of transport provider.
Pharma businesses that don’t have an integrated shipping solution are likely to be manually processing the same data multiple times through different systems, with the potential for human error, while shipping orders on sub-optimal routes or services causes delays, additional costs and a poor customer experience.
Businesses also need to consider customers who place numerous orders, not necessarily at the same time, but are anticipating receiving them on the same day. Why despatch multiple consignments to one address when an integrated system will consolidate all the orders placed in one day to send out as one consignment, reducing shipping costs, product miles and helping the environment?
That’s the beauty of an integrated shipping solution, businesses can slice and dice their distribution pie any way they like to suit specific needs. It’s all about making a decision based on customer requirements. The best software solutions will also automatically reconcile transport providers’ invoices, saving time and the laborious task of doing so manually and reducing the risk factor of human error.
Pharmaceutical companies with their own fleet can still access a cost-effective delivery tracking system comparable to the UK’s best transport providers. This allows track and trace capability from a smartphone and app, giving the fleet tracking and Proof of Delivery (POD) capability without the need to deploy costly specialised hardware in each vehicle.
To keep up with the ever-increasing demands and challenges in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors, hassle-free automated shipping software solutions with state of the art delivery tracking technology should be your first consideration.
Natasha Jones is European Channel Manager