A Commitment to Resilience

Three long-term priorities to ensure a resilient healthcare supply chain for manufacturers.

Sponsored DukalDecember 2022 – The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

The failure of the global supply chain in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 caused acute shortages of essential frontline supplies and personal protective equipment, causing fundamental concerns about the sustainability of the health system.

As a New York-based company, Dukal felt a personal and human need to be part of the solution. 24/7 communication with some of the largest healthcare systems in the country, our company worked tirelessly to protect PPE inventory while offering transparency and trust amid a healthcare crisis. This constant dialogue helped Dukal successfully serve our end user, not only in New York but nationally, as the virus and need spread. We are incredibly proud of Dukal’s high level of execution and humbled, seeing firsthand the time and effort from all levels of the supply chain (i.e., factories, freight partners, distributors, and providers). Our combined dedication allowed our communities to continue to be served, despite the most strained national health crisis of our lives.

With supply chains still at the forefront of healthcare discussions, three long-term priorities are taking shape, providing future-thinking manufacturers a competitive advantage while working to ensure a resilient healthcare industry.

We sat down with Dukal’s Chief Operating Officer, Charles Abbinanti, to discuss our collective responsibility to healthcare workers and how Dukal is working to ensure product availability in today’s complex, uncertain, and fast-changing environment.

What is manufacturing’s role in ensuring a resilient healthcare supply chain?

Pre-pandemic research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that, on average, companies experience a disruption of one to two months in duration every 3.7 years.1 When these interruptions occur in our industry, the health of patients, families, and communities is left at risk. For Dukal, patients and all who serve them are at the heart of what we do, and we recognize the essential role manufacturers play in ensuring proper care.

In the healthcare supply chain, the manufacturer facilitates the transfer and transformation of raw materials into finished products. And from there, the transportation and delivery of products to the distributor, retailer, or end-user. A breakdown in just one aspect of the manufacturing process can bring the entire supply chain to a grinding halt, causing disruptions to our vital health systems and preventing proper patient care.

What skills are needed to be successful in supply chain management? How can manufacturers improve supply chain resiliency?

Successful supply chains develop and constantly evaluate effective decisions on operating costs, price, quality, and speed in every step of the manufacturing process – from materials and labor to delivery and storage.2 

To ensure manufacturing resilience, forward-thinking supply chains recognize three new priorities alongside the traditional cost, quality, and service objectives.

1. Build strategic partnerships with suppliers 

Manufacturers that are deeply integrated with every level of material sourcing and process development are able to ensure high quality and regulatory standards while delivering high fill rates – even in times of disruption. Over the past 30 years, we at Dukal have developed long-term partnerships with over 100+ suppliers in 12 countries. By viewing supplier relationships, as partnerships, we’re able to work collaboratively to improve processes and reduce waste while lowering costs and reducing inventory risk.

The quality and regulatory systems we create are the foundation for maintaining compliance, driving improvement, and effectiveness – ensuring the uninterrupted availability of quality product to the end user.

2. Keep transparency and trust at the forefront

By improving transparency and proactive decision-making, manufacturers are able to stay ahead of today’s supply chain complexities and effectively communicate with customers to overcome disruptions.

Well before congested ports began to snarl supply chains and upset global markets, we at Dukal have been committed to providing partners with the highest level of transparency and trust. Through recent technology investments, automation, and innovative supply chain strategy, we’re able to provide customers with real-time data on order shipment, delivery, and status all the way from the factory line to delivery. Providing customers with clear oversight of their product’s process in both development and transport.

3. Increase resiliency through a global footprint and collaborative safety stock programs

Manufacturers can build upon their own disaster recovery plans by creating collaborative forecasts and safety stock programs with customers.

Further, manufacturers who explore creating a global footprint (i.e., sourcing product from multiple countries) and hosting bi-coastal warehouses can provide customers with recovery options even when faced with significant international disruptions.

To learn more about how Dukal ensures our products are available to meet the everyday demands of today’s healthcare professionals, visit dukal.info/customer-experience.

1 www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/operations/our-insights/future-proofing-the-supply-chain

2 www.elmhurst.edu/blog/manufacturing-a-product/#:~:text=In%20product%20manufacturing%2C%20the%20supply,or%20directly%20to%20a%20consumer.

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