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December 15, 2014
Five steps to transform your supply chain and improve access to medicines
By: Bill Kammerer

The top supply chains in the world are found in retail, consumer products, high tech and the food and beverage industries. What does “great” look like for their supply chains? How do leading companies create competitive differentiation through their supply chains? And how can life sciences companies take advantage of these lessons to reach the right patient, at the right place, at the right time? These are just a few of the questions plaguing many of today’s life sciences companies wishing to improve their access to emerging MINT markets.

We recommend repositioning the supply chain using the following five step approach:

1. Start with the patient

Patients in the different socioeconomic and geographical segments in emerging markets seek care and medicines in vastly different ways, so supply chains must be as agile and diverse as the people they serve. Understanding patient barriers and access behaviors is critical for building end-to-end supply chain visibility.

2. Turn insight into action

Centralized, integrated and agile planning capabilities are essential for managing supply chain operations and translating visibility into action. A key trend for industry-leading companies is the Supply Chain Control Tower—a set of capabilities and processes that coordinate an enterprise-wide, rapid response, based on real-time data.

3. Take it over the Last Mile

The “Last Mile” focuses on reaching the end-patient, not just the dispenser. A comprehensive Last Mile strategy includes demand-driven supply networks, cold chain strategy, integrated work systems, multichannel fulfillment and distributor integration platforms.

4. Tap into mobile as a connector

The prevalence of mobile devices and ease of connectivity open up a wealth of opportunities for life sciences companies to engage patients and leverage social and mobile business intelligence to drive business decisions. Leaders are tapping into mobility to augment traditional supply chain capabilities in demand sensing and signals, mobile clinics, provider capacity building, and a serialized and secured supply chain.

5. Create shared value

In emerging markets, patient access experts are often found in the development sector. They hold complementary capabilities to their private-sector counterparts and can often help fill the gaps of how to best access the middle-class and low-income populations in otherwise unfamiliar markets. With a common goal—to increase access to medicines—it makes good sense for private-sector companies to partner with development organizations, to drive both business growth and global health improvements.

For life sciences companies considering ways to strengthen their supply chain, these five steps offer a strategic approach for increasing patient reach in emerging and developing markets.

To learn more, read Access to Medicines: The Next Growth Frontier.

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