Pharmaceutical & Healthcare logistics | Descartes Routing UK

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Pharmaceutical Logistics & Healthcare Logistics

Logistics Software for the Pharmaceutical Industry, Pharmacies and Healthcare

Over the duration of the COVID pandemic, issues in the pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chains have changed, creating a new emphasis on resilience.

Did you know that approximately 50% of leaders consider service exclusivity to be a serious vulnerability?

Recent research shows that in order to prevent ongoing disruption, leaders must prioritise supply chain flexibility, stability, and reliability rather than sole sourcing as a cost-saving strategy.

In the wake of a pandemic, creating an effective supply chain will require your logistics to overcome the following challenges.

Overcome Pharma Supply Chain Challenges

Cost reduction

Labour & driver shortages

Carriers cannot increase the necessary freight capacity due to a significant driver shortage, yet a staffing issue exists throughout the entire retail industry. You may overcome this challenge by using routing software to optimise your fleet by increasing the delivery capacity. Existing Descartes customers have increased delivery capacity by 35% without adding vehicles or drivers.

Cost cutting

Cost-cutting in the supply chain

It might be difficult to reduce costs throughout your supply chains. However, when you adopt the correct solutions, cost reduction is feasible at every step of the supply chain, including last-mile delivery, warehouse management, transportation management, and more.


Creating end-to-end visibility

Creating visibility within your blockchain is a challenge. Selecting the right end-to-end visibility solutions will give retailers and distributors a thorough understanding of the product delivery process from purchase orders to warehouse receipts.

Predictive analysis

Predictive analysis & forecasting

Your supply chains may find it challenging to handle any issues proactively rather than reactively. Analytics powered by data and artificial intelligence hold the key to the problem. With the right software, you can predict results, enabling in-the-moment decision-making and the early detection of potential issues before they cause shipments to be delayed.

Route Planning and Optimisation

An introduction to the Descartes Scheduling and Routing optimisation tools that can create and execute plans, increasing efficiency, providing greater visibility and streamlining communications.

Solutions for the Pharmaceutical & Healthcare industries

Learn about complete supply chain solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Vehicle tracking

    Combining a system with GPS tracking also aids security, knowing where vehicles are is important both in case they are hijacked or stolen or simply need rerouting due to a change in delivery status or location at the last minute.

    Tracking vehicles also enables the planned v. actual to be reviewed and improvements made for the future, such as vehicle speeds or the time take at certain stops.

    The addition of vehicle telematics data being recorded and relayed to the system can alsowill reduce fuel consumption, by identifying and warning drivers of excessive engine idling, hash acceleration, breaking and cornering. Engine fault codes and diagnostic information also provides early warnings of engine potential problems and fault codes, reducing the time a vehicle is off the road for repairs.

    Read More about GPS Vehicle Tracking

  • Traceability

    Achieving end-to-end traceability and visibility of each step in the delivery process is also important, the use of Descartes Mobile applications enables several important actions to be included in the delivery process:

    • Items are scanned as the vehicle is loaded - this ensures the correct parcels items are loaded and that none are left behind.
    • Items are then scanned on delivery - this ensures that the correct parcels products are being delivered to the correct person and that none are missed from a consignmentdelivery.
    • Electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) - a record of a signature or notification that the right person has received the parcel delivery is kept on the system, this can include photographs either of the person or the location where the parcelitem(s) was left. It can also notify the planner when a delivery has been made and is complete.
    • Customer notifications – enables customers to know where their delivery is and if it is likely to be delivered on time as expected.


    Read more about Mobile Applications

  • Cloud based Software-as-a-Service

    Descartes Automated Route and scheduling optimisation is a SaaS cloud-based solution, enabling the operation of the software from any location with an internet connection. This is useful for route planners who for various reasons might be required to work is different office locations or from home.

  • High demand for deliveries

    An automated routing and scheduling solution for vehicles, that takes into account the available resources when planning optimised routes, improves a pharmacies’ ability to cope with and deal with, peaks in demand for home or doctor’s surgeries deliveries, thus dealing with the route calculations in the most efficient way.

    Read more about Route Planning and Scheduling

Discuss your solutions with an expert.


Customer Successes

Additional Pharma Logistic Considerations 

For Pharmacies and Healthcare companies delivering to the consumer, delivering the right drug product to the right person or location at the right time is important vital as life may depend on receiving the correct delivery.

Any mistakes could have serious repercussions in terms of reputation, lives and costs.

The last mile of delivery is often the most complicated and can also be the most expensive mile within the logistics supply chain.

This is where a routing and scheduling optimisation solution can help pharmacies and healthcare. As orders are received the system considers the available vehicle and drivers, continuously optimising the deliveries and routes between vehicles to ensure the most advantageous solution delivery options are obtained.

The system takes into account, vehicle capacities, the number of drivers and the times they can drive, traffic flows and routes or priority deliveries, as well as whether specialist delivery services are required for the drugs such as refrigerated storage.

Scheduling and routing the deliveries automatically reduces the time involved with route planning between pharmacies or residential deliveries and leaves planners to deal with exceptions or special deliveries.

Learn how you can turn your last-mile delivery into an advantage.

Last Mile Delivery - Competitive Advantage

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