Supply Chain Experts Discuss “The Future of Healthcare Logistics in Europe” with Arvato
This past week, leading figures in the European pharmaceutical and medical technology industry gathered in Berlin for a supply chain round table discussion at the invitation of Arvato Healthcare. Around 50 experts used the exclusive networking platform provided by the outsourcing service provider to hold joint discussions on best practices, current trends and future challenges. Andreas Olpeter, Director of Sales & Business Development at Arvato Healthcare, established the round table in this sector some years ago, and knows the trends in healthcare supply chain management.
Short interview with Andreas Olpeter
The Arvato Healthcare supply chain round table has developed into a unique platform in recent years. What is so different about it?
Our round table offers supply chain experts an open exchange with healthcare-specific content, from the industry and for the industry. We offer a networking platform in exclusive company that provides an opportunity to introduce innovations, discuss issues with one another and where necessary to discard these, in the form of a cross-company exchange of ideas independent of competitive considerations and without reservation. As a pan-European service provider for patient-oriented supply solutions that connect distribution and communications channels, we understand the requirements of our customers. In this regard, we see ourselves as a sounding board which understands and takes up the requirements of the industry, and which develops, pursues and implements ideas.
Our round table has enabled us to create a basis of trust that brings together the different players in the fragmented healthcare market, from small biotechnology companies to multinational corporations, and to focus our topics on the specific requirements of the sector. Because, ultimately, distribution of their products is not about a package, but rather about a patient.
What were the main topics being discussed this year?
High-quality and sensitive products, increasing cost pressure as well as new statutory specifications (GDP Guideline, Falsified Medicines Directive) provide huge challenges to the sector, but also offer entirely new strategic opportunities.
In the first instance, there is a pressing requirement for harmonized European solutions from a single source that replace established, national, insular solutions. However, this at the same time means that service providers must also be able to think and act on a European level like their customers, and no longer within the confines of country structures.
Another trend is increased consideration of logistics in close connection with the sales and marketing organization. In this regard, intelligent supply chain solutions are capable of influencing and optimizing sales structures. The trend here is shifting away from pure product to holistic processes and services with added value for pharmacies, hospitals and patients, and to a goal of sustainable, improved supply.
We have already been discussing collaboration options in the healthcare market for a number of years with a view to achieving significant cost savings. But it is only now that the market appears to be receptive to implementation, for example in terms of bundling transport operations or in the establishment of company-independent standards, e.g. concerning the use and management of consignment stocks in hospitals. We will also continue to seek an intensive exchange of views so that we are able to further improve our understanding of these topics.
How can Arvato Healthcare help to actively implement these trends as a distribution partner?
Arvato Healthcare’s European network offers the ideal conditions for implementing customer requests for a service partner across the whole of Europe. Our multi-user locations and scalable structures are the ideal neutral basis for cross-company industry solutions, collaborative transport management and knowledge transfer. In addition, Arvato’s integrated supply and sales solutions, such as the adherence programs or virtual field service, offer complementary services that make it possible for our customers to distinguish themselves from the competition.
Intelligent IT services play a key role in this regard, and help manufacturers to improve their relationship with their customers and to understand their requirements. We build bridges to patients and create transparency as a basis for comprehensive care solutions and the innovative further development of existing services.
Andreas Olpeter has been Director of Sales & Business Development at Arvato Healthcare for over seven years. He has more than 23 years’ experience in the healthcare market, 16 of which have been in the pharmaceutical industry.