Learn how multi-carrier shipping software enhances healthcare logistics, ensuring cost savings, accuracy, and efficiency
Time is of the essence. In the world of healthcare shipping and logistics, this isn’t just a saying – it could literally be life or death. Many of their pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other health-related shipments are critical for ensuring that patients receive the care and support that they need when they need it.
With these shipments, the healthcare industry faces unique challenges. From the need for well-timed deliveries of medical supplies to ensuring the safe transport of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, healthcare organizations must maintain the highest standards of efficiency and accuracy. Outdated shipping methods, and especially technology, can lead to inefficiencies, FDA regulation violations, and increased costs, making it crucial for healthcare providers to consider the return on investment (ROI) of all of the technology within their software stack. This article will dive into how multi-carrier shipping software can prove that ROI quickly and make your supply chain logistics seamless and cost-effective.
The Current State of Healthcare Shipping
Healthcare logistics are complex and flow behind the scenes in most health systems. But shippers in this industry recognize the critical nature of these shipments. Delivering medical supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals to various healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, as well as direct users, demands precision and reliability. The costs associated with shipping are substantial, and any delays or errors can lead to financial losses and potential health risks. While the supply chain has found some recovery for industries like retail, manufacturing, and third-party logistics (3PL), more than 75% of healthcare supply chain leaders expect that supply chain challenges will worsen or remain the same in 2024.
Outdated shipping technology obstructs the healthcare supply chain by causing inefficiencies, delays, and added expenses. And these issues are time consuming – nearly 75% of their teams are spending 10+ hours per week mitigating supply chain challenges and shortages. Inaccurate tracking, late deliveries, and errors in shipping labels can result in higher operational costs and the need for additional manual interventions.
The solution for these issues can be summed up in two words: visibility and control. Understanding the technology to uphold visibility and control into a healthcare company’s actual supply chain is the trigger to implementing impactful change for both an operational and financial improvement. Many healthcare supply chain leaders are now recognizing that healthcare is undergoing a digital transformation and that they must keep pace to maintain a competitive advantage. As with the industries mentioned earlier, digitally transforming the supply chain has been shown to reduce process costs by 50% and increase revenue by 20% – and healthcare providers are no exception. The impact of these issues on the healthcare industry highlights the importance of adopting modern multi-carrier shipping software to unlock cost savings and ensure a smooth and reliable supply chain.
Understanding the ROI of Multi-Carrier Shipping Software
Multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS) is a comprehensive solution designed to simplify and optimize the shipping process for healthcare organizations. It delivers on both the visibility and control requirements mentioned earlier by streamlining operations, enhancing tracking, and ensuring accurate deliveries. But what about ROI? How can healthcare providers benefit financially from adopting this technology?
Cost Savings in Inventory Management
Advanced multi-carrier shipping software is seamlessly aligned with the other parts of a healthcare brand’s software stack. This connection proves valuable to provide real-time visibility and tracking of inventory through an Order Management System (OMS), helping healthcare organizations manage excess stock and associated carrying costs. By knowing precisely what inventory is on hand and where it is located, healthcare providers can ensure that critical supplies are always available – especially during a time when nearly 93% of healthcare provider executives report they are still experiencing product shortages.
A robust MCSS can also assist OMS functions before that order is even picked from the shelf. With tools like Advanced Date Shopping, which extends beyond just comparing shipping costs to also consider non-transit days, last trailer pulls, and additional package and destination attributes, an OMS and MCSS work together to ensure that even inventory from distant locations – 3PL, distribution center, or other fulfillment location – can be used to meet delivery time requirements. This advanced tool helps healthcare organizations tackle the high shipping cost and surcharge challenge that so many shippers are currently facing.
Operational Efficiency and Labor Costs
One of the significant advantages of MCSS is its ability to streamline operational processes. It minimizes the need for manual work, reducing the chance of errors and speeding up order processing. When MCSS is paired with a Warehouse Management System (WMS), shipping logic and business rules can be implemented prior to even pick and pack functions to validate the goods to pack. This kind of early optimization can help streamline execution further down the line and allows for the necessary customizations that are required for healthcare products.
This operational efficiency leads to substantial labor cost savings – a necessity during a time when the US has 9.6 million job openings, but only 6.4 million unemployed workers. Fewer employees are required to manage the shipping process, and those who are involved can work more efficiently, focusing on tasks that add value to the healthcare organization.
Operational efficiency also goes hand in hand with having carrier options. Many multi-carrier shipping software solutions can offer a variety of carrier partners, but only elite and well-established solutions maintain a broad library of global, national, regional, and other healthcare specific carrier services that can be onboarded quickly and efficiently – a necessity to easy capacity constraints, avoid surcharges and increase shipping options for healthcare providers.
Reduced Shipping Errors and Returns
In healthcare, shipping errors can be costly, both in terms of financial resources and safety. Shipping incorrect items, sending supplies to the wrong location, or delivering late can result in product returns and replacements. Each error adds to the cost of operations. Because of seamless integration into the Enterprise Software Stack (ESS), the MCSS can be the hub for essential shipping information, offering access to all other parts of the ESS and eliminating the needs for manual data entry – a common source of errors.
Healthcare supply chain leaders are fully aware of the strict compliance and FDA validated regulatory requirements for their industry, on top of the more complex shipments that these shippers often come across. Keeping dangerous goods or hazmat shipments compliant to avoid delays is a difficulty that many healthcare shippers face. MCSS helps automate and maintain complete compliance by generating carrier-compliant labels and shipping documentation with speed and precision. Every label is accurate and current in compliance with current regulations, reducing the likelihood of delays and fines. MCSS reduces the chances of shipping errors by automating and streamlining the healthcare operations process. The result is fewer returns, less rework, and increased accuracy.
Customer Satisfaction and Retention
The accuracy and timeliness of shipments play a crucial role in ensuring a positive customer experience (CX). The accuracy and timeliness of shipments are paramount in elevating the CX of healthcare organizations. End-users who receive their medications, medical equipment, or essential supplies on time and without errors not only experience relief, but also gain a sense of trust in their healthcare provider. This trust is a powerful factor that forges strong and lasting relationships with healthcare organizations.
A direct result of a positive CX is customer retention. Satisfied customers are more likely to continue their healthcare journey with the same provider for their future medical needs. This continuity leads to increased revenue for healthcare organizations through the retention of existing patients. In addition, high patient satisfaction enhances the reputation of a healthcare provider. In today's interconnected world, satisfied patients share their positive experiences with their network, both online and offline. This marketing significantly contributes to a healthcare provider's reputation, which is an invaluable asset.
The financial growth of healthcare organizations becomes a natural consequence of a commitment to an elevated CX. As the customer base expands due to retention and new acquisition, revenue streams naturally grow, supporting the healthcare organization's ability to deliver excellent healthcare services. By choosing MCSS, healthcare organizations not only enhance their customers’ lives but also protect their growth in a competitive industry where customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal.
Why ProShip Multi-Carrier Shipping Software
Selecting the right multi-carrier shipping software for healthcare operations is crucial. Organizations should consider a number of factors including scalability, compatibility with their existing systems, carrier network and the quality of support and training provided by the software provide. [Want to dive in deeper to budgeting for success in 2024 with MCSS?]
A robust and versionless multi-carrier shipping software is not just a technological upgrade – it’s a strategic move that can lead to significant cost savings and improve operational efficiency for healthcare organizations. By exercising inventory management, streamlining operations, minimizing shipping errors, and enhancing customer satisfaction, this advanced supply chain technology unlocks ROI that goes beyond just financial gains. It contributes to a healthcare provider's reputation and ensures that their customers receive the critical deliveries that they require.
Unlock the cost savings and efficiency potential of an industry-leading multi-carrier shipping software with ProShip and secure a brighter future for healthcare logistics. Want to learn more about why you need parcel shipping software that moves at the speed of healthcare? Check out the brochure to the right and contact our shipping experts today to discover how our automated multi-carrier parcel shipping software can transform your healthcare shipping operations.