Supply chain management deals with the distribution of flows of goods, data, and finance related to a product or service, from procurement to delivery of the product to the destination. One of the most critical factors in the effectiveness of a medical institution is the optimization of supply chain management, including medical devices and household goods. Healthcare supply chain management is the process of regulating the flow of medical supplies and services from the manufacturer to the patient, which includes planning and control over the search, purchase, logistics, and use (Lambert & Enz, 2017). Supply chain management comprises many stages, such as sales forecasting, inventory management, building long-term and short-term forecasts, cost reduction, etc. Naturally, cost reduction is one of the main stages of the supply chain process, but there are still other essential elements that are necessary for the correct operation of the logistics chain.
Reliable delivery of medical supplies can be vital, that is why the development of supply chain solutions that guarantee safe and timely delivery of perishable and heat-sensitive products is significant. Companies engaged in the healthcare sector operate in a constantly changing environment. Damaged goods and medicines that were kept in violation of temperature storage conditions may threaten life (Min et al., 2019). Therefore, reliability is an essential factor for the transportation of medical devices. In this case, a significant role will be played not by reducing costs but by proper storage conditions.
With COVID-19, it became apparent that specific problems with the logistics of drugs could occur, which harm the lives and health of the population. The need to use stocks may be caused by supply disruptions, the rapid and unexpected onset of peak demand, as well as the simultaneous occurrence of both of these circumstances (Min et al., 2019). The creation of stocks in the supply chain is a typical production practice of wholesale organizations and pharmacies. This is done to respond to unforeseen changes in demand or supply. In this case, it is also clear that an essential element of a large supply chain is not associated with cost reduction.
Every stage of supply chain management is essential, especially for healthcare organizations. Cost reduction can be achieved in various ways, which will significantly reduce the cost of the product and reduce its cost (Lambert & Enz, 2017). Time and expenses are constantly added to each link of the chain, which increases the total duration and price of the chain. Still, supply chain management is a much larger activity than cost reduction. The Bible sanctifies the logistics chain, for example, when God commissioned Moses to save the Israelites from the captivity of the Egyptians (Exodus 3:7-10). The main task in supply chain management is to find the most influential economic model of the flow of goods and their transformation into finished products, with subsequent delivery to the end consumer, considering the specifics of all countries participating in the chain. Supply chains are regularly optimized to achieve maximum results in productivity and logistics, as well as concerning the cost of goods. Each link in the supply chain is integral, so it is impossible to single out the most important one. The heads of healthcare organizations need to carefully monitor each stage so that the supply chain works correctly.
Lambert, D., & Enz, M. (2017). Issues in supply chain management: Progress and potential. Industrial Marketing Management, 62(1), 1-16. Web.
Min, S., Zacharia, Z., & Smith, C. (2019). Defining supply chain management: In the past, present, and future. Journal of Business Logistics, 40(1), 44-55. Web.