Europe and much of the developed world are facing new challenges from ageing populations, the increasing incidence of obesity and rising prevalence of diabetes. At the same time, emerging markets are experiencing sustained population growth, with their own advancing healthcare needs.
Read our top five insights into achieving export success for your life science products.
- The importance of on-time delivery. Ensuring shipments arrive on time is unarguably crucial, but becomes harder to achieve the further they travel. Healthcare supply chains, for example, are often complex and involve multiple waypoints. The key is striking a balance between value and speed. Having the option to pick up the phone and have your products in a customer's hands within two days is invaluable in securing business which might otherwise go elsewhere. The key is flexibility to react to the situation at hand.
- Ensuring product integrity and supply chain visibility. An absolute must in this industry is the ability to know for certain that critical and sensitive shipments will arrive on time. In recent times, a number of options have become available for this. The FedEx SenseAware® service uses sensor based technology to provide near real-time visibility on shipments in terms of location, temperature (temperature-controlled shipping), shock, barometric pressure and exposure to light.
- Regulatory compliance and customs challenges. Regulations not only change frequently, but differ from country to country. The key is to get ahead of the game by understanding the rules and regulations from the get-go. You don't need to become an expert; your logistics provider is an invaluable fountain of knowledge who can advise on potential hurdles and provide strategic advice every step of the way. The best providers will have on-the-ground specialists who know the rules inside out, giving you total peace of mind.
- Choosing markets. Established or emerging markets, that is the question. Finding the right fit for your products is about more than simply following what everyone else is doing. You could, for example, look to Russia where almost 80 percent of healthcare products are imported, or China where pharmaceutical sales are expected to grow an average 17.7 percent per year until 2017.Tapping into your logistics provider's expertise is again an effective way of researching new markets, and identifying the right opportunities for your business.
- A responsive supply chain. Sometimes the unexpected happens. When it does, you need the reassurance that the challenge can be overcome without delay. Services, such as FedEx Priority Alert Plus®, can help by offering proactive recovery, dry ice replenishment, gel pack conditioning and access to cold storage. Having these options is particularly useful to companies in the healthcare sector, though can be an asset to any company moving items of a sensitive or perishable nature.
With so much opportunity on the horizon, if you take one piece of advice away from this, it is that these days, you don't have to be a transportation expert, as there are specialists on hand. Working with life science companies is an exciting prospect for logistics experts and we enjoy nothing more than helping them expand whether at home or abroad.