A pharmaceutical third-party logistics (3PL) provider makes it easier for pharmaceutical companies to keep their shelves stocked. Whether you manage a small or first-time launcher in the healthcare industry, people depend on you to give them access to the drugs they need to stay healthy. 

Unfortunately, that task takes considerably more effort than most realize. Problems within the pharmaceutical supply chain have been obvious for years and with the COVID pandemic, those problems became impossible to ignore. By the end of February 2020, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release addressing the numerous supply chain disruptions, noting that one of the biggest problems comes from dependence on foreign laboratories that manufacture essential ingredients. At the time, the FDA listed 150 drugs in short supply.

When the FDA struggles to solve problems within the pharmaceutical supply chain, it makes it difficult for your pharmaceutical company to maintain supplies without help from a 3PL provider.

How can a third-party logistics expert help? We’ve put together a list to highlight the benefits.

1. Improving your supply chain’s flexibility to serve your clients better.

Partnering with a third-party logistics expert lets you tap into a flexible supply chain that evolves with changes in manufacturing and shipping. If a laboratory in China needs to shut down or slow production, a 3PL provider will seek other labs that manufacture the same products. 

This can help you avoid delays caused by shortages. What’s more, access to alternative routes allows you to account for delays caused by weather and natural disasters. When a storm makes it impossible for shipments to cross a geographic area, a 3PL provider helps to maintain your supply line. You keep a steady supply to serve your clients while other pharma companies wait on shipments.

2. Using freight consolidation and carrier management to help control costs.

Small and niche pharmaceutical companies often face significant competition for supplies from large chains like Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie. They need to take advantage of every financial opportunity to keep their doors open and optimize customer service.

A third-party logistics expert can help small and niche pharma companies make the most of their budget by lowering shipping costs through freight consolidation and carrier management services. Without careful planning, shipments can arrive at erratic intervals.

national cancer institute pharmacist looking at product

One supplier might send you products on Monday while another ships your order on Tuesday, splitting your inventory in two. 

You end up paying for two separate deliveries. Freight consolidation and carrier management can lower the amount of money your pharma company spends on shipping services and reduce the need for warehouse employees to accept orders and stock shelves. Instead of receiving shipments on multiple days, a 3PL provider will consolidate deliveries to arrive at one time through the same service. When you improve supply chain efficiency, you also lower your costs, making it easier for you to compete with larger businesses and keep your clients happy.

3. Maintaining positive brand identity through consistency.

The typical client may not pay close attention to news about supply chain disruptions. They just know that their products should be available when they need them. If your pharma company cannot fill that demand, they will look for another option. You lose more than just a purchase, you lose countless other transactions that contribute to your company’s success. You may even lose a loyal customer.

When clients find that they can rely on a different pharma company more than yours, it won’t take long before they start choosing that option to fill more of their needs. Today, a shortage might make it impossible for you to fill an order for epinephrine injections, which has faced recent shortages, tomorrow it might be salbutamol inhalers in short supply. Someone who needs a critical life-saving prescription for their patients will be forced to go elsewhere. If your pharma company continues to run into supply issues, that person will choose another that can fill orders more reliably.

A 3PL provider will help you keep your products stocked so that you remain a pharmaceutical company that your clients can rely on and continue to build trust within your community.

4. Ensuring you have access to the products you need as your pharma company grows.

Perhaps you have a supplier that delivers on time and offers all the medications and related products needed for your company to thrive. Can that supplier scale with the needs of your business? What if you want to enter a new niche area of the pharmaceuticals industry? Can your current supplier fill that need? Reliable third-party logistics experts make it easy for your business to evolve. 

If you decide to open a new location, a 3PL provider will ensure the products you need to serve new customers are readily available. Should you decide to expand by entering a niche area of the industry, a 3PL will be able to find the medications and specialty products you need to do so successfully.

5. Planning for deliveries and delays more efficiently.

Your pharmaceutical company should always know when to expect deliveries from suppliers. This allows you to make sure you have enough staff members on hand to review the inventory, receive the product, place all items into the proper storage, and label everything correctly. A third-party logistics expert will provide accurate delivery information and make it easier for you to maintain your stock without spending more money than necessary to do so.

A 3PL provider doesn’t just alert you of incoming deliveries, they also let you know when to expect delays. If an earthquake damages an interstate, for example, it might take additional time to deliver your shipment. In these unexpected circumstances, you need as much knowledge as possible to keep clients informed. Without excellent pharmaceutical third-party logistics, your staff can only tell clients to wait without giving them a timeline. Managing their expectations more effectively by telling them when to expect their medication puts a client’s mind at ease. Sounding unsure by saying, “We don’t know,” may encourage them to find a more reliable pharma company to fill their need.

How Reliance Wholesale Keeps Your Pharmaceutical Company Stocked

Reliance Wholesale provides all the 3PL services that small and niche pharmaceutical companies need to keep their shelves full without increasing costs or time spent on logistics. Using a supply-sensitive approach, we are able to monitor supply chains to identify potential delays and shortages while finding innovative ways to get healthcare products to you and your clients.

At Reliance Wholesale, we’ve established a reputation as one of the top 3PL providers by:

  • Keeping a membership with the HDA Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition
  • Complying with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)
  • Controlling storage temperate in climate-controlled, refrigerated, and frozen storage spaces
  • Perfecting our inbound coordination and receiving processes
  • Consolidating shipments and deliveries when possible
  • Managing carriers and providing updates as needed
  • Offering business continuity and contingency plans

All of our sites have backup generators that will keep medications at appropriate temperatures no matter what happens to the power supply. When you hear about a power outage or similar issue, you don’t have to worry about it adversely affecting your shipments. 

We protect the integrity of your products and provide the services you need while giving you control over your orders. Customer care services at Reliance Wholesale include:

  • Online ordering that lets you manage current and future shipments
  • Inventory allocation and backorder management to mitigate supply disruptions
  • Shipping notices that keep you informed and prepared
  • Order management, tracking, and validation from start to finish

At Reliance Wholesale, we strive to overcome all pharmaceutical shortages and supply chain disruptions so you can exceed patient expectations and grow your business. Why settle for subpar services when you can rely on our third-party logistics experts to maintain optimal productivity.

You have our promise that we will not rest until you are completely satisfied.

Contact us today for a custom quote and learn more about how Reliance Wholesale’s 3PL services can help your company succeed.

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