By Rick Campbell
When you are a director of customer service for an innovator and manufacturer of medical equipment, such as heart pumps, you understand the importance of your equipment arriving on time, and you know that when it doesn't, people's lives are on the line.
Most hospitals utilize the just-in-time method of inventory control. This means at any one time, they may only have two or three heart pumps in stock. If the hospital has a higher than expected demand, the additional supply needs to reach them immediately. This calls for reliable courier service or next flight out.
One real world example took place in a Newark, New Jersey hospital. Three patients were on support at the same time. The hospital needed a heart pump unit immediately to ensure all three patients would receive the necessary care. The service provider was able to have a courier at the heart pump manufacturing company in an hour to pick up a unit and make it to the hospital without delay.
Besides regulating inventory levels, when a unit fails in the hospital, it needs to be replaced quickly. This also calls for superior turnaround delivery times.
In addition to reliable delivery, companies such as these need a logistics company that would actually go into the hospitals, uncrate the new equipment, crate the old equipment, and deliver the old unit back to the company regardless of the time of day-- or night.
The solution to both issues- reliability and inside deliveries, is working with an urgent shipment provider. A system needs to be put into place that allows for immediate courier service, for local and regional pickup and delivery. For national shipping needs, being able to utilize next flight out options ensure units arrive at hospitals as quickly as possible. In both cases, delivery times will decrease and customer satisfaction will increase.
By maintaining a close relationship with an urgent shipment provider, medical device manufactures can increase shipping reliability and provide their customers with inside delivery.
In addition, this should have a positive impact on customer service, shipping costs, and the customer base.
When working with an urgent shipment provider it is important to ensure that their team is trained on inside delivery, so they have the skills to take the heart pump units into the hospitals, uncrate them and crate the old or failed units and return them immediately back to the company.
This will improve customer relations because the units are arriving at the hospitals faster.