By Kelly Smeltzer
At the height of the pandemic, existing healthcare organizations struggled to cope with supply chain fluctuations. New or expanded manufacturing facilities, fueled by government financing, added to already unmet demand for raw materials. Shipments were slowed or halted by the border closure of major API exporters, and purchasing departments scrambled to order maximum quantities of safety stock.
Now, over three years after the onset of COVID, we are slowly starting to recover from its devastating impact on supply chains. The ability to obtain medical commodities, raw materials, transport, and equipment is slowly beginning to normalize – that is to the ‘new’ normal, not at pre-pandemic levels. Although the backlog of ships at anchor outside of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles has not disappeared, improvements have been made in the availability of resources needed to offload and deliver goods. Efforts to onshore or near-shore raw materials are underway – but meaningful results are still in the future. Exporting countries continue to experience human resource shortages but have been able to open their borders to reduced production.
So, what does supply chain management look like in 2023? How does an organization overcome unpredicted material shortages today and prepare for future supply chain disruption events? Here, we share three activities that can take place to identify supply chain risks and help plan for whatever is next.