Top business and supply chain concernsGlobally, the top healthcare business concerns include increasing regulations – the top concern cited by 52 percent of executives – as well as healthcare reform and other changes in legislation, cited as a concern by 51 percent. Intellectual property protection ranks third on the list of top concerns, cited by 48 percent of respondents. Concerns around intellectual property protection are highest in the U.S. and Asia. The No. 1 specific supply chain concern is regulatory compliance, cited by 65 percent of respondents. Cost management comes in second with 60 percent citing this as their top supply chain issue. Only 41 percent report success in managing their supply chain costs. In addition to regulatory compliance and managing supply chain costs, product security and product integrity have risen to the third most cited supply chain issue, reported by 57 percent. In emerging markets, it is a more significant concern as it is ranked first or second by survey respondents. “Concerns around regulatory compliance and cost management have been constants for healthcare supply chain decision-makers over the past five years while we’ve seen growth in concern around areas such as product security and product protection,” said Scott Szwast, UPS Healthcare Segment Marketing Director. “While these areas will always be a focus in the healthcare industry, companies can experience positive impact by examining strategies such as increased collaboration, adopting segment based supply chains and leveraging new innovative models and technologies.” Views on economy and industry In addition to exploring top business and supply chain concerns, the survey probes healthcare decision makers’ views on the economy based on what they are seeing within their own companies. Healthcare decision-makers in the United States were slightly less optimistic on the economy, with 53 percent of U.S.-based decision makers reporting they’re still feeling economic impacts in terms of tightened spending and other reductions. This compares to 43 percent in Latin America, 35 percent in Western Europe and 26 percent in Asia that are still feeling economic impacts.
U.S.-based decision-makers also were asked their views on the state of the healthcare industry against the goals of the new reform law. The largest group – 38 percent – are “cautiously optimistic” of progress, yet 26 percent espouse a “negative” view while another 22 percent say they are “neutral.”Five-year trends Over the past five years, a top trend in the healthcare industry has been increasing global growth with companies ramping up expansion into new markets each year. With the rise of increasing globalization, healthcare executives have reported growing concerns around the areas of product protection and intellectual property protection. Product protection concerns include both product security and the issue of product damage and spoilage. Concerns around intellectual property protection have grown every year for the past three years. The survey’s five-year data also illustrates the “constants” in the industry that have continued to challenge healthcare supply chain decision makers. Concerns around cost management and regulatory compliance top the list of industry constants over the past five years. “The five-year survey trends underscore what we are hearing from all segments of the healthcare marketplace,” said Hook. “From industry leaders to middle market companies, healthcare companies are looking for ways to be more collaborative, provide integrated solutions and address segmentation issues around their customers. This information has been critical in continuing UPS’s success as a global leader in healthcare logistics.” For more information on the findings of the UPS Pain in the Chain survey and to download an executive summary and special five-year report, visit www.pressroom.ups.com/healthcare. UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at UPS.com and its corporate blog can be found at blog.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS. Editor’s note: Survey Methodology The UPS Pain in the (Supply) Chain survey was a blind, in-depth phone survey conducted by TNS on behalf of UPS of approximately 375 healthcare executives in the U.S., Western Europe, Asia and Latin America. Qualified respondents were senior-level decision-makers responsible for supply chain and logistics in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech industries. Surveys were conducted in April and May 2012.