Skip to Main Content

Best practices in strategic supply chain management

Implementing best practices in supply chain management is critical to the success of your organization.


In the life sciences industry, product speed to market is imperative because the public’s well-being depends on the treatments and therapies developed through groundbreaking research and development, such as vaccines and life sustaining medical devices. When you’ve worked diligently to create the best and safest products, the last thing your organization needs to worry about are disruptions and mishaps in the supply chain.

To ensure the safety to the end-consumer, the life sciences industry is held to the highest standard when it comes to manufacturing, storage, packaging, handling, transporting, and delivery of products. While life sciences companies typically have these standards in place, it’s also in the best interest of the company to have a strategic supply chain plan documented. A strategic supply chain plan works efficiently and effectively to bring much needed products to market that promote positive public health outcomes and increased profits while avoiding negligence and lawsuits.

9 best practice tips when developing a life sciences supply chain plan


Implementing best practices in supply chain management is critical to the success of your organization. As within every factor of the life sciences industry, there are many moving parts in a robust supply chain management plan. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you develop a supply chain plan.

  1. One plan: One overall strategy is crucial for dependable outcomes. This strategy should include all internal departments and third-party vendors for operational consistency.

  2. Company buy-in: All employees from the top-down, need to be on board with the plan to ensure protocol and processes are continuously met. Employees meet frequently to coordinate and collaborate to ensure goals are met.

  3. Reliable resources: Reliable resources are key for every step of the supply chain process. This means aligning with knowledgeable leadership and experienced, trusted partners at all pivotal points.

  4. Risk mitigation: Risk mitigation is imperative to your plan. This will allow your organization to secure reliable and approved product and vendor backups should a problem arise with a third-party partner.

  5. Technology and tools: Adequate systems and tools, including the right technology and software with useful capabilities for managing parts of the supply chain, such as inventory and production lines, increases productivity and performance.

  6. Standardize and streamline: Standardize and streamline as many operations as possible so that employees can effectively work together with the same tools, fostering a team environment with better communication.

  7. Logistics management: Effective logistics management is critical to time the transportation and delivery of temperature sensitive, emergency use authorized or life-sustaining products. If there are interruptions and delays in this process, products can spoil, create waste, and cause a shortage of critical products. and cause financial loss to the company.

  8. Flexibility: Leave room in your plan to adapt and grow in this ever-evolving industry.

  9. Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring your plan follows FDA regulations, NIST processes and GAMP 5 Guidelines to ensure compliance with product safety, public health and industry standards.

When your organization is operating efficiently, this allows your company to continue to focus on new discoveries, develop products dedicated to improving individual and public health outcomes, and continue to make an impact in the future through medical advancements.

Now more than ever, it’s important for life sciences organizations to partner with an insurance company that can help navigate the maze of existing and potential risks to the business with a broad offering of risk management solutions. This essentially means a partner who is active in developing customized service plans and provides clear and easy-to-use self-guided resources to mitigate risk challenges.

With over 30 years of experience, Markel helps life insurance organizations navigate the complex risks in this industry by providing specialized insurance solutions, so businesses don’t skip a beat by continuing to predict, prevent, treat and cure diseases and conditions around the world. Ask your agent today about Markel’s life sciences insurance coverages and ensure your organization partners with an insurance carrier that can help you navigate this ever-evolving industry.

TOPICS