Last week I wrote about how the Post-Covid-19 era will usher in a “new normal” that may look pretty different from how things worked before the pandemic. One key component of this is the rise of virtual communication and software tools to accelerate remote work and reduce unnecessary human contact. This is particularly useful in healthcare settings where more people present mean higher risk of contamination, infection, and health complications. A potential risk resulting for device manufacturers and distributors is the difficulty of keeping track of consigned inventory when access to the hospital areas may be restricted. Without effective inventory tracking and device management, companies are at risk of increased medical device inventory shrinkage.
Before Covid-19 hit critical mass there were already inventory tracking issues in the value chain, with shrinkage (inventory loss) representing a significant cost per year for device manufacturers. Now that sales reps don’t have the ease of access that they usually do, it becomes much more difficult to get in to see what inventory is left sitting at the provider facility. This places a new burden on the sales rep to really dial in their administrative responsibilities so they are not left footing the bill for expensive, lost inventory. Instead of having this information live in Excel, on paper, or left up to memory – some manufacturers are employing new software tools that enable widespread tracking of inventory throughout the value chain and across geographic boundaries. With these case management and inventory tracking software solutions, such as ConnectSx, users can see where their inventory is at all times, when it is being used, and even run analytics on their sales or inventory. The ‘new normal’ may be here to stay, but your old supply chain problems don’t have to be.