In response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, the EU Commission provided guidelines and border measures to protect health, and keep goods and essential services available, like critical medical products. On 16th March, a press release with those guidelines was published to enable the movement of all goods with a particular focus on, ‘medicines, medical equipment, essential and perishable food products and livestock.’
These guidelines include transport of goods and services, supply of goods, health-related measures and border management (internal and external). Those organisations that work with the transportation of goods can support these guidelines and better mitigate supply chain risks by adopting Internet of Things (IoT) technology solutions, such as real-time monitoring and visibility services for in-transit goods and remote assets.
According to President von der Leyen: “Our measures to contain the Coronavirus outbreak will be effective only if we coordinate on the European level. We have to take exceptional measures to protect the health of our citizens. But let's make sure goods and essential services continue to flow in our internal market. This is the only way to prevent shortages of medical equipment or food.”
Key to the success of achieving this is the visibility into the location and status of your goods and assets to identify and address any gaps or breaches – and lower the risk associated with potential asset damage or loss. IoT solutions provide near real-time, continuous visibility and monitoring of high-value assets.
Accurate Supply Chain Monitoring
The EU Commision guidelines are there to ensure the flow of goods and services but organisations should also be looking for more accurate and timely supply chain monitoring. Optimising an end-to-end supply chain requires the ability to reliably track goods from points of production through storage and final delivery. With various IoT tracking solutions, goods owners can get full visibility into what’s happening to the goods during shipping, and an entirely new level of real-time shipment control data for key events during transport. This provides automated and accurate data for the entire transportation chain.
Taking this further - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have outlined a specific proposal to not only prevent or limit medical product shortages but also seek to establish reporting requirements for device manufacturers. “Among other things, the FDA proposes to require that firms notify the agency of an anticipated meaningful interruption in the supply of an essential device,” according to the statement. The data collected by IoT asset tracking devices can be used to inform KPIs in the logistics industry – in addition to traditional track and trace data. These KPIs are used to better understand the logistics workflow and help medical device manufacturers improve their supply chain efficiency.
Most goods transportation today lacks visibility and traceability of what happens during shipping. In today’s climate, the logistics business is no longer just a matter of moving cargo from a to b. Handling, temperature, and punctuality are becoming increasingly important parameters, especially for pharmaceutical and medical device transportation. The EU Commission is aware of this growing need for supply chain visibility and looking to expand its authority to guarantee “the supply chain of essential products.”
The KORE Critical Asset Management solution is an advanced, comprehensive solution to visualize and mitigate the risks associated with global, multi-modal supply chain operations. The solution provides enhanced visibility to your goods’ location and condition with real-time GPS location information as well as data on temperature, shock, and tilt events occurring anywhere around the globe. This not only improves tracking, but it also helps ensure compliance with policies required for chain-of-custody and temperature-controlled supply chains.
The solution includes hardware (for condition at the package level), communications, cloud analytics, and reporting tools as a service. Companies can easily visualise the conditions of the asset in transportation and get early detection of risks (events) than can jeopardise the quality, integrity, and security of the product.
Through early detection (via customisable settings and thresholds per shipment), Critical Asset Management can push notifications so users can take action and immediately mitigate potential risks, as well as certify the integrity of the chain of custody for regulation, quality, and operational optimisation.
Learn more about how Critical Asset Management can help you ensure delivery of critical equipment where it’s needed most.