How Medical Distributors Can Adapt to High Demand During a Global Pandemic
Demand for medical supplies such as personal protective equipment, nasal swabs, respirators, masks, and disinfectants, from both the public and medical sectors, has soared in 2020, placing the medical distribution industry in the position of meeting this demand. The higher-than-ever demand for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals means the medical distribution industry must be resourceful, efficient, and resolute, because public health depends on medical equipment and supplies to be readily available.
When necessary supplies and equipment are in short supply, safety protocols are more difficult to maintain, jeopardizing the health and safety of medical workers, as well as the public. The role of the independent medical distributor is more important now than ever before.
There’s no easy answer, but we’d like to offer some insight on how to stay on top of the high demand during these unprecedented times.
Identifying and Allocating Available Supply
Demand for supplies is typically disproportionate from region to region. Some areas have plenty, while others are experiencing a shortage. Identifying the areas that have a greater need for supplies and prioritizing the distribution to these areas helps alleviate shortages. This isn’t an easy task to accomplish without a clear understanding of where supplies are abundant, and where they are scarce. The medical distribution industry can help hospitals and medical care providers by providing access to the supplies they need, eliminating the need for unnecessary competition.
Look to Other Industries for Existing Inventory
Supplies such as gloves, respirators, masks, and other personal protective equipment are commonly used by industries outside of the medical industry. Sometimes they differ only in packaging and branding. By deploying surplus stock of these types of supplies to hospitals and other medical providers, these industries can help balance the demand and avoid shortages. With some resourcefulness and creativity, independent medical distributors can find ways to ensure redeployment of supplies is successful.
Independent medical distributors continue to play a crucial role in the supply chain of medical supplies and equipment, and at IMCO, we recognize that you play a valuable role during these unprecedented times. Our organization is here to support you and ensure that you continue to have the information and tools you need to remain successful. You are a vital link in the healthcare supply chain, and we’re here to help you grow your business, maintain direct vendor relationships, and have access to the products and services you need to achieve success. Communication and connection with other independent medical distributors and vendors allows you to share ideas and overcome challenges together. With the support of other leaders in our industry, we are stronger and capable of meeting any challenges that lie ahead.