Medical equipment definitely falls into this high-touch category: much of it is delicately calibrated, subject to contamination and highly sensitive to environmental conditions outside of a lab or medical office. Moreover, it can often be bulky and oddly sized, not to mention extremely expensive.
A single-source provider for multiple needs
One example of this total-solutions approach to medical equipment moves was when the UniGroup Logistics brand was asked to manage the supply chain for a radiation oncology machine manufacturer whose high-value inventory required special handling every step of the way.
This complex project involved not only moving the equipment into the facility, but also managing the reverse logistics, i.e. removing what was already there. In the case of multi-phase installations, this would often involve up to four separate moves. Adding to the logistical complexity, each machine is usually replaced after 10 to 12 years due to updated technology, although in Canada the machines are typically replaced every four years.
Getting every detail right – every time
The overall scope of the assignment included successfully coordinating and managing the on time, phased execution of a whole range of solutions, from transportation and delivery to warehousing, installation, de-installation, equipment disposal, and reverse logistics. Given the comprehensive nature of this project, its ultimate success depended on consistent, high-volume execution along with the ability to meet precise delivery demands for equipment deemed essential for patient care and wellness.
The UniGroup’s Logistics brand national footprint (which includes resources of its Mayflower and United Van Lines carriers) allowed the client to leverage the network’s regional and local warehouse locations. This helped reduce time and cost for deliveries, with smaller trucks that are able to reach smaller and otherwise inaccessible locations.
Delivering practical, real-time, flexible solutions
Utilizing its vast network, UniGroup’s Logistics team delivered a customized, single-source solution for this complex project, ensuring multiple needs were addressed – and met – from origin to destination.
- Providing specialized trailers and highly skilled operators and teams to transport and set up the equipment
- Building in the flexibility to adopt customized handling and transportation methods as new machinery and technologies are developed
- Accurate tracking of — and accountability for — all equipment, including inventory transparency across multiple time zones and states
- Coordinating time-sensitive pickups, deliveries and warehouse solutions nationwide
- Managing the budget to leverage economies of scale, reduce delivery costs and improve the overall efficiency of the manufacturer’s supply chain.
Start to finish, the UniGroup network was a true ally in ensuring the manufacturer’s success by anticipating their needs and offering innovative solutions that went well beyond simply providing logistics services. And as this initiative progressed, it led to a smooth, efficient and phased installation process based on knowledge, expertise and, above all, trust.