- UPS and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), are collaborating to improve vaccine accessibility by applying full supply chain collaboration, SCM World reported Tuesday.
- When Gavi committed 15% of its budget to strengthening health systems in developing countries, UPS loaned UPS Director Kevin Etter to help improve supply chains in order to maximize the investment's impact.
- Etter sought to "professionalize" the supply chain through a supply chain leadership program, which Gavi could use to train professionals and subsequently improve workers' technical and interpersonal skills.
The Gavi-UPS approach to improving healthcare supply chains shows the importance of leadership for supply chain management.
Rather than merely increasing drug supply in hopes of effective dispersion, training the people that manage the vaccine supply chain creates a replicable long-term solution to improve logistics and business practices. Spreading inventory management basics and emphasizing the importance of buyer-supplier communication can help reduce aid waste while saving lives and freeing medical staff to better concentrate on patient care.
As supply chain infrastructure is often lacking in developing countries or remote areas in need of the healthcare aid provided by companies like Gavi, investing in technical logistics management skills may not be the most cost-effective strategy. Instead, companies accessing these areas should invest in the people as supply chains' greatest asset.