Pharmacies and shippers can be active participants from the loading dock to the front door by using available data and analytics to make better business decisions in successfully shipping their next patient medication.
Carriers are essential; however, at times, their delivery-level services are unpredictable, which can create challenges for pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies alike. The carrier's ability to deliver prescriptions on schedule is vital to overall patient health while directly impacting patient net promoter scores for specialty pharmacies and medication possession ratios for pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmacies expect increases in parcel transit times because of widely known fourth-quarter holiday shipping patterns that add to the average parcel volumes. Typically, carriers will suspend service guarantees during this time of the year, relax air commit delivery times, add a day in some ground lanes, and experience regular increases in winter weather events.
The challenge is apparent by perusing the numerous reports of carriers facing far more delivery challenges this holiday season than in years past. These causes are numerous:
Leveraging Data, Industry Insights and Analytics to Make Better Business Decisions
Specialty pharmacies and shippers should not release their packages to the national carrier networks and sit passively by, hoping for the best outcome. Instead, they can be active participants from the loading dock to the front door by using available data and analytics to make better business decisions in successfully shipping their next patient medication.
Here are 2 important tips and a few facts we'd like to share. Knowing these can help specialty pharmacies and the health care industry manage through this 2021 peak shipping season.
1. Typically, the fourth quarter brings challenges, but pay particular attention to December.
Historically, more packages are not delivered on time in December than in any other month. Some stats to keep in mind:
2. The Northeast region (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New England) is most susceptible to missing scheduled delivery dates by carriers in December.
When we compared parcel-tracking data across the 7 US carrier regions (namely Hawaii-Alaska, Midwest-East, Midwest-West, Northeast, South, Southeast, and West), the following trends were observed:
We looked at the average number of days it took to deliver overnight packages in the Northeast in 2020. For most of the year, the average number of days was 1.08. In December, it jumped to 1.20 days.
By learning to recognize the hidden signs of where and when carrier networks will be the most taxed, specialty pharmacies and shippers can anticipate whatever the holiday peak season throws at them and optimize their on-time delivery dates.
About the Author
Sebastian Pistritto is vice president of marketing for ParcelShield, a firm that uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning models to predict package distress and improve forecasting accuracy for better in-home-delivery dates. Currently focused in healthcare and serving seven of the top 10 specialty pharmacies, ParcelShield provides real-time, carrier-agnostic, deliverability risk-insight throughout the entire parcel journey—from pharmacy loading docks to patients’ hands.
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