Blue Yonder recently attended the LogiMed USA 2024 conference in beautiful Palm Springs, California. The event brought companies from across the medical device and diagnostics supply chain together. Attendees included medical device and diagnostics manufacturers, hospital systems, raw material suppliers, software providers, and logistics service providers (LSPs). Presenters represented each of the aforementioned industries, sometimes on the same panel, which led to fruitful panel discussions with diverse perspectives.

LogiMed has created a unique community, focused on a niche space – supply chain within the medical device industry – that allows attendees to have discussions with a focus on the opportunities, challenges, and trends specific to this industry.  

The conference provided Blue Yonder with a wonderful opportunity to make meaningful connections with attendees. Additionally, we had the opportunity to listen to challenges those in the life sciences industry are experiencing and what they are envisioning for their future.

In reflecting on the most common themes of the conference, the following topics seemed to bubble to the top:

  • Partnership
    • Manufacturers are looking to drive collaboration between themselves in the role of the supplier and their customers in the health care space (hospital systems, medical providers).
      • Multiple manufacturers discussed the creation of roles specifically focused on strengthening relationships with customers, taking the lead on becoming more collaborative suppliers.
        • This type of role helps manufacturers determine where priorities overlap between customer and supplier.
        • This role meets with customers to discuss challenges that the customer is having and then provides solutions based on experiences internally or with other customers to solve challenges together.
      • Manufacturers also discussed improving demand planning with customers through enhanced collaboration
    • Professionals across medical device, health care, software providers, and LSPs discussed the desire to strengthen partnerships with suppliers and provided insights into how they are doing this today and hope to further expand these initiatives in the future.
      • Strengthening two-way communication and focusing on outcomes that are mutually beneficial.
      • Holding Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) to measure performance, discuss what is going well, and what can be improved.
      • Annual supplier conferences where company vision is shared across suppliers are also becoming more prevalent.
      • Some manufacturers are closing the gap with their suppliers through bringing commercial teams to meet directly with their suppliers.
    • While all industries discussed a need for more collaboration, challenges related to the need for constant communication were discussed. This highlights a desire for more streamlined communication
  • Women in Supply Chain
    • There were several events focused on women in supply chain that provided valuable opportunities to connect with women in this industry, understand their challenges, and hear about the strides that are being made to encourage more women to go into the MedTech space.
  • S&OP/IBP
    • Companies are seeing how a connected business process like S&OP or IBP can enable them to meet their business goals.
    • Presenters and commenters discussed that they’ve used this process to show how changes impact the entire organization.
    • Learnings have included understanding just how interconnected supply chain is with business functions throughout the organization.
  • Visibility
    • Companies want to know where their inventory is across their network and into supplier networks.
    • There is a desire to understand the impacts that delays in supplier networks have on meeting customer demands and then to proactively alert internal production teams and external customers about the delays when necessary. This connects back to the partnerships mentioned above as more communication strengthens relationships and can be used to solve upcoming challenges together.
  • Network Interoperability
    • Companies want to gather insights as far back as the raw material suppliers and offer resolutions that make sense to the rest of the supply chain with as minimal impact as possible.
    • Moving away from maintaining information about suppliers (inventory, forecasts) in spreadsheets and towards supplier portals.
    • Medical device manufactures believe that sharing forecasts with suppliers with as much accuracy as possible, as far in advance as possible improves the ability for suppliers to support their business.

My colleague Adam Supernant, Senior Solutions Advisor, and I hosted a partner workshop entitled “The Connected Medical Device Supply Chain.” We discussed how Blue Yonder helps clients in the medical device industry support their end-to-end supply chain with solutions that connects supply chain functions internally and externally. The session delved into common challenges that medical device companies face, such as managing regulatory requirements, product lifecycle management (PLM), whether obsolete inventory or new product introductions (NPI) and working collaboratively with a complex supplier network.

The workshop also included a discussion on how Blue Yonder uses proven capabilities to enable supply chain processes, along with information on how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is used to support these capabilities. Many of the questions from workshop attendees revolved around AI and ML, proving that this topic is of interest to those in the life sciences industry.

In conclusion, the event was filled with valuable insights into the medical device and diagnostic supply chain. Because it is Blue Yonder’s second year to attend, we are beginning to see the community created by this event and are establishing lasting relationships.

Want to learn more about key learnings from LogiMed? Watch our Blue Yonder Live session „Cook Medical and Blue Yonder: LogiMed 2024 Takeaways“ on Thursday, May 9 at 2 p.m. ET! Replay will be available at the same link.