Digital Transformation in Healthcare and Life Sciences Supply Chains

Digital transformation involves handing manual processes over to digital software and cloud-based tools that improve efficiency and eliminate human error. In many industries, digital transformation manifests as better communication technology, monitoring systems, and scheduling systems.

A supply chain can appear as a linear process, but with digitization, it becomes more of a web: a series of flexible, communicative, and interconnected networks. Managing this was once a difficult feat for supply chain professionals, but the technological evolution is enabling a change in how companies utilize data.

What Digital Transformation looks like in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Digitization in the healthcare industry takes on new meanings and challenges. For other sectors, digital transformation assists with bringing a new phone or appliance to market. Their supply chain processes involve knowing the inventory necessary to manufacture the product and having a predictable supply and demand flow.

It is difficult to follow the same process in the healthcare and life science industries. Creating new medications is an ever-evolving science with demand fluctuating based on patient’s needs. Fluctuating demand coupled with the possible need for special shipping conditions like cold-chain means more complexities, making digitization necessary for efficiency and a better experience for both shippers and providers.

Recently, the healthcare industry is beginning to shift its focus even more toward a patient-centered care model. These models are value-based and provide incentives for good health outcomes. This increase in focus brings changes for the healthcare supply chain, as companies need to have higher visibility when manufacturing and transporting their products. Digitization includes implementing automation with data collection and payment processing.

Value-based Healthcare

The healthcare industry has historically been focused on balancing growth, meeting demands, and ensuring quality service.

The shift to value-based healthcare means that healthcare and life science companies need to have a higher impact with fewer resources to save costs. As a result, treatment and therapy costs are rising, along with heightening expectations from patients and providers. Optimizing the supply chain is the first step to cost reductions and gaining efficiency.

Digital transformation succeeds in the healthcare industry and value-based healthcare with good quality data, communication, and new capabilities. The healthcare industry is moving towards new ways to collect data and using artificial intelligence, but they cannot benefit from the saved costs without the supply chain becoming more automated. A supply chain that is not technologically advanced lacks in communication and does not have the visibility required to give optimal performance. Automated processes can bring clean data, better communication, and higher visibility so that there are fewer disruptions and opportunities for human error.

What Digital Transformation Entails 

Data Compliance 

Before you can start optimizing, you need to have clean data. Disparate data is normal in the supply chain industry whether it’s due to the carrier, the country, the mode of transportation, or any of the complex shipping environments required. To make the right decisions about your supply chain using clean data, you need to set up data compliance rules. Data compliance is the practice of establishing rules to make sure your carrier data meets all data normalization requirements required for you to produce reliable analytics and reporting.

Clean data ensures an accurate view of your supply chain health and allows you to predict and catch any errors before they happen. This gives healthcare and life science companies the opportunity to respond quickly to any disruptions. Clean data allows companies to proactively make changes to shipments and have fewer errors and better performance.

Alleviating Pricing Pressures 

Implementing a digital supply network can provide better communication and visibility to the supply chain. A better understanding of supply can bring many cost reduction opportunities like quicker shipping, fewer invoice errors, and less waste. Increased cost reduction can increase accessibility of products to other parts of the world and help you meet your goals.


Digital transformation includes gaining data from multiple sources. Looking at your data holistically allows for a proactive approach to your supply chain. Analyzing data from various sources can simulate various outcomes and give guidance for proactively preventing risks. It also results in better decision-making for any future situation without disruptions.

Higher visibility into every step of the supply chain process can lead to more cost-efficient decision-making. The transportation process can be digitized with high-quality data and software that makes it easier to manage transportation costs. High-quality data gives better visibility in the transportation process, and a clearer view of transportation spend makes it easier to allocate money in ways that promote better performance.

Carrier scorecards are also an easy way to promote better performance using the increased visibility. When processes are digitalized, it mitigates human error, making data collection, financial management, and tracking shipments easier. These aspects all accumulate to efficient, confident, and proactive decision-making.

Digital transformation in healthcare supply chain makes difficult decision-making efficient and irons out the disruptions in the process. When supply chains can catch disruptions before they occur using data visibility, the shipments can reach their destination in a safe and timely manner, ensuring your products get to where they’re needed, when they’re needed most.

Digital Transformation Key Takeaways

There are countless ways the Healthcare and Life Sciences industry can transform digitally. With new ways to automate and manage data, human errors are reduced, and you have access to the information you need to make the best decision for your business. These advancements in the healthcare field have greatly affected the service towards patients, and Trax can help in your journey to digitally transform your healthcare supply chain to stay focused on quality for your customers.

Trax can bring your healthcare supply chain up to speed in digital transformation through Transportation Spend Management. Trax’s suite of capabilities includes high-quality software and processes to normalize your supply chain’s data processing. You’ll be able to be more proactive and have optimized systems for an efficient supply chain flow and better communication between you, your carriers, and your customers.

Transportation Spend Management optimizes your company’s processes, improving data collection and analysis. Optimization gives your company stability and strong data management. Not only does this allow for stronger decision-making and predictability, but it also gives higher visibility and better distribution planning.

A digitally transformed healthcare supply chain has higher reliability and a higher capacity to help healthcare providers and patients. When a supply chain has digitalized its internal processes, healthcare providers are able to rely on receiving the correct treatments and can focus on the end customer, their patient. This transformation can also translate easier to the digitalized process healthcare providers already use to implement value-based healthcare and provide a positive experience for patients. To learn more about our digital transformation process for your business, contact Trax today.

Trax Technologies

Trax Technologies

Trax is the global leader in Transportation Spend Management solutions. We partner with the most global and complex brands to drive meaningful optimizations and savings through industry-leading technology solutions and world-class advisory services. With the largest global footprint spanning North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, we enable our clients to have greater control over their transportation performance and spend. Our focus is on your success.