UPS announced plans yesterday to expand the number of its medical device field-stocking locations (FSLs) in Europe. UPS FSLs were first developed in the United States to ensure that medical device manufacturers deliver their products to more than 80 percent of U.S. hospital beds within four hours.
The facilities are strategically located to reduce transit time for time-sensitive shipments through efficient warehousing of products, enabling companies to ship products to customers faster while also “managing inventory costs, regulatory compliance and end-to-end visibility,” UPS said.
FSLs also reduce stock in the supply chain, according to Jan Denecker, director of healthcare marketing and strategy at UPS Europe. He explained that “a significant portion of medical devices are routinely stored in the trunks of field sales representatives’ vehicles, or what’s called in the industry ‘trunk stock.’ This leads to inflated inventories with little to no visibility and less than optimal storage conditions.”
UPS’s FSL network is comprised of more than 1,000 locations globally. The network has been operating since 1995 and is used by several industries outside of healthcare, such as high-tech, telecommunications, aerospace and manufacturing.