Vizient taps DHL Supply Chain for healthcare logistics services

Vizient taps DHL Supply Chain for healthcare logistics services

July 27, 2023

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Dive Brief:

  • DHL Supply Chain announced in June it is now a qualified supplier for Vizient, a healthcare performance improvement company used by hospitals nationwide.
  • As part of a new agreement, Vizient will gain access to DHL Supply Chain’s transportation management, warehousing and distribution, and value-added services.
  • The deal represents an expansion to a new service for Vizient: third-party logistics, Chad Mitchell, associate vice president of contract and program services, said in a statement. “Covid’s impact on the healthcare supply chain drove a shift in purchasing behaviors, highlighting the need for logistics services for provider self-distribution.”

Dive Insight:

DHL Group has been gaining clients in the healthcare space, a trend Jim Saponaro, DHL Supply Chain’s president of life sciences and healthcare, said is intentional.

The agreement with Vizient comes about a month after Siemens and Eli Lilly announced they signed up to use DHL Global Forwarding along with a temperature-controlled facility with direct ramp access at Indianapolis International Airport. And earlier in 2022, DHL invested $400 million to expand its pharmaceutical and medical device distribution network by 27% — about 3 million additional square feet.

DHL Supply Chain has roughly 50 clients in the healthcare space and 33 buildings — soon to be 36 by the end of the year, Saponaro told Supply Chain Dive. He said some clients have recently turned distribution facilities into more manufacturing capacity, so they look to DHL to widen their footprint and locations.

That trend in the healthcare logistics space pushed DHL to shift its focus and leverage its warehouse and data capabilities to double down on the life science and healthcare industry, Saponaro said.

“If it was just by pure scale, we’d be the third largest real estate company in the world — DHL Group,” Saponaro said.

The third-party logistics provider acquires land through its real estate business, called Real Estate Solutions, and then designs a specific building for individual clients. DHL also has a whole innovation department for the North America region within Saponaro’s team, allowing the company to use digital tools to enhance warehouse efficiencies in areas such as wearables, kinetics and safety.

When healthcare companies can’t do the basics such as managing a warehouse management system and managing inventory, they get excited about what DHL does with analytics, according to Saponaro. This involves lowering inventory costs, reducing weights and getting products to the floor or patient quicker, he added.

“That appealed to Vizient to say, ‘Wow, you know, you could really help our clients,’ and so that’s how we kind of came together. Now they can say we offer 3PL services,” Saponaro said.

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