Rethinking the Medical Supply Chain After COVID-19


If the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that the medical device supply chain is more fragile than anyone would like to admit. When it comes to protecting your organization, including those they serve, there is no need to sacrifice quality to fulfill your supply needs. 

Having an emergency plan in place going forward can help prepare your organization for future supply shortages and restricted transport capabilities. 

Let’s examine a few methods to improve your organization’s medical supply chain, following the hard-learned lessons of the past year and a half. 

Prepare for Shortages
One of the biggest challenges presented early in the pandemic was the shortage of supplies as ports were impacted by shutdowns and import restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of infection.

Utilizing a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) offers the benefit of having a centralized location where you can store large amounts of product for future use. Ours is strategically located in Battle Creek’s Fort Custer Industrial Park, offering centralized transportation and logistics support to improve distribution time and cost savings.​​

Having a backlog of supplies set aside and ready for use as your organization needs them will help protect you from price gouging shortages and being forced to sacrifice quality to meet immediate demands with inferior products. 

Arrange for Quality Assurance
Another early impact of the pandemic was the scramble for organizations trying to locate quality medical devices and supplies. When supply doesn’t meet the demand for quality products, it can lead to organizations relying on subpar products in order to bridge the gap.

By utilizing STEWART Medical, your organization has the opportunity to not only backlog products for future use but have them checked for quality assurance standards prior to release. Under each customer’s protocol, items may be inspected to ensure proper quality before duty is applied. This helps your organization avoid massive upfront costs for faulty products and ensures that you only pay for products that pass your quality standards. Overall, an FTZ offers the benefit of reducing tariffs by up to 80%.

Though the past year and a half has put the medical supply chain through the proverbial ringer, STEWART Industries is here to help support the stability and protection of your medical supply demands going forward. Reach out today to learn more and receive a quote for your organization’s individual needs.

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