Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Essay of Case Study:
The case study has been highly successful to present the complete evolution of Lehigh Valley Transport and Logistics Services (LVLTS) from its founding. The case study pointed out that the beginning of the LVLTS, the contemporary leading company in the pharmaceutical industry, was first established as a small Cartage Company in the year of 1960. The major business operation conducted by the company is provision of delivery and pick up service for several trucking companies in Greater Leigh Valley area. In addition to that, the case study depicted the market condition as well as market opportunity before the establishment of LVLTS. The founder of the LVLTS, Mason Delp, effectively identified the signs of change in the local area between Philadelphia and Allentown. The case study pointed out that the major reason of this improvement in local area was urban development program. This program successfully enhanced the conditions of North-South and East-West roadway corridors in Pennsylvania and Turnpike (Chudacoff et al. 2016). Moreover, the program also improved various interstate highway systems in this area. This improved roadway network access provided a greater transportation means for many communities. It can be observed that this transportation access transformed the whole area from agricultural heart to industrial hub. Currently, Pennsylvania is crowded with many companies, which operate their business in manufacturing and service sector.
The case study quite successfully pointed out the business expansion process of LVLTS as well as its prevalence condition. It has been identified that among these establishments of various companies, most significant opportunity for LVLTS came with the foundation of number of pharmaceutical production facilities. Moreover, Pennsylvania also experienced numerous agglomerations of pharmaceutical companies as well as services. The LVLTS quite successfully expanded their motor carrier services by capitalizing the success and growth of the pharmaceutical companies. The company started to provide both truckload as well as less-than-truckload services to all over the Mid-Atlantic States (López-Cózar-Navarro et al. 2017). The case study has also discussed how LVLTS faced a greater change in market environment and adopted themselves with the market requirement. In the year of 1980, the trucking industry was deregulated by the Motor Carrier Act, 1980 (Dempsey 2013). The major purpose of this United states federal law was enabling the truckers to fix their service price rate within a certain reasonable zone. LVLTS welcomed the change and started to provide warehousing services in Lansdale. The warehousing services effectively complemented the truckling service. The case study also identified the timing when the company added ‘Logistics’ with its name. In addition to that, the case study disclosed how the founder of LVLTS decided its heir and future leader of the company. Paul was promoted by Mason for his education as well as experience and appointed as vice president of warehousing services.
The case study pointed out that the transfer of leadership was occurred in the year of 2000, with the retirement of Mason. The leadership capability of new CEO, Paul has been successfully depicted in the case study. It pointed out under the leadership of Paul the company led to its mature level. The company successfully attempted a sustainable expansion in the beginning of 21st century. The case study has been also able to point out that the company effectively invested in the sector of technology as well as information systems. It has been identified from the case study how the company was challenged by the recession of 2008. It has also depicted how the company mitigated its risk in the extreme volatile market. It has been identified that LVLTS was faced a significant financial loss as well as challenges with the rising financial crisis in the global market. In this context, the decision to invest in the technology and information system mitigated the decline of the business. This balancing act helped the organization to recover from its challenges up to the year of 2012 (Spender 2014).
The case study also provided a greater understanding of the importance of strategic relationships as well as cost control for effectively respond to the dynamic market factors in future days. The strategic partnership ensures that you have a effective partner to help you out at the time of critical time of business. The strategic partners enable the organization to have the most crucial advantage of accessing broader assortment of expertise as well as resources. This particular access enables the organization to have the necessary competitive advantage (Hill et al. 2014). With the support of strategic partners, LVLTS would be able to provide better product lines as well as distinctive skill sets, which would enhance the competitive advantage of the company. The strategic partners would be also capable of distributing the pressure from any business entity. These particular advantages would have helped the organization to face the recession with greater access of resources and expertise. It would have evidently minimized the extent of financial loss that has been incurred at the time of business crisis.
At the same time, the cost control is another major significant tool for handling the recessionary periods. The cost reduction effectively increases the competitive advantage of the organization. The reduction of operational cost effectively increases the margin of the profit. The cost cutting has the capability to preserve the resources of the company in a significant fashion. The reduction of wastage is another major significant advantage of cost cutting (Vanovermeire et al. 2014). These particular facilities associated with cost cutting could have provided a greater footing for LVLTS for dwelling with recessions. The case study has pointed out that CEO of LVLTS has effectively understood the advantage of cost control and strategic partnership. It is likely that the organization would focus on these areas to improve its market response capability in the future. The case study has successfully pointed out that the pharmaceutical companies have experienced greater challenges as well as financial loss at the time of recessions. It also disclosed that these challenges of pharmaceutical companies can be transformed as opportunity for LVLTS in the context of establishing strategic and collaborative partnership with these organizations.
Challenges Faced By Pharmaceutical Industry
Nowadays, the importance of supply chain management is extremely high in any business industry. Especially for the pharmaceutical industry, without a proper supply chain, it is not possible to supply the products such as medicines and health care accessories to the desired places in one piece. However, pharmaceutical companies are facing severe issues mostly in their supply chain systems which are yet not upgraded properly (Garcia and You 2015). Some major issues in supply chain management of pharmaceutical companies are hereby mentioned below.
Lack of coordination: For a global industry as pharmaceuticals this is a major challenge. In pharmaceutical companies, there are often so many links in the chain that is it is almost necessary to have a well coordinated, adaptable and successful supply chain management. However, as mentioned by Mehralian et al. (2015), it is not easy task to do for a global industry.
Control of temperature: Most of the pharmaceutical products are asked to be held at a constant temperature throughout its entire journey cycle. It will ensure its usability for the patients. Transportation through air, sea or by road has their own advantages and disadvantages. It is extremely difficult in the first place to keep the temperature same at any condition (Stindt and Sahamie 2014). On the other hand, technology is there to keep the products in a constant atmosphere; however, those technologies are not cheap and are tough to handle. Utilizing the potentiality of such technologies is a major issue for the pharmaceutical industry.
Compliance: Adherence to legislations worldwide is an absolute must within the supply chain of pharmaceutical companies. Besides, in next few years, updated EU rules and regulations are coming into effect. United States of America is also planning to upgrade its regulatory framework for the movement of the medicines. Therefore, it is important for the pharmaceutical companies to upgrade their supply chain management to meet the requirements of new legislations and policies (Narayana et al. 2014). It is again a huge process and cost-effective also which is bound to possess challenges for the pharmaceutical industry.
Data: This can be considered as the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge simultaneously. Utilization of the data that available across the supply chain of pharmaceutical companies can often be a largely untapped resource. If this information is collected properly, then it will help the industry to develop a more efficient, effective and transparent supply chain management (Whewell 2016). However, again, for the pharmaceutical companies it is not easy to gather this type of information on a regular basis. Loss of such information can create confusion and challenges for the companies in the industry.
Scientific advances: The supply chain does not exist in vacuum. It is a very important accessory that makes sure that weighty efforts of research and establishment, along with manufacturing and production of a finished product reach those who need it (Escudero 2016). It is evident that science is taking several steps forward to improve the lives of the people. In this situation, pharmaceutical companies will also have to respond positively. There is no point of manufacturing medicines if pharmaceutical companies cannot supply them properly.
Emerging markets: New markets and big markets such as Russia, India, China, and Turkey have emerged where the demand of pharmaceutical tools and medicines is high (Uthayakumar and Priyan 2013). In order to deliver medicines to these countries, where the high volume medicines are required, the pharmaceutical companies will have to expand their chain of supply.
Opportunity For LVTLS
In order to deal with those issues, pharmaceutical companies can follow the steps shown below.
The pharmaceutical companies can use accurate information across the entire chain at any point and at any location. In order to do that, the companies will have implement latest software systems in the supply chain department.
The supply chain team of pharmaceutical companies must be able to instantly access real-time updates and alerts when challenges are detected.
The management will have gain clear visibility of all handovers in the supply chain.
Supply chain department of the companies must be able to trace back the sources of all materials.
A relentless collaboration is required between all the parties who are involved in the supply chain of a pharmaceutical company.
The pharmaceutical companies will have to change tradition ERP systems. This system is unable to provide holistic and complete view of the production and movement of goods from start to finish which is now critically required to meet the demand of the consumers and specification of the medicines (Mousazadeh et al. 2015).
According to Tremblay (2013), for a pharmaceutical company, implementing this must complex and streamlined supply chain is almost impossible. It not only requires a huge amount of investment but also requires a huge workforce to manage and monitor. Therefore, the best thing that the pharmaceutical companies can do is to outsource the activities of supply chain to a third party organization who will be capable to manage and monitor all the operations related to supply chain management and will be able to meet the requirements of the consumers in big markets (Jaberidoost et al. 2013). This is t he situa3tion where LVTLS will be benefited. This organization is more than capable of providing holistic and complete supply chain solutions to the pharmaceutical companies. This company will be able to deal with all the issues It is capable of providing both LTL( less than truckload) and truck load services to the pharmaceutical companies along with a required backup with upgraded software systems of supply chain management. Therefore, the chances are high that all the pharmaceutical companies will look to outsource their supply chain activities and will look to join hands with third party logistics organizations. Being one of the oldest and popular supply chain organizations, it is obvious that LVTLS will be able to acquire attention of such companies and will be able to sign a deal with those companies. On the other hand, LVTLS is already in contact with some pharmaceutical companies. In this scenario, the chances are high that those companies will ask the management of LVTLS to improve their supply chain activities which will be again profitable for the organization.
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