On-site partnerships ensure DACHSER serves medical logistics needs

From specialised Stiegelmeyer hospital beds, to Dr. Reddy’s pharmaceuticals to carefully calibrated medical equipment for Welch Allyn, DACHSER South Africa is delivering essential medical supplies throughout South Africa for a number of medical clients – ensuring that medical providers have the equipment they need in this challenging time. 

“The Dachser team has considerable experience in medical and pharmaceutical delivery, which has stringent health and safety compliance requirements,” says DACHSER SA managing director Detlev Duve. “We must also be able to support our clients in responding rapidly and effectively to growing needs during COVID-19. DACHSER has continued to operate effectively during lockdown with a dedicated team of home-based office staff and skeleton staff at all of our depots and local delivery centres. The entire supply chain is fully operational and on track for essential items.”

Duve says on-site partnerships and effective communications have been a key element of success in the specialist field of medical logistics. DACHSER is able to offer clients specialised warehousing and office space at the company’s Pomona head-office and five clients currently benefit from on-site offices. 

When specialised hospital bed supplier Stiegelmeyer contracted with Dachser four years ago, the German manufacturer was importing beds to South Africa. They soon moved from their original Centurion premises and to the DACHSER premises in Kempton Park, facilitating a strong partnership and seamless logistics that has grown with the business as they expanded to exporting into Africa.  Besides a full range of hospital beds supplied to largely private sector hospitals in South Africa, Stiegelmeyer has been exporting refugee beds across borders.  With the COVID-19 pandemic taking hold, the need for these beds may increase locally as well, and the DACHSER team is ready to handle increased volumes.

Theuns Burger of Stiegelmeyer says, “Interventions in response to the Coronavirus are currently impacting life at all levels. As a supplier to the medical field, we’re committed to doing whatever necessary to remain true to our healthcare mandate and to be able to react to special demands for supplies and services, even at very short notice. We have implemented extensive measures in our production and supply chain and DACHSER is an critical partner in ensuring that we are able to deliver across Southern Africa.”

Burger says the company chose DACHSER as the team was able to offer a well-priced, full solution for importing, exporting, warehousing and distribution. “With an office on site, we have full access to our stock at all times.  Working on-site has resulted in considerable efficiencies and cost-savings for our business. The Dachser team has a strong understanding of our business and we have been very happy with their service levels as a longterm supply chain fulfilment partner.”

Stiegelmeyer has a dedicated pick and pack area and space for display models, with beds built to client specifications at the DACHSER warehouse. DACHSER move up to 40 beds at time, many of which are high value items. The service includes unpacking and installing the beds in hospitals, and at times removing the older beds that the new stock will replace. This process requires health and safety preparation work and liason with the hospitals. Dachser co-ordinate with the Stiegelmeyer team to ensure that their sales executives are always there to sign off once beds have been installed.

Welch Allyn, a supplier of medical equipment, requires rigorous logistics management to ensure that their products reach medical rooms, hospitals and clinics in the perfect condition, and at the right time, in both urban centres and rural areas. Their range includes products from basic syringes to specialist cardiopulmonary equipment and patient monitoring systems. 

Welch Allyn staff are also located at the DACHSER warehouse, working closely with logistics teams to take care of medical product calibration and other specialist requirements while these products are in storage and transit. When products include high-cost, sophisticated technological equipment, error-free picking and packing is critical. In the company’s decade-long relationship with the client, stock has never once had to be written off, which is a massive achievement given that Dachser has moved millions of units of stock for the business over the years.

Duve says DACHSER's picking and packing service forms part of a continuous process that only concludes once products reaches its final destination. “Medical products are picked and packed to particular specifications that include temperature control and movement reduction. We make sure this remains consistent in transit, until the product has been handed over at the final point. Our picking and packing is further supported by a sophisticated IT system which enables the transparent coordination of complex activities and real-time information for clients on their stock.”

Duve concludes, “Clients entrust us with an important part of their business at critical times, and our service levels must remain consistent whatever the challenges may be. As a logistics company, our business is to understand this trust and to grow it into a successful logistics partnership.”

Contact Samantha DuToit