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Preventing Healthcare Product Shortages with Buffer Storage

Interview with Commercial Director of Movianto Group Jean-Paul Pihen


– For whom and when is buffer storage worthwhile?
– Commercial Director of Movianto shows opportunities and advantages


[Picture] : Jean-Paul Pihen, Commercial Director Movianto Group


Due to shortages in the healthcare supply chain, even shortages of essential healthcare products, the industry has provided some bad news over the past years. In response to this challenge, Movianto has been developing multiple buffer stock solutions. Jean-Paul Pihen, Commercial Director Movianto Group reports on when this strategy is worthwhile for whom, what the options are and what advantages they have.

Jean-Paul Pihen - Movianto Commercial Director

Can you give us your definition of buffer storage?

Buffer storage is the fact to store goods in a risk management process to prevent shortage in most cases. Whether it is a regulatory obligation for manufacturers or a supply chain strategy managing risk to ensure that a company’s goods are always available in case of unpredictable events. Buffer storage is a good strategy to prevent shortage, secure your production chain by having all inventory locally or also, create stock for a certain date launch for example.


What kinds of products are involved?

All type of products, production materials, semi-finished goods and finished goods but also secondary packaging material. Of course, there is a high focus on essential pharmaceutical products for which the regulation recommends, and some country request the manufacturers to establish security stock going from 3 months to 10 months stock in some cases.

This risk management strategy is also true for non-vital medical products and healthcare products, it can concern any type of products as a large number of products are essential for certain patients and consumers. Examples are family care products, baby products, etc. What’s more, a company’s revenue is at stake, and a supply problem has a direct impact on the company’s turnover. Some of our clients reserve sites as a precautionary measure to secure growth, or as part of their business continuity plan.


What are your capacities to answer this rising demand?

We have storage capacity in 11 European countries and in the UK. We have storage capacity at temperatures of 2/8°C and 15°C/25°C, but we can also offer buffer storage for products requiring storage at –20°C, -40°C or even -80°C.

In addition, two years ago we completed an increase in our capacity in Europe to support our customers’ growth on the one hand, but also to deal with these priority situations. So, we have the capacity to cope with traditional supply activity and the securing of pharmaceutical stocks over a large part of Europe.

What are the advantages of buffer storage in healthcare?

I will try to summarise this in a shortlist :

  1. Risk Mitigation: Temporary storage solutions can help mitigate risks associated with pharmaceutical stock by securing access to your products for a couple of weeks to a couple of months. It is then essential to prevent an unexpected event from your production, to rising demand or a pandemic for example.
  2. Flexibility: Temporary storage solutions provide flexibility to adjust storage capacity according to these changing needs without the need for permanent infrastructure changes.
  3. Cost-Efficiency and scalability: Temporary storage solutions offer a cost-effective alternative, allowing healthcare facilities to scale their storage capacity up or down as needed without incurring significant upfront expenses.
  4. Rapid Deployment: Temporary storage in our existing and GDP facilities can be quickly set-up, allowing healthcare facilities to respond promptly to sudden request respecting storage conditions and pharmaceutical requirements

Overall, temporary pharmaceutical storage solutions offer numerous advantages for the healthcare industry, including flexibility, cost-efficiency, rapid deployment, compliance, risk mitigation, scalability, and space optimization. These benefits enable healthcare facilities to effectively manage their pharmaceutical inventory while ensuring the safety and efficacy of medications for patients.