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OptiFreight® Logistics Can Help Cut Shipping Costs with Data-Driven Insights and Innovation

OptiFreight® Logistics helps healthcare companies better control costs through what it calls “total transportation management.”

Healthcare facilities spend a considerable amount of money on shipping costs to get all the products and supplies they need on time. Because of the vast number of buyers and suppliers helping to stock these facilities, many of these shipping costs go overlooked, creating a sizeable savings opportunity.

But OptiFreight® Logistics, a Dublin, Ohio-based provider of healthcare freight management services, can help healthcare companies better control shipping costs through what it calls “total transportation management.” OptiFreight® Logistics takes a collaborative approach with its healthcare customers to manage more freight based on customization, optimization and innovation with an overall goal to create additional savings for customers. 

“What we’ve seen in healthcare systems is a burning platform to drive down costs while continuing to keep up with innovations and improvements in patient care,” says Brad Wilson, vice president of sales and service for OptiFreight® Logistics, which is part of Cardinal Health, a $130 billion global, integrated healthcare services and products company.

Wilson explains that OptiFreight® Logistics, an industry leader in healthcare freight management, is strengthened by the scale and supply chain expertise of Cardinal Health.

“Being part of Cardinal Health, we are uniquely positioned to help customers find more efficiencies and savings in their supply chain,” he adds.

OptiFreight® Logistics uses robust data analytics to help customers reveal more savings and efficiency opportunities in their health systems. Because transportation costs can occur at every site of care, data is needed to help pinpoint the best savings strategies.  

Serving hospitals, large integrated delivery networks (IDNs), clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, pharmacies and laboratories, OptiFreight® Logistics saves healthcare customers up to 30 to 50% on shipments* ordered direct from suppliers as well as outbound to other healthcare facilities or to patients.

Established in 2003, OptiFreight® Logistics manages more than 7,000 suppliers and over 20 million shipments a year to more than 22,000 shipping locations. Last year, OptiFreight® Logistics generated a collective savings of more than $537 million in shipping expenses for its customers*.

Evolving to Meet the Needs of Modern Healthcare Systems 

The healthcare industry has changed and has grown more complex, fueled by an influx of mergers and acquisitions. And as larger systems acquire smaller systems, transportation has become a bigger part of healthcare systems’ profit and loss statements. Healthcare systems all want the lowest-cost delivery points, whether it’s from a hospital to a surgery center or from a pharmacy to a home-care setting.

OptiFreight® Logistics has risen to the challenge by becoming better connected to the growing volume of healthcare systems’ shipping needs. 

“It’s not just about inbound small parcels, it’s about inbound, outbound and even intra-logistical shipments being optimized,” Wilson says. “We provide a total management approach inclusive of managing multi-carrier small parcel shipments, large freight, same-day and next-day deliveries via couriers and regional parcel carriers and tailor those services to meet each customer’s needs, driving efficiencies and savings across the board.” 

The company’s approach is proven to be a huge differentiator, Wilson says, as OptiFreight® Logistics provides visibility and control through data and analytics, which ultimately reduces costs, whether a shipment is inbound from a supplier or outbound from a customer or within a hospital or IDN.

“By centralizing freight spend and leveraging data and analytics, companies can open a window into how they spend money,” Wilsons notes. “We specialize in helping to identify opportunities to save, without negatively impacting the timing of delivery. Having oversight into all shipments allows us to serve as the strategic freight management partner our customers need. Helping our customers manage their freight and saving them money, means that they have more time and resources to spend on what matters most — caring for their patients.”

OptiFreight® Logistics advises its customers to take an “active approach” to total transportation management. Then, everyone involved is aligned with the strategy and can make decisions to maximize shipping savings. It’s not just about a rate or cost; it’s about an evolving, collaborative strategy.

Changing Transportation Needs Amid COVID-19

Wilson, who has worked in healthcare logistics, manufacturing and transportation for 30 years, thought he had seen everything until COVID-19 came along.

“It’s extremely unprecedented,” he says. “It will change the face of how we do business going forward, and how our customers do business.”

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, OptiFreight® Logistics surveyed its top 100 customers to find out what their most urgent needs were to understand changes that would be needed regarding shipping practices because of the pandemic.

During the crisis, OptiFreight® Logistics has seen an increase in international and large freight requests, many of which are tied to personal protective equipment shipments.

“Now, more than ever, we are seeing our customers rely on us in this time of crisis,” Wilson says. “It’s so important to have a strategic, resourceful freight management provider to help find the right solution, especially during a global pandemic.”  

Here are some of the ways OptiFreight® Logistics is helping customers through COVID-19:

• Facilitating bulk/large freight orders.

• Coordinating domestic and international shipments of urgently needed supplies and equipment.

• Establishing short-term courier routes to speed up delivery of lab tests. 

• Setting up shipments of prescriptions and home healthcare supplies direct to patient homes where needed.

• Adjusting delivery processes for its carriers and couriers to account for safety and physical distancing.

Wilson says OptiFreight® Logistics has embraced the challenge that comes with serving a divergent client base.

“Every institution is different in how they operate and each has unique needs that have to be addressed,” he says.

*Based on internal OptiFreight® Logistics 2019 customer data

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