What is a healthcare supply chain network?

January 26, 2021

Written by: Herbert Güsgen

Are you a healthcare supplier, manufacturer or distributor looking for ways to improve efficiency of your end-to-end operations? Here we explain why joining a healthcare supply chain network is the way to go, and how exactly it helps your organisation improve your internal processes.

Simplifying the healthcare supply chain

From manufacturer to patient, we are all directly or indirectly affected by the process in which healthcare products make their way to hospitals. Products are subject to various rules, regulations and laws according to what they are, where they come from, and the patients on whom they are being used. This creates a supply chain with a complex structure and many boxes to check to ensure everything is produced, delivered and administered without error.

The best way to fix the commonly fragmented healthcare supply chain is to create end-to-end visibility.


The difference between having enough respirators or coming up short could be as simple as a mistake in inventory count or a missing number on the purchase order. So, how to make sure your hospital is stocked and ready for smooth everyday operations and prepared for unforeseen emergencies? The best way to fix the commonly fragmented supply chain is to create end-to-end visibility by joining a healthcare supply chain network.

What is a healthcare supply chain network?

Essentially, a supply chain network serves to connect companies with their business partners such as healthcare institutions, suppliers and logistics service providers. In the network, each party involved works according to their individual process and system specifications while all information is collected and viewed on a single interface.

Through this interface, each supply chain player is able to streamline distribution and processing of delivery notes, invoices, purchasing information, transport messages and payment advice.

It’s more than streamlining paperwork, though. When hospitals use barcode scanners for requisitions, the data is transferred directly through the network into the shared system. Suppliers then receive notifications to charge the hospital as well as automatically replace the used goods, ensuring stock is always balanced.

Benefits of a healthcare supply chain network

Through automated digital processes, your organisation, wherever it lies in the supply chain, gains visibility and control over operations while building stronger, trusting relationships with your business partners.

Through automated digital processes, your organisation, wherever it lies in the supply chain, gains visibility and control over operations.


The use of EDI technology makes the entire journey of healthcare goods trackable from the manufacturer to the patient, leading to time as well as cost savings and guaranteeing faster receipt of goods.

More benefits include:

  • Real-time visibility and overview of the entire healthcare supply chain

  • Master data synchronisation between buyer and supplier systems

  • Multiple levels of order checking and enrichment, depending on organisation requirements

  • Audit and enrichment can be imported into the sender system for data cleansing on request, improving the master data at the customer’s site

  • Automated conversion of transaction documents, according to recipient’s required format

  • Automatic notifications on delivery, receipt and goods consumption

  • Queries, which always keep two people away from the actual work, become a burden of the past

  • Process efficiency reduces complaints and returns while increasing customer satisfaction

  • Many networks, including the Pagero Network, are cloud-based and integrated so your organisation can get full benefits without changing ERP systems

Simply put, the network enables all connected business partners to exchange business documents from the entire healthcare supply chain.

What to consider

If you’re in the market to improve the overall functionality of your organisation, ask yourself these questions:

With which customers or suppliers does your organisation have the most:

  • Complaints?

  • Returns?

  • Cancellations?

  • Delivery failures?

  • Transmission problems?

Now think about how you cooperate with the customer or supplier. Could anything be improved with a tailored healthcare supply chain management solution?


Digitalise your healthcare supply chain with Pagero

Pagero’s healthcare solutions help buyers and suppliers digitalise and automate P2P and O2C processes without system changes or interruptions.
See solution page


Stay in the loop with our newsletter

Explore more resources

See all of our in-depth blog posts, webinars and guides.
Go to Resource Centre

Get in touch

Interested in getting started or learning more? Leave your contact details here and we will reach out to you!