Finding savings in managing sample-distribution programs

September 9, 2014

BuzzeoPDMA's optimally located sample distribution saves up to 30% on logistics costs

A fairly straightforward change in how samples are warehoused and shipped has resulted in a claimed up to 30% reduction in sample distribution costs for some clients, according to BuzzeoPDMA, a Cegedim company, in a recent announcement. By shifting distribution from the Middle Atlantic region to Memphis, TN, the company is able to effect the cost reduction. Key savings are derived from moving to more ground transportation rather than overnight air service; the Memphis location allows for more of the continental US to be reached within three days by ground, the usual delivery period specified by its pharma clients, says Paul Hamby, Senior Director, Compliance Solutions, at the company.

“The three-day limit is especially relevant for pharma companies engaged in direct-to-physician sampling programs,” notes Hamby. The central US location also enables carriers to receive and ship orders later in the day. Logistics providers have long known the value of the central US location; within Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, FedEx and UPS have major hubs, and many wholesalers and distributors have distribution centers there. But its value for economizing on sample-distribution programs appears to have been overlooked.

BuzzeoPDMA provides auditing, PDMA reconciliation, inventory, and compliance training for sample programs in addition to advising on logistics. The company also works with Invistics, a major supply-chain software vendor, to perform sampling optimization programs.

Sampling, today, has its challenges, both on regulatory and technology fronts and as a business practice. Says Hamby, “Direct to physician, e-sampling and other ‘alternative’ sampling programs are being looked at by most pharma marketers, but for the foreseeable future, there will be a place for face-to-face delivery of samples by reps,” Hamby says.