UPS' field-stocking location (FSL) service provides expanded med device support

Speedy delivery to hospitals and clinics is the goal

Tailored to the needs of hospitals who are seeking medical devices quickly, the FSL network of UPS has been upgraded to provide compliant shipping and delivery. The 36 FSL locations in the US, says UPS, can deliver needed products to 80% of hospital beds in the country within four hours.

The FSL concept is not unique to life sciences; in fact, UPS has over 950 such locations globally, and routinely serves high tech, aerospace, industrial and other clients from them since 1995. The different here, apparently, is that UPS has ensured that products are stored in a regulatory-compliant manner, including temperature control for refrigerated products (a significant fraction of the “medical device” universe includes things like kits containing drugs, as well as products like human tissues).

The medical-device community is still in a longterm process of upgrading its inventory and supply-chain practices; a significant fraction of medical devices routinely reside in the trunks of sales reps’ cars (thus, the term “trunk inventory”). FSLs represent not just an upgrade of quality standards for device manufacturers, but also a way to run their supply chains closer to marketplace demands.