Page 5: Just-in-time
When faced with the problem of how to deliver a perishable cancer detection kit to doctors’ surgeries around Europe, the choice of leading health care company Bard was clear: they chose DHL. The Bard Bladder Tumour Antigen (BTA) test is a five-minute urine test for monitoring bladder cancer, the fourth most common cancer in men. This disease is usually successfully treated if found early, but life threatening if undetected until it reaches advanced stages. The Bard BTA kit is a potential life-saver.
The Bard BTA test is currently being sent directly to doctors around Europe on a trial basis. However, as the product is perishable, it needs to reach doctors’ surgeries within 72 hours, after which it can be refrigerated. Bard started sending the Bard BTA test to its key European markets - Spain, Italy, France and Germany - in early 1995. The Bard BTA test was launched globally in 1996.
DHL is able to make two collections every day from Bard’s Clacton-on-Sea warehouse, as well as being “on-call” to make pick-ups at short notice. Bard now sends over 100 products abroad per month with DHL. The advantages of using DHL include pick-up and door-to-door delivery, coupled with the ability to generate paper-work instantly and to track deliveries through the Internet. International exporters such as Bard know that they can rely on a single air express carrier, rather than a multitude of distribution suppliers. This simplifies administration and offers greater control over the time of delivery. It also dramatically lowers costs, through reduced inventory holding.
Just-in-time delivery services are now a common feature within total logistics chains serving the requirements of manufacturing, retail and service industries. It is the reliability of delivery by air express companies, such as DHL, that has led to considerable growth in the requirement for such logistical facilities and DHL is now being used by all of the top companies listed in the FT’s Top 100 Exporters.