Hospitals, medical device suppliers / manufacturers, medical clinics and any other organizations in the healthcare sector sometimes require their high value medical devices to be delivered, replaced, or moved. Making sure that your medical equipment such as MRIs, CT scans, or dialysis machines is handled properly is of utmost consideration. When moving or installing medical equipment, the stakes are high, and even the smallest of errors can be costly, adding stress and expense to the project.
When you’re planning the transportation of expensive medical equipment, it’s critical to choose a supply chain transportation partner that has expertise in the specialized field of high value equipment transportation. Such a partner should have a proven track record, specific healthcare expertise and capabilities that relate to your project, and a team of highly skilled individuals to execute the job.
In the healthcare sector, white glove shipping involves transportation of large, fragile, or sensitive equipment. Not only is the transportation element important – installation, setup, and removal are as well, which is why working with a healthcare logistics partner with end-to-end capabilities is often preferred as it eliminates the need to deal with multiple service providers. Click on the video below to see what’s involved in the move of a seven ton MRI machine:
Not every 3PL company will have high value white glove transportation capabilities and can manage everything that’s involved with moving extremely large, valuable, high-tech medical device equipment. Some companies may offer this service, but often don’t have a team experienced with medical equipment, while other companies have only ever dealt with smaller medical devices and lack experience managing projects involving large medical devices.
The right white glove transportation partner will have experience handling large, complex projects, directly related to the medical sector, and will have multi-person teams, dedicated project management and best in class customer service to manage your high-value equipment shipping, moving and installation project.
Certain types of medical equipment may require highly specialized technicians, along with specialized handling tools such as large cranes and dedicated trucks, protective cases, etc… In addition, some projects may require white glove delivery teams to have specific training to be prepared for large, complex deliveries and installs.
Site inspections should be conducted prior to delivery to evaluate any site constraints or hazards, to determine the install location or final resting place, moving tool requirements, and plan the project. This will ensure that both the white glove delivery team and the client are prepared and understand the full scope of the project.
Some white glove delivery projects require customized solutions that involve services beyond the usual transportation. You may need to have the equipment moved overnight, plan a larger job that requires additional labour, or need the team that has experience dealing with a specific type of equipment. For example, removing an old device and installing a newer piece of equipment on the same day may require more resources than just simply delivering the equipment. Things to consider include de-installation and removal of the old equipment, dunnage or debris removal, end of life treatment, and then moving and installing the new piece of equipment. Being able to recycle equipment has become a requirement for most healthcare companies. This may be the type of capabilities you’ll expect from your 3PL partner, depending on what that equipment was used for, and the value of the components that make up the device. Any information regarding the removal of old equipment should be outlined in the SOP to ensure that the supply chain company you choose is able to properly complete the job.
In the healthcare industry, projects related to the movement or installation of specialized medical equipment can be incredibly time sensitive. Your white glove transportation partner should be able to provide appropriate project management services, and ensure delivery within the required timeline. Creating a realistic deadline for the project will help ensure that everything is completed as planned. The project manager should adhere to your deadlines while ensuring that every part of the plan is carried out with incredible attention to detail.
Partnering with a reliable and experienced supply chain service provider for your white glove transportation needs will ensure that your high value equipment will be expertly handled and executed without errors and with less risk to your valuable assets.