Healthcare Blog


Arvato's business unit Healthcare has launched a new LinkedIn series named #AboutHealthcareAndSupplychain. As part of this online series different authors are posting articles on a regularly base, dealing with current hot topics of the Healthcare industry, as well as supply chain, inventory management and ecommerce related topics. Have fun reading! 

Latest articles


The healthcare supply chain agenda 2021 and beyond: Uniting what looks like opposites - by digitalization

The beginning of a year is always a good time to think about what you want to address in the coming month. For us in the healthcare business at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, it's specifically about implementing new customers, launching our operations in the U.S. in Memphis, TN, and, of course, supporting the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
But we're also working on issues that are relevant to many other supply chain companies, especially in healthcare. I've summarized these action items in the Healthcare Supply Chain Agenda 2021.

When setting an agenda, it is advisable to have a look at the mega or at least current dominating trends. For supply chains, for healthcare supply chains in our case, the relevant trends are

  • Digitalization and automation
  • COVID-19 
  • Climate change and the need of green initiatives

These trends are impacting the supply chain agenda 2021 not only by determining specific initiatives, but also on a meta level. The meta level gets clear, if we see what these trends have in common: they do both, enable us on the one side but also enforce us on the other side to “unite what looks like opposites”.

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The increasing role of online-pharmacies during Corona – and beyond...

The increasing online-Pharmacy business in Europe is a logical answer to changing market conditions, patients‘ needs and customers’ behavior.

“Click here to receive your prescription pharmaceuticals delivered to your doorstep”.

Cosmetics, medical products, over-the-counter medications and now also prescription pharmaceuticals are already available via online channels in some European markets. A world is changing…

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The Magic Cube of Field Inventory Management

Medical device manufacturers increasingly face the challenge of managing their products at the point of care. Their customers, the hospitals, need products to be delivered quickly to the ward and also require constant availability of medical technology without a high level of financial investment. For manufacturers, this involves write-offs due to expired products, additional inventory costs and over-burdening of sales departments with secondary activities, all in an increasingly competitive field. Arvato makes use of a tool to support medical technology manufacturers in analyzing what optimal field inventory management could look like for their companies. The Magic Cube of Field Inventory Management facilitates the basic process. 

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Long-term effects of COVID-19 on health care supply chains and ideas to manage them

From March to May 2020, everyone in the healthcare supply chain was busy managing the short-term effects and ensuring the supply of medical and pharmaceutical products to the healthcare system and patients. This applied to supply chain managers at manufacturers as well as their logistics service providers. And it applied both to critical COVID-19 products and to all other healthcare products. But what are the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the health care supply chains? And how can you manage them to your advantage? I am going to look at six areas!

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#No2 (part 2)

Outsource integrated process chains and whole networks, or use best-of-breed service providers? (part 2)

Alongside the issue of outsourcing integrated process chains, another dimension involving a similar question reveals itself through the regionalization of logistics structures: Is it better to opt for a best-in-breed service provider in every country or to award the contract for a whole region such as Europe to one strategic partner?

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#No1 (part 1)

Outsource integrated process chains and whole networks, or use best-of-breed service providers?

These days, outsourcing (contract) logistics activities is an obvious choice when designing and optimizing supply chains – and one that is often used. This is particularly true of companies that are not attached to an existing infrastructure, be that emotionally or in terms of assets and employees. While in the past it was usually companies based outside of Europe – in particular the US, Japan, and South Korea – today, outsourcing logistics is theoretically and practically a viable option for all companies.

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Our authors

Dr. Thorsten Winkelmann

Dr. Thorsten Winkelmann is President of the business unit Healthcare. He also acts as country sponsor for all Arvato Supply Chain Solutions businesses in France and Spain, and is responsible for the group's marketing and communication activities.

After studying business administration and earning a doctorate in economics at the University of Göttingen, he began his career in 1997 as an assistant to a member of the Arvato Executive Board before taking on various management positions at Arvato as from 1998.

Thorsten Winkelmann was born on 5 May 1967 and lives with his wife and two daughters in Herzebrock.

Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Verhoeven

Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Verhoeven is Vice President STOK Europe, Arvato Healthcare´s Field Inventory Management Division and company director of Arvato SCM UK Limited.

After completing his studies in technical logistics in Dortmund and St. Gallen, Sebastian started his professional career at Arvato in 2008 as a Logistics Manager in the supporting division Logistics and Engineering. He then took on various management positions and received his doctorate in engineering at the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2016.

Sebastian was born in September 1980 and lives with his family in Lippstadt.

Andreas Olpeter

Andreas Olpeter is Vice President Sales & Business Development of the business unit Healthcare.

He started his professional career in the pharmaceutical industry in 1992, where he completed a dual course of study in general management and economics. Following various management positions in Europe and Africa for Sanofi and its predecessors, Andreas joined Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in 2005.

Andreas was born on 29 September 1969 and lives with his wife and two children close to Aschaffenburg.