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Healthcare supply chain management in Malaysia: a case study

Noorfa Haszlinna Mustaffa (Logistic System Dynamic Group, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Andrew Potter (Logistic System Dynamic Group, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 1 May 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate inventory management in the private healthcare sector in Malaysia, with a particular focus on the distribution of medicines from a wholesaler to clinics. Currently, there are issues with service levels to clinics that need addressing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a case study approach, with data collected through process mapping, interviews and data analysis. Data flow diagrams are used to visualise the organization's supply chain current and future process. Interviews are used to identify the main supply chain issues, with triangulation of these opinions through data analysis.

Findings

The findings identify two main issues within the case study company – urgent orders and stock availability at the wholesaler. From this, a future state design of the supply chain is proposed, based around vendor‐managed inventory. Barriers to achieving this are also identified, including consideration of current supply chain management capabilities in Malaysia.

Research limitations/implications

Only a single case study supply chain is studied, although two echelons are investigated. While this may limit the generalisation of the findings, there is value in demonstrating the benefits modern supply chain management techniques can bring to developing world healthcare supply chains.

Practical implications

The paper shows that modern supply chain management techniques can bring benefits to healthcare supply chains in developing countries.

Originality/value

The value of the paper arises from providing a detailed analysis of a healthcare supply chain in the developing world. There have been only a small number of other studies published in the literature.

Keywords

Citation

Haszlinna Mustaffa, N. and Potter, A. (2009), "Healthcare supply chain management in Malaysia: a case study", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 234-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598540910954575

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited