Refined Packaging Supply Chain Supports Blood Centers | Healthcare

8/15/2019 RRD

Refined Packaging Supply Chain Supports Blood Centers | Healthcare

A study in success: Reducing the material costs of blood collection


An RRD customer provides services to the largest network of non-profit, community blood centers in North America. The blood centers serve more than 180 million people at over 600 collection sites, providing blood products and services to more than 4,200 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America.

The customer’s objective was to provide value-add services to its blood centers, which faced increasing cost pressures due to FDA mandates requiring additional tests to assure a safe blood supply. Their commitment to the environment led them to redesign packaging and make improvements towards a more sustainable supply chain.

Additional challenges included:

  • Maintaining a Device History Record (DHR) and Device Master Record (DMR)
  • Developing an order entry system for accepting orders directly from the blood centers
  • Providing pick, pack and fulfillment services required to deliver finished goods
  • Warehousing and inventory management
  • Production and fulfillment of marketing collateral, product and promotional literature


RRD studied the end-to-end process and developed a comprehensive solution to drive efficiencies across the entire supply chain. The solution included three major components:

  • Project management of donor kit design, standardization of components, and beta tests for the creation of cost baselines
  • Kitting and assembly of individual donor kits through lean-manufacturing processes to reduce component touch rate and improve replenishment process 
  • Fulfillment and distribution that includes the development of an IT solution for easier, real-time visibility into tracking and traceability through a single lot number


RRD’s ability to manage hundreds of suppliers internationally helped the customer achieve consolidation, standardization and significantly reduced costs associated with material usage.

The customer experienced improved operating and purchasing efficiencies. RRD’s lean manufacturing and centralized purchasing functions reduced costs and helped the customer cope with rising costs.


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