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Sitting with a fellow procurement professional over lunch today, it got me to thinking just how many organisations out there are using their supply chain to minimise costs? He happens to be more experienced in the field than i am, so i am always very eager to learn and hear new thoughts about work.

He told me of a non profit organisation in the health care industry that he once worked with, that were looking to procure a family planning drug which came in form of a syringe. The supplier was definitely excited as they were procuring quite a bit of stock for distribution in Kenya.

My colleague however gave it another think and threw the idea that perhaps the drugs could be sent without the individual packaging and locally, the box and branding could be done. That saved the organisation USD2 million!

The packaging was done fairly easily in Nairobi, as it would be a local cost plus a bit of labour to make it look pretty.

Truly there can be savings in the supply chain when you think outside your box? What are your experiences?

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