Colorectal cancer is a topic most people don't typically think about - and the statistics reflect that. Four out of 10 people who should be screened for the disease don't get tested, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 140,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and the disease will cause 50,000 deaths.
"Early detection is everything," says Kevin Conroy, CEO of Exact Sciences in Madison, Wis. The medical diagnostics company's signature product, Cologuard, represents a breakthrough in testing for colorectal cancer: It's a noninvasive screening test for colorectal cancer that people can do in the privacy of their homes. They then return the completed test kit to Exact Sciences for analysis and results.
How to transport those critical tests, however, was a different challenge entirely. Shipments would have to move swiftly - and with complete accuracy - if they were to fulfill their intended jobs for customers.
"We started to think, 'Well, how in the world are we going to get Cologuard to people?'" says Conroy. "It was UPS that said, 'Wow, what you're doing could really have a big impact on people.'"
After reviewing Exact Sciences' primary initiatives, goals and challenges, UPS consultative services brought a wide range of services and solutions together to design a fully integrated logistics program for Exact Sciences.
It begins with UPS Freight® service, which brings test kits from the company's Wisconsin-based manufacturing site to a UPS facility near the Worldport® hub in Louisville, Ky. There, UPS securely stores the test kits and fulfills orders as needed with pick-and-pack services.
Then, UPS delivers Cologuard directly to customers' homes. And with UPS Returns® service, a customized return label in each shipment enables people to easily send the kit back once they take the test. They have the option of arranging a driver pickup, or they can drop off their kit at any UPS Access PointTM location. UPS Next Day Air® service delivers the package to Madison, Wis., where an operational process called "early extraction" gives it top priority and routes it directly to the Exact Sciences laboratory.
With an end-to-end logistics system, Exact Sciences is now able to focus on managing the exponential growth stemming from U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Medicare approval of Cologuard and its increased awareness among physicians.
Reaction in the medical community has been enormously positive, and Exact Sciences estimates that staffing rose about eight-fold from 2014 to the end of 2015.
As a leader in healthcare logistics, UPS knows the importance of having a comprehensive, reliable supply chain solution. Even more significantly, UPS understands that businesses like Exact Sciences are changing - and even saving - lives.
"The leadership of UPS, all the way up to the highest level, has expressed a deep desire to help make us successful in our cause," Conroy says. "That's the kind of company you want to do business with."
To find out more about UPS solutions, review or download this white paper.
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