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    8 Challenges To Health and Wellness Suppliers Solved By Vendor-Managed-Inventory Programs

    Companies outside the United States manufacturing pharmaceutical drug products, supplements, components and API for the American market may benefit by establishing a Vendor-Managed-Inventory (VMI) program with a reputable third party logistics (3PL) provider.  VMI programs include multiple services to anticipate issues that may affect movement of products within the supply chain.

    Any delay for pharmaceutical drug products carries significant costs, since the U.S. is the world’s largest drug importer, valued at $86 billion in 2015.  In many cases delays are avoidable or can be minimized with a proactive VMI plan.

    These eight business challenges for international companies can be overcome by working with a 3PL based in the United States.

    1. Customs Clearance

    Products sent from international countries require inspection by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service upon reaching the United States.  Improper documentation is a common cause for products to be held in quarantine by U.S. government authorities. Additional testing may be ordered.  Quarantined products are often kept in unapproved facilities without temperature or humidity controls.  Shipments in quarantine have been known to take months to be cleared and may be destroyed.

    In a VMI environment, the supplier ships bulk quantities of product directly to a U.S. port of entry.  When the shipment arrives, the 3PL instructs their customs broker to speed the release of the product.  For shipments that are not able to be released immediately, select logistics providers are authorized by the U.S. government to allow the product to be transported to one of their approved climate-controlled facilities until the release is secured.

    Products stored in a secure area of a WDSrx temperature regulated warehouse await customs clearance.

    2. Local Intelligence

    Time differences and geographic distance make communication difficult when quick decisions must be made to conduct business.  Companies from other countries operating in the United States gain confidence working with a U.S. based company committed to their business interests.

    3. Packaging and Labeling

    When bulk product is received in the United States, the 3PL partner processes and fulfills orders.  In certain cases, the product owner desires the bulk products to be packaged and labeled for commercial purposes. Drug products and supplements are often less costly to transport in bulk compared with the same amount of packaged product.  Third party logistics providers with on-site packaging and labeling are equipped to fill bottles in various sizes according to demand and in compliance with U.S FDA regulatory requirements.  Once packaged and labeled, orders are assembled and delivered from the same facility, saving the client time, increasing control and convenience.

    On-site packaging and labeling takes place in the same building as the warehouse for increased efficiency.

    4. Order Fulfillment

    Manufacturers reduce efficiency when they manage international shipping within the U.S. from their home office.  A comprehensive VMI program shifts the responsibility of order fulfillment to the 3PL provider.  The 3PL manages order fulfillment directly with every facility in the client distribution network.   Independent 3PL firms are not tied to a specific transportation company.  For many international suppliers, independent 3PL firms offer additional cost control because they select from several approved freight forwarders and couriers to secure the best shipping solution for the client based on safety, speed and cost.

    The 3PL provider also assures sufficient product is available to fulfill all current order requests and anticipates future inventory requirements.

    Independent 3PL providers select from multiple shippers to maximize efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness.

    5. Invoicing and Payment

    Companies based outside the U.S. that manage order fulfillment and invoicing often confront difficulties.  When individual orders are delayed entering the country or when deliveries are not received, invoicing becomes complex.  Replacement orders may be shipped and original invoices may require cancellation.

    These issues can be minimized when shipping and invoicing are managed together in the same country.   When required, third party logistics firms with integrated financial services departments have the ability to manage invoicing for all transactions that helps speed payments and maintain accurate records.  With advanced 3PL companies, order information is accessible any time by clients from a secure online portal providing real-time status updates for every transaction.


    6. Customer Satisfaction

    Shipping delays create customer service problems.  When international companies send orders directly to their U.S. customers there is a greater chance of delivery delays compared with packages originating within the U.S.  When bulk inventory is managed effectively between the U.S. 3PL and the international client, individual orders are fulfilled efficiently to reach their destinations as promised.

    Third party logistics providers with on-site call centers can set up programs that manage customer interactions to manage questions, returns and other issues on a timely basis.  These programs save time and reduce cost for the client by outsourcing customer service activity and by enabling customer inquiries to be resolved in their native language and during their normal business hours.


    7. Maximize Return

    Vendor-Managed-Inventory programs developed with third party logistics providers enable international clients to retain full ownership of their inventory.  As the product moves directly through the 3PL to the recipient, the original seller retains significant control over profitability and financial return.


    Advanced 3PL providers offer real-time results about inventory, order status and invoicing from a secure online portal.

    8. Reputation and Recognition

    8. Reputation and Recognition

    Orders from unfamiliar companies or with international origins may be rejected or delayed by the intended recipient.

    Shipments with the distinctive WDSrx packaging tape are recognized and trusted by thousands of distribution centers, manufacturers and healthcare facilities in the United States.  Founded in 2010, the company maintains an excellent reputation working with many international firms to manage their product warehousing and order fulfillment to destinations within the United States.

    The WDSrx team understands that successful Vendor-Managed-Inventory programs depend on developing strong relationships with clients to build their business objectives.

    Distinguishing tape and quality packaging indicate shipments from reputable 3PL providers that are recognized and accepted upon delivery.



    Vendor-Managed-Inventory programs work for international suppliers of pharmaceutical drug products and supplements by utilizing the expertise of a reputable domestic logistics services provider to compete more effectively in the U.S. market.  WDSrx performs VMI services for clients that increase efficiency and contribute to business growth.

    For further information contact WDSrx at or (561) 998-3885.

    Are any Controlled Substances (CII) included in your return? If so, please press "Yes" and complete the DEA 222 Request Form. You can also contact Jason Solomon at or (561) 998-3885 x316.