How Cardinal Health is using tracking technology to get a better look into its supply chain

Cardinal Health began working with Chicago-based freight tracking software startup FourKites last March on a pilot to track shipments of personal protective equipment between manufacturing plants and Cardinal's distribution centers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cardinal and FourKites, which said March 24 it raised a $100 million Series D round, told the Journal how they're working to improve visibility into the medical supply chain. 

Cardinal told the Journal it began looking at visibility technology before the COVID-19 pandemic, and since the pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in the medical supply chain, more manufacturers and suppliers are using tracking technology to ensure shipments of critical medical supplies arrive on time and intact.

Cardinal and FourKites built a customized system to track temperature-sensitive medical products, which Cardinal has expanded to use across all of its domestic transport modes, the Journal reported. 

During severe winter weather across the U.S. last month, Cardinal used the technology to track a truckload of pharmaceutical supplies headed for a hospital in New Orleans from Jackson, Miss. The technology allowed Cardinal to keep its customer informed of when the shipment was halted and when it was moving again, the Journal reported. 

FourKites' platform has also been used in COVID-19 vaccination distribution, as well as to track shipments of respirator masks from 3M, according to the Journal

FourKites CEO Mathew Elenjickal told the Journal the Series D funding would help the company develop more features, including the ability to track products in warehouses and stores, as well as to expand into new markets. The company also wants to expand visibility further in the supply chain, so customers can track availability of things such as raw materials, the Journal reported. 

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