There’s an abundance of factors at play that determine whether a package will reach the hands of its recipient according to schedule. These factors include elements like the weather, internal conditions of the carrier, and the recipient’s availability.

The estimated on-time delivery rate for UPS and FedEx packages is roughly 96.2%, or one in 26. To the majority of customers, this is an acceptable figure. However, when these packages are potentially life-saving like a specialty pharmacy medication, the stakes are exponentially higher and the need for dependable, on-time delivery rises with them.

That’s where predictive parcel science can add immense value to the operations of a specialty pharmacy, as well as the patients who rely on receiving their critical deliveries.

Predictive parcel science combines sophisticated technology and human-factor solutions that work to “see the unseen.” This science helps to predict unexpected obstacles like inclement weather, and then implement proactive strategies to get parcels to their destinations as quickly and smoothly as possible, or postpone their shipments, proactively, to ensure that losses are minimal to both patients and pharmacies.

Let’s examine predictive parcel science like ParcelShield’s and how it helps specialty pharmacies.

How Predictive Parcel Science Works
Predictive parcel science uses artificial intelligence that’s based on machine learning. Essentially, the technology is fed a database of information. ParcelShield’s software includes years of historical data from carriers and real-time modeling of their delivery networks, as well as historical weather data that includes 40 different weather elements that can impact delivery performance.

The machine learning element means that the technology “learns” on its own. It uses complex algorithms that incorporate past and current data patterns to make future predictions that are in line with these patterns.

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The system alerts staff members when there is a probability that shipments might encounter distress (delays or losses) on their scheduled route. If the package hasn’t been shipped, the specialty pharmacy can easily make changes to their shipping schedule to avoid distress.

Rescue Logistics to Save the Day
In some cases, deliveries may still experience unfortunate obstacles. To ensure that this doesn’t spell disaster, rescue logistics are on the other side of the predictive parcel science coin.

ParcelShield uses proprietary algorithms that run through multiple shipment possibilities, determining the activity strings with the highest probability that the parcel will be delivered on-time and in perfect shape. The software has workflows for every distress type, ensuring that all adverse events — including bad weather — are accounted for and included in its calculations.

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The team at ParcelShield works with each customer to modify these workflows to suit their specific needs, and the software’s intelligent systems make sure that workflows are followed precisely in each scenario. 

An Example of Predictive Parcel Science in Action
ParcelShield predicted significant delivery delays for a major pharmacy chain that was shipping from the East Coast to the West Coast. At first, the customer saw this prediction data on their ParcelShield dashboard and assumed it was incorrect, even calling the ParcelShield team to note an error.

However, the pharmacy chain soon learned that there was no error in the prediction. In fact, ParcelShield’s prediction was accurate. During that time, the southeastern United States experienced very heavy thunderstorms. ParcelShield predicted conditions that would result in commercial air disruptions and cause delays as the shipper’s route ran through the southeast.

ParcelShield founder Scott Knight notes, “It’s not just the origin and the destination, it’s also the path you take. Because carrier networks are so structured, machine learning can predict when packages will hit certain facilities and if they will use primary, secondary, or tertiary routes.”

How ParcelShield Delivers Industry-Leading Predictive Parcel Science
ParcelShield’s machine learning technology combines its proprietary Weather Farm, years of historical data, real-time weather and carrier performance data, and predictive modeling to achieve maximum efficiency and scalability for its customers.

With the help of predictive parcel science, specialty pharmacies can implement proactive strategies for parcel management, as opposed to a fragmented, inefficient, and costly reactionary workload once packages are in distress. ParcelShield ensures that pharmacies have as much control over the final mile of delivery as they do over the upstream processes before the package is ready for shipment.

To learn more about how predictive parcel science works and how it might benefit your specialty pharmacy, contact us for a ParcelShield demo.