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Pandemic Preparedness: Langham Logistics Emerges a Stronger Business

The pandemic challenged everything. Navigating the uncertainties of COVID-19 has been a real-life stress test for companies. That is certainly true for Langham Logistics. However, our pandemic experience is different than most. While the world has been adjusting to a “new normal,” we have seized the opportunity to focus on “what’s next.” Our success is centered less on what we have done during the pandemic and more on the ways we operated before the global health crisis occurred—and how those strategies are positioning Langham for the future. 

Prioritizing Employee Health and Safety

Jessica Foster ADP-CTAS, HR Manager

Langham Logistics was very proactive regarding COVID. We understood that it was imperative to keep staff safe while supporting our customers. We implemented safety protocols nearly two weeks before the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic and the U.S. issued a national emergency in March. Our risk management steps came a full 20 days before Indiana’s governor issued the state’s stay-at-home order. 

Our plan focused on business continuity and safety. We immediately restricted non-essential travel. Office staff moved to remote work. Communication was key. Senior management monitored the daily operating environment and kept employees current on issues likely to impact them, our customers, and our partners. The leadership team activated cross-training plans for business-essential positions. 

We closely followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO health guidelines. Our daily facility cleaning protocols continue to sanitize all equipment, bathrooms, furniture, and doors. This also includes a fog machine for after hours  deep-cleaning of our work environments. The safety of employees, customers, and visitors, remains Langham’s primary concern. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, Langham will continue to monitor the situation closely and will periodically update company guidance on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

We also thoughtfully replanned our facilities to minimize disease exposure and streamline contact tracing. Warehouse staff are assigned to teams and given access to designated bathrooms, building entrances, break rooms, and refrigerators. In addition to protecting physical health, we also focused on mental health and offered staff assistance in managing pandemic-related stressors. 

As a result of modifying operations early, we minimized COVID-related staff absences and suffered no customer disruptions. While we hope to never see another pandemic in our lifetimes, these protocols promote health and safety for nearly any circumstance. Whether simply a normal flu season or a natural disaster, our labor continuity plan is tested and ready.

Leveraging Partnerships and Technology

Nicholas J. Hoagland, Director of Client Success

Langham manages global logistics for clients across the world. Navigating country closures, port delays, and decreasing capacity during the pandemic relied on the strength of Langham’s existing relationships. 

As a member of the Combined Freight Network (CFN), we have partners on the ground in nearly 100 countries helping manage our customers’ freight. Domestically, we leverage all modes of transportation to keep freight moving. Our network includes thousands of vetted, high-quality transportation providers. We know how to create capacity even in the toughest of circumstances. 

Domestic and international partnerships are just one of our differentiators. Over the years, Langham has earned a reputation for our use of business intelligence for creating logistics solutions. Those technology investments positioned our company well for helping customers manage the challenging conditions of the pandemic. Our Business Intelligence (BI) software identified costly inefficiencies for clients as they struggled in maintaining their budget amid unpredictable revenue. We also quickly re-optimized customer networks and provided alternative modes of transportation to meet critical shipment deadlines. 

Logistics is all about communication. Delivering freight on time is table stakes. Langham’s technology provided customers with complete visibility to their cargo. The transparency even helped our customer’s customers know when delays might occur and helped them react quickly. Throughout the pandemic, we maintained 99% on-time service by using every tool we had in place. 

Focusing on Rapid Solution Deployment

Jeff James, Director of Life Science Services

Quickly and nimbly responding to projects and marketplace needs is a unique ability of Langham Logistics. The State of Indiana selected Langham to manage the state’s PPE stockpile at the onset of the pandemic relief efforts at a time when safety equipment was scarce. In less than two weeks, Langham’s team designed and implemented a kitting assembly line that would distribute more than 30,000 PPE bundles to Indiana businesses and schools so they could reopen safely. Additionally, our temperature-controlled storage and distribution expertise was put to task when the State approached us to manage their COVID-19 test kits and reagents inventory. Our cold chain logistics team was fervent in its commitment to protecting product efficacy and ensuring on-time deliveries during the peak of pandemic testing in Indiana. As therapies became available, we assisted medical facilities and hospitals across Indiana procure, validate, and operate ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers for COVID-19 vaccine storage. The Indiana Department of Health tapped Langham for the project due to our existing relationships with ULT equipment providers. We helped healthcare facilities mitigate growing wait times as supply outpaced demand. 

We currently are coordinating temperature-controlled warehousing and transportation solutions for COVID-19 vaccine deliveries in both Indiana and Arizona. In fact, to respond to the public health crisis, we expedited the opening of our cold storage warehouse in Phoenix, Arizona as of December 2020. Langham reduced the planned 2.5 years to less than one year for the facility to be fully operational in early 2021, in time to receive some of the state’s first COVID vaccine shipments. 

The quickness and efficiency with which we launched new operations in response to the pandemic demonstrates why Langham Logistics is a partner to industry leaders seeking pharmaceutical 3PL expertise. Analysts estimate a 10% annual growth rate for pharmaceuticals in cold chain logistics through 2024. Our best-in-class know-how for creating capacity and developing the operations necessary for drug efficacy has Langham Logistics positioned well to manage the pharmaceutical supply chain’s rapid expansion. 

Connecting and Empowering People

Cathy Langham, President & CEO

The most important piece of Langham’s success: our people. We empower the management team to make decisions that positively impact our service model and meet customer needs quickly. Becoming the lead logistics provider for Indiana during the pandemic would not have been possible without the quality and commitment of Langham’s team. When we work together, collectively, and collaboratively, we deliver for our customers, including the citizens relying on Langham Logistics for COVID-19 drug distribution.

The dedication of our team is the Langham difference. 

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