Tag Archives: Staffing Shortages


What’s ahead for the life sciences industry? One word: Growth.

Like the focused medical industry, this larger category of all things related to human health research and development experienced an unprecedented period of growth during the pandemic. While that explosion is likely to level off and normalize, life sciences can expect a bright future — albeit with some challenges on the road ahead. They include supply chain disruption, staffing shortages and the increased need to become more efficient in manufacturing to keep up with demand.

Current life sciences trends

The life sciences industry is a big tent, encompassing the development and production of products and services geared toward biology, medicine and health care. We’re talking about pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical devices, clinical research, robotics, genomes and more. Everyone was witness to the great vaccine race of 2020, with big pharma rushing to develop the COVID vaccine. While that moment of urgency has, thankfully, passed, the industry is still feeling the effects of the pandemic, spurring continued growth in intellectual property.

Here are some of the life sciences trends we’re seeing in the industry for the coming year (and beyond).


This trend isn’t unique to life sciences, but it’s definitely taking center stage in this industry. Using data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to further personalize health care treatments, gain more meaningful insights, hone and enhance pharmaceuticals and devices, and improve outcomes will remain a focus in the near future and beyond.


Remember that vaccine race we were talking about? While the worldwide COVID vax panic has passed, the race for newer, better innovations in vaccines, drugs and other pharma intellectual property is still on. Like many other industries, life sciences is feeling the effects of disruption via startups. In life sciences, that means smaller companies that are going full tilt into scientific advancements. Experts believe this trend will drive a significant amount of mergers and acquisitions. Look for big pharma to target small, innovative companies. According to ContractPharma, companies with less than $250 million in revenue are powering innovation in biopharma. By 2026, ContractPharma predicts those companies will account for 60% of biopharma’s growth.


All of this innovation and M&A activity is predicted to impact manufacturing as well, not only in the area of things like AI and robotics-fueled innovation and the exploding demand for personal medical devices (fueled by the telehealth tsunami) but in good, old fashioned upgrades to facilities, focuses on efficiencies, and the ability to do more with less. Because of all the innovation and increased demand, life sciences manufacturing needs to be lean and mean.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing part of the latest life sciences trends

Supply chain disruption

How many of us would love to never hear that phrase again? Yet, it continues to plague almost every industry, from chicken farming to biopharma. In life sciences, it’s about costs, logistics, shortages of the drugs themselves (c’mon Hollywood, stop using Ozempic for weight loss!), and changes in trade policy.


Staffing woes are hitting life sciences on all sides. The industry is experiencing challenges finding workers in manufacturing facilities, but it’s not just those frontline employees that are scarce these days. There’s a growing shortage of pharmacists, leading to the very recent announcement that CVS and Walmart are cutting their pharmacy hours in stores nationwide.

All that said, the industry looks bright in the areas of innovation and growth. There will be bumps along the way which include drug shortages, the staffing needed to get those drugs into the hands of patients, as well as the overriding need for manufacturing of drugs, personal health devices and other health equipment to be as efficient as possible. A management consulting firm can help them get there.

Augmenting the Life Sciences industry

At USC Consulting Group, we are operations management consultants who specialize in helping manufacturers, including those in healthcare and life sciences, transform their operations and processes into lean (or Lean) and mean operations, functioning at optimal efficiency levels.

Looking at the current life sciences trends, it’s clear that the M&A push along with supply chain and manufacturing challenges require some introspection of operations management industrywide. With M&As comes due diligence prior to any deal, then the blending of processes, procedures, and even equipment and facilities after the acquisition. Managing that is an enormous job. Combine that with staffing woes and continued supply chain disruption, and it’s easy to see the urgency for efficiency in operations.

Our goal is to improve business performance by increasing productivity and throughput, reducing costs, eliminating waste, improving quality and leveraging existing assets.

To get there, we will typically focus on Lean Six Sigma methodologies, including:

One key element in our approach that you may not find elsewhere: We get onto the floor and partner with your employees, the people who are doing the job day to day. We also involve your upper management and C-suite execs to achieve success with a top-down and bottom-up approach.

Whether the end product is high-tech medical devices or branded pharmaceuticals, life sciences companies have much to gain from kicking their manufacturing efficiencies into high gear. This marketplace demands it. The race for innovation is high, and companies need to develop and manufacture product quickly to avoid being left behind.

Our extensive experience in life sciences has helped countless companies implement business intelligence solutions to increase productivity, reduce labor, lower overall operating costs and improve yields and product quality. Our particular expertise covers the clean room environment, packaging methods ranging from multivac to hand assembly, and pharmaceutical delivery methods such as liquid, suspension, gelcaps, tablets and softgels.

We’ll work at every level within your company to deliver improvements that net substantial savings. And we’ll leave you with the knowledge, tools and technology to sustain those improvements over time.

Contact USC Consulting Group today to infuse life back into your operations.

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The healthcare industry is in the midst of change and challenges, driven by a triple-whammy of technological innovation, the pandemic and the hiring and employment crisis. This triad is affecting how healthcare is delivered and who is delivering it.

Not only are wearable healthcare devices and telehealth changing the way the industry serves patients, but the explosion of this technology is putting increased demands on the manufacturers that make these devices. At the same time, the staffing shortage and pay equity debates that are hitting every other industry are bedeviling healthcare, too.

In the midst of it all, the industry is striving for optimal efficiency behind the scenes in the manufacturing sector and in the patient-facing realm as well. Not an easy task.

Healthcare trends for today and tomorrow

Let’s explore current healthcare trends and look at how USCCG can help healthcare manufacturers and providers level up with process improvements to roll with these changing tides.

Wearable devices + telehealth

These may seem like two separate areas of the industry, but it’s really a chicken-and-egg situation with wearable devices and telehealth. While they’d both exist without the other, the union of these two facets of the industry at the right time has been the catalyst for explosive change. And demand.

Personal healthcare devices are not new to the healthcare market. Internal devices like pacemakers have been keeping hearts beating for decades. So, too, diabetes checkers, wearable heart monitors and blood pressure machines allow patients to track their own numbers at home without going to a doctor’s office or clinic. But it’s one element of that — the ability to do it remotely, at home — that caused the market to rocket skyward. The catalyst? The pandemic.

When COVID hit and took hold, doctors needed ways to monitor the health of their patients without an in-person visit. Hospitals and clinics were overwhelmed with COVID cases and suddenly telehealth was the only option for people needing care that wasn’t an emergency.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported a 63-fold increase in telehealth visits during 2020, with patients utilizing wearable health devices like heart, blood pressure and diabetes monitors, among other devices. The wearable health device market is estimated to jump to $95.4 billion within the next five years.

Although this explosion was triggered by the pandemic, it is not going away as the virus recedes. Doctors found that 24/7 health data monitoring increased the quality of patient care. More information, better care, healthier people. All without the patient leaving home. It’s also a boon for people who live in rural areas without easy access to hospitals or clinics, making this trend nothing less than a blessing to the quality of life of people everywhere. It’s here to stay.

All of it is made possible by the manufacturers of these devices, many of whom found their operations overwhelmed by the increased demand.

AI and machine learning

The healthcare tech trend isn’t confined to telehealth and wearable devices. It has made its way into the clinic as well. Artificial intelligence, namely machine learning, in healthcare is growing rapidly. The market for this tech is predicted to be more than $20 million in 2023. Computer vision, pattern recognition algorithms, predictions of clinical trials and drug interactions, advanced imagery like MRI scans — all growing rapidly in this market. A bot making your diagnosis isn’t that far away. That medical device we’ve all seen on Star Trek, the tricorder? It’s basically here now. All of it can lead the industry to deliver more personalized treatments and diagnoses.

Employment and staffing

In addition to the healthcare tech explosion, the industry is dealing with a staffing crisis. A recent survey by the Medical Group Management Association found 58% of medical practices nationwide find staffing to be their biggest challenge. According to the survey, staffing outpaced the second most important concern, expenses, by an alarming 35 percentage points.

What’s behind the staffing shortages? A quick list:

All of these challenges require process improvements to get healthcare facilities and manufacturing plants running at peak efficiency. That’s where we come in.

Process optimization in healthcare manufacturing, USCCG-style

At USCCG, we specialize in helping manufacturers of all stripes transform their operations and processes into lean (or Lean) and mean operations, functioning at optimal efficiency levels.

Our expertise is working with organizations to improve business performance by increasing throughput, reducing costs, eliminating waste, increasing productivity, improving quality and leveraging existing assets.

To get there, we will typically focus on Lean Six Sigma methodologies, including:

One key element in our approach that you may not find elsewhere: We get onto the floor and partner with your employees, the people who are doing the job day to day. And we encourage your upper management and C-suite execs to do the same.

But it’s not just about the manufacturing process. Our healthcare expertise is also about applying process improvements to hospital and clinic operations, too.

Beyond manufacturing

Healthcare manufacturing is not the only area that needs an efficiency boost. Hospitals and clinics are focusing on operational improvements as well.

When we work with healthcare clients, our goal is to improve and enhance healthcare facilities’ Management Operating System (MOS) — basically how they plan, schedule, assign work, follow up, report and drive continuous improvement processes.

Some of the areas we focus on:

We help healthcare facilities standardize their processes, strive for continuous improvement and recognize operational lapses that can impact productivity, quality of care, capacity and customer service.

At USCCG, we are committed to partnering with the healthcare industry to create process improvements that ultimately result in streamlined, efficient operations. In the end, it’s about better patient outcomes. We’re proud to help bring that about.

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