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DCH Auriga clinches Team of the Year trophy at the 2021 HKB Management Excellence Awards

The healthcare distributor supported Hong Kong’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out with a successful ultra-low temperature storage and distribution program.

DCH Auriga (HK) Ltd., a leading Asian healthcare logistics and distribution service provider was recognised at the 2021 HKB Management Excellence Awards. The company earned its Team of the Year trophy for its crucial role in the distribution of BioNTech and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong.

The healthcare distributor successfully implemented a working system to receive and store COVID-19 vaccines and then distribute them to vaccination centres across the region. Due to the sensitive nature of the process, the company had to set up a specialized facilities to ensure critical storage temperature and shelf-life requirements were met.

“Our solution was to set up a refrigerator farm of ultra-low temperature pharmaceutical refrigerators to store the vaccine with full temperature alarm systems and power backup via genset,” said     David Mouland, VP of Logistics Greater China. “The entire storage solution had to be implemented in one month. We then had to design a process for receiving and transferring the vaccine into the refrigerators. This included verifying temperature data loggers of every inbound shipment and double checking every shipping container’s weight to calculate dry ice evaporation.”

In addition, DCH Auriga designed a system to operate efficiently under strict and time-sensitive quality and safety requirements. The company also implemented a self-security system by recording a quality assurance video of every angle during the shipment.

The success of the process relied on the team’s swift and careful placing of the payload into the ultra-low temperature refrigerator in order to maintain its quality. This required a perfect synchronous system which applied a combination of human effort and technology.

“The challenge was to put-away a minimum of 20 payloads to one refrigerator in 4.5 minutes as it was required for quality compliance. Using choreographed teams of up to 20 people, we practiced and fine-tuned the put-away process to exceed this minimum put-away rate,” David explained.

On top of these developments, the logistics company also adapted a barcode mechanism and paired it with GPS tracking. These protocols were used to help in securing the courier and to monitor the shelf-life of the vaccines being shipped. The system enabled healthcare professionals to scan each shipment and be informed of the precise data about the length of time the vaccine was stored before it was delivered to the vaccination centre. 

“We designed and validated processes for the delivery of vaccines to outreach locations such as office buildings and other sites where the resident workforce could receive their vaccinations without having to go to a vaccination centre,” David noted. “Our solutions have proven to be very effective providing continuously trackable and consistent temperature conditions for all stages of the vaccine journey so the vaccine arrives in perfect condition for injection into patients at the exact right time and in the exact quantity needed.”

By designing and implementing a carefully controlled distribution system, DCH Auriga safely and successfully delivered over eight million doses of the BioNtech and Sinovac vaccines to Hong Kong vaccination centres in 2021.

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