Blood Centers Success Story

August 15, 2019 RRD, RR Donnelley

A Study in Success:
Reducing the Costs of Blood Collection

RRD’s customer provides services to the largest network of non-profit, community blood centers in North America. The blood centers serve more than 180 million people at over 600 collection sites, providing blood products and services to more than 4,200 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America.


The customer’s objective was to provide value-add services to it’s blood centers, which faced increasing cost pressures due to FDA mandates requiring additional tests to assure a safe blood supply. The customer’s commitment to the environment led them to re-design packaging and make improvements towards a more sustainable supply chain. Specific challenges included:

  • Reducing supply chain operating expenses and achieving economies of scale
  • Maintaining a Device History Record (DHR) and Device Master Record (DMR)
  • Developing an order entry system for accepting orders directly from the Blood Centers
  • Providing pick, pack and fulfillment services required to deliver finished goods
  • Process and software validating
  • Warehousing and inventory management
  • Production and fulfillment of marketing collateral, product and promotional literature

Comprehensive Solutions

RRD studied the end-to-end process and developed a comprehensive solution to drive efficiencies across the entire supply chain. The solution included:

Project management

  • Design of individual donor kits including bill of materials (BOM), packaging and labeling
  • Standardization of components to reduce costs
  • Design and development of a beta test to create a cost baseline for comparing future outcomes
  • Proposed design of additional kits to drive further efficiencies

Kitting and assembly of individual donor kits

  • Implemented lean-manufacturing processes
  • Significantly reduced component touch rate
  • Improved replenishment process within centers and mobile operations
  • Developed process to increase donor throughput

Fulfillment and distribution

  • Developed an IT solution for real-time visibility and better business intelligence
  • Provided easier tracking and traceability through a single lot number
  • Centralized shipments from multiple suppliers into one warehouse


RRD’s ability to manage hundreds of suppliers internationally helped the customer achieve consolidation, standardization and significantly reduced costs associated with material usage. The customer experienced improved operating and purchasing efficiencies. RR Donnelley’s lean manufacturing and centralized purchasing functions reduced costs and helped the customer cope with rising costs.

Benefits of Working with RRD

RRD’s core competencies, strategic direction and vertically integrated services can help to create a unique competitive advantage with the following benefits:

  • Reduced time-to-market for products with a single interface and global reach
  • Reduced total supply chain cost from design through to final product delivery
  • Aid in revenue generation with attractive product packaging
  • Streamline global processes with enhanced planning and forecasting

Supply Chain Solutions

RRD Supply Chain Solutions is a recognized global supply chain and packaging provider that delivers value-add solutions to multiple sectors. As part of RRD (NYSE:RRD), a broad suite of capabilities is offered including packaging design and production, sourcing, kitting and fulfillment services. Solution design, systems, processes and precise project execution can help customers to constantly improve their market share, profits and speed-to-market.

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