Logistics: the fine linchpin of the Pharmaceutical Industry
Article published in French news site industrie-mag.com by Maxime Kwas, Project Manager at Prodware
Digital Transformation is not only about technology…
It is also and above all a question of development expertise for industry-specific solution. As front line workers of the Covid-19 crisis, pharmaceutical industry players need support in optimizing their inventory and managing their supply chain. To help them cope with the current crisis and anticipate more potential crises to come having a turnkey and adapted technological solutioń is without doubt the best alternative moving forward.
The Achilles heel of a Beleaguered Industry…
While this industry has demonstrated incredible efficiencý during the crisis, it still has to deal with certain political, economic, and even regulatory contingencies.
In this crisis, the question of health sovereignty has become critical. Close to 80% of the active ingredients contained in the medicines we use are produced by a small number of suppliers in China and India. Not only are these countries very far away, but they have been both hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic partly disrupting their production capacity. That much dependence has affected our Health Management at a critical time. While having to endure the multiple outbreaks of the pandemic we also had to deal with major supply shortages.
With the slew of factory closings and government orders banning the export of raw materials, this pandemic has brought to the surface the obvious political and economic realities that have disrupted the National Pharmaceutical supply chain and put our citizens at risk.
The general state of the drug industry is dependent on the momentum of various aspects such as scientific innovations, decrees, and other exogenous factors related to epidemics, mutations, natural and social disasters. New healthcare bills and policies get passed regularly and to face these new regulations, industry players must constantly adapt and demonstrate remarkable agility and flexibility.
Finally, pharmaceutical raw materials are fragile and sometimes unstable. They require to be handled with extreme care during transportation. Moreover, air cargo remains the primary international distribution channel for the import and export of pharmaceutical products. But because the pandemic has had a significant impact on air traffic, meeting global demand for medicine and pharmaceutical products has become even more challenging making an already elaborate logistics system even more complex.
So what can we do to take back control of the present, become less dependent and work our way efficiently towards a clear, agile and sustainable future?
Simple – it is all about logistics going digital, a real breath of fresh air for the pharmaceutical industry.
The automation of the logistic process combined with data tracking enabled software are what it takes to prevail over the challenges and obstacles specific to the industry. Transformation…free at last?
An all-digital logistics set up allows for optimized inventory management and very precise supply chain monitoring. The purpose of such a system is to ensure that the incoming and outgoing of goods runs as smoothly as possible with the suppliers and distributors while gaining full appreciation of the market. Such a tool lets the different stakeholders be on top of their inventory and mitigate any risk of shortage thanks to its increased agility and predictive capability. An adapted turnkey solution will improve the efficiency of logistics management at each stage of the supply chain, from the reception of raw materials to the distribution of the packaged product.
With the right technological solution, industry players will be able to transport their goods in the best optimal way and at the lowest cost possible, ensuring “grouped” shipments thanks to a better appreciation of the global supply status. Moreover, not only does such a solution help save money by cutting transportation costs but it also strongly contributes in reducing the company’s carbon footprint with fewer delayed shipments.
Finally, such an industry-specific solution also allows for efficient tracking. All goods get systematically logged into a database. Systematically itemizing goods in this manner ensures efficient serial number management and helps in quickly identifying a faulty product. It also helps in actively combating counterfeit medicine which is a real global scourge.
Economic, ecological, social and societal benefits…There are many benefits that come with such a digital tool that stretch beyond the limits and scope of the industry itself. Again, we clearly see how innovation unmistakenly brings much more to a given industry or business practice heightening efficiency and quality of service and products to an even higher level.
The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the strategic role of the pharmaceutical industry, whether economic, social or political. It also a wake up call reminding us how dependent we are on the supply of our pharmaceutical raw materials. So let’s do something about it: so why don’t we deal the cards for a change and get geared up to deal with the unpredictable.