View original at www.supplychainbrain.com
Pharmaceutical supply chains require drug manufacturers to interact with large numbers of suppliers. Operations are typically spread across multiple production, manufacturing, sterilization and distribution locations, creating significant visibility and tracking challenges. Further complexity arises from the need to closely monitor controlled substances and active ingredients. If technology-enabled visibility isn’t built into the pharma supply chain today, then manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, shippers and pharmacies risk significant losses. Most companies are focused on optimizing business processes inside the warehouse. While warehouse management software systems have continued to evolve, the basic functionality of a WMS is still to control storage and movements within the four walls of the warehouse. Yet it’s equally important to look across the wider supply network, including customers and vendors, to enable signals that can manage operations more efficiently and on a real-time basis. At a time when mobile devices are ubiquitous, and data is available across global networks, it makes sense for all parties to share key critical information, including point-of-sale, order and shipment data; forecasts with suppliers; production schedules between vendors and customers; advance shipping notice from customers and vendors, and critical events. Currently, most pharmaceutical companies and their partners in a supply-chain ecosystem operate across centralized enterprise resource planning (ERP) or legacy systems, connecting through electronic data interchange (EDI) or even spreadsheets sent via email. The result is a highly inefficient operating environment. Ideally, participants in the extended supply-chain ecosystem should be connecting in real time, with complete trust in the data being exchanged. Here are some questions that pharma companies need to be asking themselves: How ready are our warehouses for digitization? How far along are we with the use of barcode labeling and scanning? This can range from running a manual operation based on paper-based processes and phone calls, to barcodes and scanners […]
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