Change coming for pharmaceutical supply chains?

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Recently my job has meant me spending a lot of time working with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical supply chains. That’s why yesterday’s post from Tom Singer of Tompkins International “The Brand Value of Integrity and Product Traceability in the Consumer Supply Chain” really resonated with me.

I particularly liked this quote:

This further raises a question that cuts across all industries – how do you value your brand name?

Whether it is product safety, or getting the order with the right product to the customer on time, how companies execute within their supply chains has a direct impact on their brands. What are you doing to protect your brand? And how are you involving your supply chain operations?

While I won’t name names, given my recent dealings with a few major companies I would venture to say that pharmaceutical companies are becoming increasingly interested in learning the potential benefits of not just traceability, but a single integrated supply chain system that manages all aspects of the replenishment, chain of custody, and global distribution processes related to medical shipments.

One of the main challenges to achieving this in today’s global pharmaceutical supply chain is that multiple organizations are involved, including manufacturers, NGOs, government agencies, and hospitals. Furthermore, such a system would have to track and manage demand, orders, inventory, and shipments in real time as products flow through the network and across international borders.

Although for some companies such a supply chain transformation may seem like a bitter pill to swallow (sorry, I couldn’t resist), in reality new technology today can be designed in such a way make this transition relatively quick and speedy. I can tell you that leading companies are beginning to make major steps on the road to a an integrated multi-party supply chain that runs in the cloud.

What do you think? Are you in the pharmaceutical industry and are you seeing the same thing?

Resources for the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Supply Chains



Bruce Jacquemard