How to ensure your supply chain visibility initiative succeeds

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4 Digitalization Gaps in the Pharma Supply Chain

With the changes that have recently occurred across the globe, managing supply chain risk and maintaining continuity have been at the forefront of most discussions. With pharmaceuticals and healthcare being more in demand, yet threatened by disruptions and uncertainty, it’s time to consider the gaps in your supply chain’s logistics digitalization.

1. Lack of Adherence to SOPs & Minimal Accountability

With widespread transportation disruptions, including flight cancellations and delays, port closures, and bottlenecks at border crossings, it’s without a doubt that your standards of care have been put to an extreme test during each shipment. With pharmaceutical cold chains requiring precise conditions and great care for good distribution practice adherence, how can you be confident that compliance has been maintained?

Knowing where the product was in the supply chain if and when something went wrong and who’s accountable for it is usually difficult to glean from traditional visibility solutions, and isn’t possible to proactively manage.

2. Delayed Response of Corrective Actions & Exception Management

Technology has enabled a level of visibility into the supply chain. Generally, this means capturing milestones throughout the shipment journey on the condition of the products through retrospective or real-time temperature monitoring. At least theoretically, if cargo steps out of conformity, it should be quick and simple to spot and then correct.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You’re often informed after the fact and corrective and preventive action (CAPA) becomes time-consuming and costly. Although you’re receiving information when there’s an issue, this data lacks the ability to independently correct the problem. In addition, you may overload the wrong parties with data since those directly involved may be difficult to reach, reducing the efficiency of resolving an issue in a timely manner.

Having visibility doesn’t automatically result in optimization and increased efficiency. It requires a direct tie-in with an intelligent system that understands your standards of care and standard operating procedures to measure non-conformities against, and then autonomously directs the solution. Additionally, built-in analysis after a shipment will help to identify quality improvements that need to be made for true preventative action.

3. Costly & Resource Intensive Monitoring

With a team monitoring your time- and temperature-sensitive shipments in real time, there’s likely significant overhead and inefficiency. With the need to constantly toggle between multiple systems, the efficiency of your monitoring solution decreases, costing you in multiple ways.

Despite digitalization, your supply chain operations may still be very manual with trying to locate information in various places and requiring phone calls back and forth. Most supply chain visibility and integrity solutions have still not simplified this resource-heavy approach.

4. Fragmented Data Streams

There’s certainly not a lack of data when it comes to a digitized supply chain. But there can be too many sources of information that rarely connect.

48% of responders in our webinar survey reported using three or more data platforms to monitor their shipments.

Between platforms from hardware providers, 3PLs, airlines, and ocean reefers, there seems to be no one source of end-to-end visibility. With all of that fragmented data, it’s not a surprise that monitoring is inefficient and that it’s difficult to proactively prevent non-conformities, costing an incalculable amount of capital, time, and potentially even your brand’s reputation.

Combat Supply Chain Digitalization Gaps

Digitalization is supposed to help your business, not cause new problems with all of the gaps it can leave behind. Fortunately, there’s a solution to avoid all of these issues.

In our most recent webinar hosted by FreightWaves, Barry Conlon, our CEO and founder, and Amy Shortman, FCILT, Director of Product Marketing, spoke about how to mitigate risk in the pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chain. They also covered how our SaaS platform manages supply chain risks by allowing for proactive and instant avoidance and action.

Download the webinar on mitigating risk in the pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chain today.

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