The events of 2020 highlighted vulnerabilities and flaws in the healthcare supply chain and approaches to out pharma supply chain management. Healthcare organizations were forced to confront the fragility of the supply chains they depend on and find ways to recover quickly from disruption. In turn, pharmaceutical companies are now being forced to reconsider and refocus their priorities and are emphasizing the need for greater supply chain resilience and agility in preparation for the next major supply chain disruption.
Forward-thinking firms are reimagining the future of supply chains and seeking ways to fortify their supply network against risk and unpredictability. They are investing in new technologies to help them carry out pharma supply chain management more effectively and collaboratively. They are adopting health supply chain management solutions—digital tools, advanced analytics applications, and automation—to obtain greater visibility into and across their supply chains, better mitigate and manage risk, and improve supply chain efficiency and resiliency.
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The importance of effective pharma supply chain management
Even before the pandemic presented its own unique set of challenges, the pharma supply chain was dealing with the pressures of and complications resulting from demand volatility, regulatory complexity including the pharma serialization mandates and requirements for annual product quality review, and the introduction of personalized medicines and cell and gene therapies. Proper management of the pharma supply chain has become increasingly difficult and more important. It is critical for ensuring that patients get the medications they need when and where they need them, especially during times of crises.
Through an effective pharma supply chain management program, firms can better track and manage the complexity and costs of complexity across the pharma value chain. They can improve supply chain planning and risk management, achieve end-to-end inventory optimization, better meet SLAs, and more effectively combat theft and the circulation of counterfeit drugs. Successful pharma supply chain management initiatives can also help enhance supply chain agility, or the ability to anticipate and adapt to change, and resilience, or the ability to prepare for the unexpected and pivot fast to expedite recovery when disruptions occur.
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Digital transformation of pharma supply chain management
One of the best ways to promote and support effective pharmaceutical supply chain management is by leveraging innovative digital technologies including the internet of things, RFID sensors, blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and digital supply chain network solutions. Top firms are investing in these technologies to carry out pharmaceutical supply chain optimization and pharma supply chain management more easily and effectively. The digital supply network in particular is critical for future-proofing supply chains.
The digital supply network is a cloud-based supply chain network connecting supply chain partners and enabling its members to integrate and better leverage the cutting-edge technologies mentioned above. It connects people and processes, creating a digital partner ecosystem and consolidating data from multiple systems and sources. It provides seamless communication interfaces and helps break down data silos, enabling trading partners to manage supply chain performance using shared analytics, insights, and strategies. It provides broad and granular visibility into the end-to-end value chain and promotes collaboration and joint innovation.
When combined with the use of multienterprise work management applications, the digital supply network allows firms to orchestrate shared work across functions both internal and external to the organization. It helps buyers and suppliers build lasting relationships through shared objectives and workflows and enhances supply chain agility and resilience. It lets supply chain partners work in sync to identify and resolve issues early and find mutually beneficial ways of tackling problems and taking advantage of critical business opportunities.
The benefits of digitized pharma supply chain management
Businesses leveraging digital supply networks and multienterprise work management software to manage their supply chains obtain an array of benefits. By achieving real-time granular visibility into critical aspects of their supply network and facilitating seamless, multidirectional communication and collaboration among supply partners, they can improve shipping predictability, optimize inventory management, and enhance demand forecast accuracy. And they can identify and respond quickly to emerging problems, bottlenecks, and sudden fluctuations in supply or demand.
By using digital technologies to carry out pharma supply chain management, organizations in the healthcare sector can better tackle drug counterfeiting and theft, rapidly detect and resolve pharmaceutical cold chain management issues, and better support the increased use of precision medicines. Digitalized pharma supply chain management can help organizations streamline compliance processes and develop innovative new analytics initiatives that uncover valuable business insights..
Building resilience through digital pharma supply chain management
TraceLink is helping healthcare organizations improve business performance and resilience and build new capabilities into their supply chains. TraceLink has built the world's largest digital network of pharma supply chain partners, offering firms a scalable and flexible platform on the cloud through which they can create a more streamlined, connected, and responsive end-to-end value chain. By leveraging TraceLink's digital supply network and game-changing multienterprise work management applications, pharmaceutical companies can implement more effective pharma supply chain management. They can establish connections fast and work with their partners on the network to drive efficiencies in logistics and compliance, ensure a safe and secure supply chain, and build new applications integrating supply chain data to create a truly patient-centric pharma supply chain.
Pharma Supply Chain Management FAQs
What is pharma supply chain management?
Pharma supply chain management refers to the various activities involved in monitoring and orchestrating the pharmaceutical supply chain, or the chain of processes, systems, and organizations involved in the development, manufacturing, storage, and transport of medications to healthcare organizations and patients.
Why is pharma supply chain management important?
Effective pharma supply chain management is critical for managing and mitigating risks in the pharma supply chain, optimizing inventory management, increasing supply chain agility and resilience, and ensuring that healthcare providers and patients get the medications and treatments they need when they need them. It is also an essential component that helps to ensure patient safety.
What are the benefits of effective pharma supply chain management?
Companies that manage supply chains effectively can realize benefits like increased efficiency and productivity, tighter collaboration with trading partners, enhanced supply chain security and stability, and improved agility.