Serving product and patient quality
HEALTHCARE | PHARMACEUTICAL | MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY
In the face of growing competition and the push for on-demand production, new data-driven opportunities are opening up for the pharmaceutical industry.
Data is vital in this market segment. Enabling effective data collection, analysis, use, and communication within the enterprise — as well as for every company that is part of the pharmaceutical supply chain — increases the chances of finding cost-savings, reducing waste, and improving operational efficiency.
Today’s business world is facing a new era of intelligent machines capable of not just interacting with each other, but learning from each other, to optimize production quality and volume and increase distribution capacity. While extremely beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry, the stringent regulations and inherent bureaucracy within the sector, add to the complexity of implementing advanced technology for process improvement.
The first step in digital transformation for pharmaceutical companies is to identify process gaps and connect them digitally. By using uncertainty as an opportunity to convert industry problems into solutions that allow for continuous operations, pharma businesses will be able to react quickly to risk and enhance enterprise performance.
Pharmaceutical Industry Supply Chain
When it comes to traditional industrial pharmaceuticals, the flow of drugs involves five parties who interact with each other at various levels: manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers (mainly pharmacies and hospitals, but also large-scale companies and drugstores selling only over-the-counter (OTC) medication), and patients.
Typically, pharmaceutical supply chain companies with an efficient supply chain follow a four stage process: demand management, inventory management and distribution, secondary production planning and scheduling, and primary manufacturing.
Demand forecasts are crucial to pharmaceutical logistics and supply chain management since they underpin all strategic and operational planning. Despite the complexity and diversity of forecasting procedures utilized across various organizations, the goal is always to arrive at a relatively reliable projection of future demand using past data and present conditions (e.g., political, social, economic) to plan and arrange business functions accordingly. In the pharmaceutical sector, improving forecast accuracy remains a big challenge.
Secondary Production Planning and Scheduling
The key to state-of-the-art secondary processing (refining a product after initial creation) in the pharmaceutical industry is flexibility - new drugs, personalized formulations and new dosage forms drive the need for processing equipment that can deliver the desired quality and output with minimum downtimes and versatile production options.
Flexibility is the key to cutting-edge secondary processing in the pharmaceutical sector. New medicines, personalized dosages, and new dosage forms create a need for processing equipment that can deliver high-quality products with minimal downtimes and adaptable manufacturing methods.
Inventory Management and Distribution
Pharma companies are comparatively more resistant to supply chain shock than other sectors since they generally keep greater inventory levels, but this can't (and doesn't) shield them from everything. Compliance and increasing government regulations intended to improve importation, and distribution of medication pose ongoing challenges for distributors. The product registration process could take years to complete, which can make financial and distribution planning very difficult. On top of that, shortages of specific drugs are a common occurrence, given the long lead time for payment, production, shipping and customs procedures unique to the pharma supply chain.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing is a difficult and specialized business. Pressure is increasing on all divisions of pharmaceutical development to improve efficiency and optimize their operations to increase profitability.
The greatest challenges to achieving E2E digital transformation in pharma supply chain management is the high levels of regulation and the fact that many processes involve numerous validation procedures. Launching new products to market requires the collaboration of several, often isolated, internal departments who have very different aims.
This where we step in - pharmaceutical firms are becoming increasingly concerned with process efficiency and cost control in order to satisfy rising demand for cheaper generic drugs and faster manufacturing. For pharmaceutical companies running SAP, we provide greater control over all resources in real time, leading to enhanced forecasts, and inventory optimization tracking capabilities.
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