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As global and more complex, pharmaceutical supply chains need a significantly more resilient business climate.
Causes of origin
Pharma supply chain is with complex character in the first place. But COVID-19 sparked more significant challenges, highlighting the need for companies to build a resilient supply chain. Starting from the disruptions in the capacity of medicaments and shortages of critical medical products, the issues that also came to the surface were regarding the whole transparency of the pharma chain.
On the other hand, the pandemic turned pharmaceuticals` attention to the importance of disaster resilience in their production. Potential critical data leaks or loss and any interruption in the production cycle could have had a detrimental impact on the companies and the economy. The fast-growing and “needy” market made manufacturers realize that they must adapt their processes according to the crises, increasing efficiency and preventing downtimes.
Meaning of resilience in Pharma
The crises and significant disruptions provoked by the pandemic raised many questions regarding the supply of medicines. Building a resilient supply chain became a priority. Why? Simple – the resilience could manage the supply chain risks, mitigate potential issues, maintain visibility and manage the supply sources and capacity. How? The measures that could be taken include analysis and identification of supply chain traceability vulnerabilities, inventory audit, estimation of market demands, capacity analysis of logistics, and the implementation of financial instruments to test the liquidity and impact.
Building resilience is not a process that can be achieved in one or two months. We talk about the establishment of transformation that is based on long-term planning and redesign of risk processes – “Only companies that plan for the long-term will thrive, maintain a social license to operate, and support the conditions required for stability and prosperity (including social harmony, access to natural resources, and access to the middle-class) in the coming decades.” 1 In research from 2021, it was noted that supply chain resilience requires four elements: end-to-end transparency, routine stress-testing and reassessment, reduced exposure to shocks, and supply-chain resilience on the executive agenda.
1 All In: The Future of Business Leadership
- End-to-end transparency
Establishing an effective traceability process is vital to efficiently and adequately build end-to-end transparency. The advanced track and trace allow exceptional 360-degree visibility, monitoring and control over the supply chain. State-of-art technologies enable real-time tracking from the origin to the final point of sale. Our long experience in the field of end-to-end traceability gave us the expertise and confidence to declare the significant effect of serialization and aggregation solutions. Having implemented a traceability solution is the main driver for successful end-to-end transparency.
However, it is not only about track and trace. As we already mentioned, one crucial part of breaking out of a crisis is to be prepared. The predictive analysis is fundamental in this scenario. On the one hand, it is a weapon for predicting possible supply chain disruptions, such as pandemics and economic, geopolitical, and environmental events. On the other hand, a predictive analysis could significantly contribute to underperformance in day-to-day work. In other words, the implementation of such tools for monitoring has an impact on the “big picture”, as in the daily work activities.
Benefits and future
Establishing processes for identifying critical points, capacity and market demands would affect each pharmaceutical industry’s production aspect. The valuable part comes with the meaning to be prepared in every aspect (internally within your manufacturing; externally regarding irrespective events).
It is not a coincidence that to be resilient means to be future-ready. Resilience is preparedness. Entering the post-COVID era, companies that planning or scaling future capabilities will capture new growth. Moreover, the conception for resilience is set out in the European Commission`s conception for “Industry 5.0: Towards more sustainable, resilient and human-centric industry”. The primary purpose behind carrying out reforms and green investments is sustainable growth.