Transparency and visibility are becoming bigger issues for supply chains — especially in the pharmaceutical industry. How effectively an enterprise tracks, monitors and documents movement of inventory can be a matter of life and death.
But, transparency is not a simple endeavor. In fact, a recent survey, Top Ten Global Health Supply Chain Issues, reveals that shipment visibility was considered "critical" by 83 percent of survey respondents.
Pharmaceutical supply chain — racing for solutions
The pressure to improve control and visibility is on. The pharmaceutical industry is subjected to stringent regulations by OSHA and the FDA's Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), which was signed into law in 2013. The DSCSA outlines imperative steps to building "an electronic, interoperable system to identify and trace certain prescription drugs as they are distributed in the United States."
This multi-tiered act will be implemented in phases through 2023, requiring all enterprises in the pharmaceutical supply chain to comply. This includes:
- wholesale distributors
So, it is of utmost importance that facilities comply and keep meticulous records regarding every step of the material-handling process.
But, tracking the path of a pharmaceutical product, sometimes from raw material to deliverable medication, is not easily achieved. Failing to meet this demand due to poor visibility can lead to tainted, expired, or counterfeit drugs resulting in danger for patients and costly damage to the company’s reputation.
Telematic monitoring creates transparency solutions
Another DSCSA mandate requires adherence to serialization measures, in which manufacturers must place unique product identifiers on drug packages to verify legitimacy. This also works to create a traceability matrix for all inventory or raw materials.
The right telematic monitoring and documentation platform will address this supply chain challenge. Your enterprise seeks transparency of operations — including forklift access control, equipment and operator tracking, and continuous inventory tracking down to the square foot.
Here’s what to look for:
- A platform that consists of software and hardware designed for the specific needs of the material-handling industry
- A system that is compatible with your company’s existing product installations and provides a flexible and expandable advanced telematics solution with enhanced data management, reporting and analysis tools
- Easy, cost-effective integration of new applications
- Cloud-hosting services, combined with a cellular connectivity option, which provides a cost-effective alternative, faster deployment, and no need to gain IT approval for Wi-Fi network access
- Real-time monitoring that tracks each member of the fleet and product inventory down to the square foot — even while in motion
- A solution that fosters improved driver behavior and accountability. Drivers who know they are being monitored are less likely to make or repeat mistakes — or be careless with inventory.
- A system that combines with automated OSHA checklists
A transparent chain of custody in the pharmaceutical supply chain requires a system of meticulous documentation and tracking. The right telematics platform can deliver these results and regulation compliance across your enterprise.