6 Best Practices In Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Management

supply chain automation

In terms of supply chains, the pharmaceutical industry is perhaps the most strictly controlled for good reasons. Even minor shipping and storage errors can influence product efficacy and put lives at risk. Adherence to pharmaceutical supply chain guiding principles ensures timely and safe delivery of drugs.

Supply chain automation can help firms implement best practices more easily. Automation decreases labor necessary to follow best practices. Automatic storage and retrieval systems, RFID-enabled pallet monitoring, and supporting software assist managers to improve the pharmaceutical supply chain better and increase overall operations.Visit this page for more information.

An aging population increases pharmaceutical demand. To remain competitive, pharmaceutical companies and their supply chain partners must enhance delivery. Here are some crucial recommended practices for the future:


1. Use A Business Network To Connect And Collaborate

A digital business network connects all external supply chain partners digitally via the cloud. Like the Internet, this is a multi-tier network that connects everyone and allows all partners to work in synchronization.

To encourage business transactions among the many players, end-to-end visibility is enabled. It’s like an enterprise resource planning(ERP) system for the supply chain. It’s nearly impossible to provide real-time access and collaboration among all supply chain participants without such a platform.

Vaccines, for example, can be severely damaged by temperature changes in storage rooms while being transported. Real-time data tracking can help maintain proper temperature control by informing when temperatures rise or fall.


 2. Manage Distribution

Pharma businesses increasingly outsource warehousing, transportation, and other services. Managing distribution partners ensures product availability. To gain downstream visibility, sophisticated stock management is required.

Proactive pharma supply chain management ensures that all items are delivered to the relevant consumers, increasing your metrics.To achieve this goal, companies will need to tailor supply networks to the products being transported.


3. Choose Proactive Security Measures

Pharmaceutical supply chain theft and fraud are big issues. Security must therefore be proactive instead of reactive. To prevent the risk of tampering and theft, access should be regulated and monitored constantly. Security cameras and tight access control systems with user credentials can help reduce supply chain risk.


4. Total TransparencyIn Supply Chain

Lack of visibility into suppliers’ business practices can be a major concern for pharma businesses. For example, when child labor is discovered in international suppliers, major consumer brands are accused of unethical labor practices.

To detect supply chain risks, an enterprise must map its suppliers by tier. It’s also critical to understand how things are developed, transported, and kept as each stage carries its own risks.  For example, the failure of a minor transportation supplier could disrupt a whole supply chain.

Finance, data security, regulation, organizational maturity, operations, reputation, and structure are the leading and lagging resilience metrics that must be gathered from internal and external data sources. For example, a company’s data security may be lacking. A structural review may reveal a high concentration of suppliers in a location prone to climate change impacts like hurricanes.


5. Control Product Quality

Pharma firms must ensure full traceability. To track the quality of the product across the multi-tier, multi-enterprise supply chain, pharma must have visibility into partners’ manufacturing activities, including Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs).

To do so, they must link to their CMO’s manufacturing execution systems (MES). This enables tracking of material flows, lot genealogy, processing steps, and associated data like yields or test results, which is crucial for traceability. Any serialization initiative must have this.


6. Organize Incident Reaction

Preparing for a compromise, shutdown, or disruption is critical, so there should be a solid incident response plan. A well-planned response prevents revenue loss, reputational damage, and partner and customer turnover. Plans and intelligence provide data and information gathered that your company and partners can use to prevent future assaults.

Automation is used in several of the best practices listed above, it can be improved. Pallets with embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips and barcodes can be used to track merchandise, for example. It’s possible to link RFID-enabled pallets to cloud-based software solutions. Smart thermostats can create the optimum atmosphere for storing medications and can send notifications when the temperature reaches a specified level. Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) help pharmaceutical cold chains by reducing personnel error-related temperature breaches.

Consider changing to plastic pallets to maximize automation in your supply chain.Moreover, to make new technologies operate, data is required across the board, from manufacturing to e-commerce. It’s essential in all supply chains, but notably in supply chains. The key to applying these methods in modern logistics is to collect data without disrupting present operations.



Researchers say the drastic overhaul involves new product types and therapies with shorter lifecycles, new means of assessing, approving, and monitoring medications, a greater emphasis on outcomes, and new healthcare delivery models.

Ultimately, the pharmaceutical supply chain ensures that patients receive their medications without stress or hindrance. Despite the hurdles, organizations can maintain a flawless supply chain from product manufacturing to delivery to customers.