Guide: the road to digital success in temperature monitoring
A changing industry
Digitalization is transforming pharma logistics and improving patient and consumer experiences all over the world. At this point, digitalization is no longer a choice for companies. The question is more about how to implement digital solutions in a way that limits disruption, maximizes benefits and contributes to business objectives.
Temperature management is one of the best examples of a process that can be significantly improved through automation and digitalization. To date, we have helped over 8,000 sites globally to automate the temperature excursion process.
Digital technology holds huge potential for pharma, and not only in terms of reducing costs. Better access to data and increased visibility of supply chains and operations are empowering faster, better decisions. Pharma is no different, and many companies are benefitting from more accurate planning, efficient manufacturing and higher levels of productivity.
You can too. Here are four steps you can take to start transforming your supply chain:
1. Future-proof your platform
There are a few important things to consider when setting up your digital platform. Firstly, you need to make sure it is flexible enough to scale with you. Choosing a digital solution, only to find it limits your room for maneuver later could be a costly mistake. Secondly, it is almost as important to ensure that the platform you choose is technology-agnostic and future-proof. Advances in existing technologies and entirely new solutions are emerging at an increasingly fast pace. A technology-agnostic platform will make it easier for you to adopt new solutions, as well as new industry requirements and regulations. This will allow you to adapt to emerging technologies.
2. Get integrated
Once your digital foundation is in place and your data is easily available and accurate, you can drive improvements across your operations. This is where a technology-agnostic platform is really beneficial; it will integrate easily with other systems and solutions in order to break down data siloes and streamline workflows.
For example, seamless cloud-based integration with ERP systems creates clean and consistent data collection. Site staff, suppliers, and logistics operatives benefit from a shared source of insight, and decision-makers always have full visibility. The system can then push data to corporate data warehouses in order to ensure it is safely stored and easily accessible. Once paper records and routine manual checks are removed, pharma companies tend to see a reduction in errors, unnecessary quarantines, less waste, and significant time savings.
You can find out exactly how this works by reading about how we helped GSK implement an integration between its warehouse management and shipping systems in its new distribution hub outside the UK.
3. Choose the right tools
When it comes to temperature monitoring, conventional loggers have been the only option for a long time. Now digitalization is changing this, and a range of new technologies are available. While USB loggers are still a great solution for some drugs, new technologies also allow pharma logistics personnel to create a continuous stream of live data from manufacturing to dispensing when they need to.
This means increased flexibility for the industry as companies can create tailored solutions using multiple technologies to ensure they are operating in the most effective way possible. For example, IoT devices like our Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) loggers help reduce unnecessary temperature excursions by allowing automated monitoring of drugs and data collection throughout the entire distribution journey. BLE technology is a great solution for pharma temperature monitoring due to its minimal power consumption. It provides a cost-effective and universally applicable solution, no matter which mode of transport is being used.
4. Maximize insights from your data
Once you have a steady stream of reliable data in context with meta data from other integrated sources and an increased overview of what is happening at every point in the supply chain, it is time to start using those insights to streamline operations and identify opportunities for cost savings or extra value creation.
Digitalized planning processes using data analytics, visualization, and business intelligence applications enable better collaboration between suppliers, manufacturers, pharma logistics, and sites. But they also allow closer monitoring of every part of the network. These insights can be used to identify areas where further solutions can be leveraged, such as automated stock replenishment or distribution planning.
Safe, sustainable and effective supply chains
The pharma industry is fully embracing the transformative potential of digitalization and embarking on an exciting period of innovation. Every part of the pharma logistics process is benefitting from solutions that increase visibility, collaboration and reduce waste and inefficiencies. It is an exciting period of innovation.
For our part, our digital, cloud-based temperature monitoring solutions are harnessing the power of IoT to help pharma companies ensure drugs are delivered safely and sustainably to patients. It is already saving businesses in the life sciences industry millions of dollars every year. Get in touch with any of our experts to find out more.