Cold Chain Management - Creating a Sustainable Cold Chain Process Part 1

Cold Chain IQ

In this Cold Chain IQ interview Jim Bacon, Senior Director, Global Demand Planning & Customer Operations, Talecris Biotherapeutics, shares his insights on cold chain management and addresses the challenges faced in monitoring, controlling and maintaining temperatures of products throughout the supply.

For other parts in this series and for other controlled temperature management content please visit our cold chain management resource centre.

Pharma IQ: Please could you tell us a bit about your current role?

J Bacon: I am responsible for international customer operations and logistics including cold chain and share a global responsibility for cold chain management practices and procedures. My role includes working internally with Operations, Quality Assurance, Validation, and Risk Management and externally with partner providers to develop and execute appropriate solutions to protect the temperature and integrity of our products during transit.

Pharma IQ: How is the industry addressing the challenges faced in monitoring, controlling and maintaining temperatures of products throughout the supply?

J Bacon: Cold Chain Logistics and Distribution conferences, especially the IQPC conferences, have been increasingly popular in the sense that cold chain is key to a successful supply chain. THE PDA-PCCIG is an excellent organisation of pharma industry members including shippers, providers, etc. that collectively are interested in improving the global cold chain processes. Regulators are spending increasing amounts of attention during audits reviewing shipper’s procedures in this area. With these industry events and groups, members have a forum to discuss ideas and challenges and create guidance documents that will benefit the industry and ultimately protect product as it travels from the manufacturer to the customer or patient. Service providers are creating solutions that are validated to universal temperature profiles and standards and new temperature monitors and alerts provide ease of monitoring and improved access to information.

Pharma IQ: Who does responsibility for cold chain management ultimately lie with?

J Bacon: We have a responsibility to educate internally and also externally to our partner providers and customers on the proper care and handling of our products.

Pharma IQ: How important is a disciplined process of communication between shipper, freight forwarder, airline, and 3PL?

J Bacon: Communication is a critical and key component and driving force behind our Core Team approach to cold chain logistics. We insist on direct communication with all partners including airlines to insure that procedures and hand-offs are well understood. Generally we have a contractual arrangement with the 3PL and there is a communication / escalation process built into the agreement.

For more information on this and related topics please visit our cold chain management resource centre.