Smarter data management: Lane mapping and combating excursions

Chanice Henry

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As the importance of sophisticated connected logistics grows within medicine, Pharma Logistics examines ways in which industry leaders are becoming smarter with their data management

Supply chains in a range of industries, including pharma, are becoming digitised. New research forecasts that over the next eight years, the value of the global connected logistics market will surge from US$10.21bn to US$55.17bn.

Connected logistics incorporates sensors that provide real-time information on road conditions, weather and shipping lane traffic when connected to internal and external data feed. This sort of insight is required by pharma manufacturers to protect a drug’s chain of custody.

This technology develops the collaboration between the supply chain’s various stakeholders (warehouse managers, product quality managers, operations logistics providers) all working to reduce the chance of temperature excursions.

These devices and software of course require significant investment. For the next stage of lane mapping and continuous monitoring to be reached some experts believe that severe losses will have to be felt on shipments – through theft or temperature excursions rendering products unusable – for companies to realise how much they actually need to implement this technology.


Continuous Monitoring

Traditionally, data loggers  measure temperature at defined points and host data for retrieval at a later point. Now the industry is moving towards real-time monitoring, which provides more control to wipe out inefficiencies in the supply chain.

The fast mitigation of problems at a lower cost is a major benefit of real time data. Event based alerts significantly reduce the labour/costs (e.g call centers, service desks) required to identify problems affecting supply chain performance.

For instance, if a cold truck arrives at a distribution center and is made to wait two hours to be loaded this causes a significant impact downstream on planned delivery schedules. An alert will allow manufacturers to make the required adjustments and direct any temperature control measures that may be needed.

Data Visualisation

Real-time data generates a lot of information. Without the right visualisation, it can be hard for pharma firms to make sense of big data.

“Without the right framework for visualisation, good data and actionable insights will slip away.” George Koumakis, Roche

Any tools that help to comprehend data at a glance are vital. Visualising data via information dashboards powered by cloud solutions was regarded as a key priority by temperature control professionals in the Pharma Logistics IQ network.

Saddam Huq, Senior Manager Quality for Distribution & Cold Chain Management at GSK mentioned that the current landscape regarding real time monitoring differs according to the providers in the space. He adds that more support could be given within road freight and seafreight than airfreight.

Data should be presented so that it is simple to take corrective actions if required. One such system might be a traffic light method which canshow the status of each element of the cold chain. A red light could mean that action needs to be taken.

Nitin Dahad notes that ‘Dashboards’ can be personalised to indicate the status of critical business process parameters. The dashboard might even be tailored differently for different stakeholders.

For example, a CEO or a CFO might simply want a dashboard that indicates financial values of any potential loss that could result from a temperature excursion. The logistics manager might want to pinpoint the exact location of a truck or warehouse in the network to isolate it or take action. A QA manager may want reports to prove to their customer that the product travelled safely throughout the distribution network.

Download the whitepaper to read more on the following: 

  • Case Studies of Data Innovations
  • Quicker Data Retrieval
  • Lane mapping: Risk Assessments
  • Planning
  • The Last Mile
  • Traceability and blockchain