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Serialization: The World Beyond Compliance

Posted: 03/30/2017

Whilst it is natural for a serialisation program to focus on delivering to the hard legislative deadlines, it can be detrimental if these short term needs limit the project’s long term scope and capabilities. If this is allowed to happen, then reaping the broader future benefits from the serialisation project may prove to be significantly more difficult. 

Looking at the long term serialisation story, Michael Kinsella of Servier notes that: “I don’t believe that the serialisation topic will end once the deadline is met in Europe. It’s really only the beginning. The use of the data will continue and in 10, 20 years from now people will be doing different things with the data than we ever imagined. However, the first step is definitely to respond to the deadline [as] efficiently as possible, possibly by grouping platforms or by multipleclients sharing the costs.”

Pharma IQ examines the opportunities available when utilising serialisation and traceability systems beyond compliance. 

Advancing supply chain visibility

Vivid supply chain visibility is enabled through serialisation with tracking being applied on single units. This highly refined clarity places more controls and actionable information at the hands of supply chain stakeholders for forecasting and planning to thereby enhance the supply chain network’s efficiency. This can lead to reduced risk, increased quality and lower wastage in transportation. These sorts of benefits should lead to savings, which of course are off-balanced with the costs of setting up and managing the serialisation infrastructure.3

Software can provide useful insights into a complete transport fleet or a network of warehouses. When live data is available, notifications can be sent to responsible persons to alert them of any digressions and expand time for decisions to be made. A simple example of this in action was provided by supply chain expert Sebastien Sliski from Zetes. For instance, when trailers arrive for collection at the DC but are then made to wait for two hours to be loaded, this causes significant impact downstream on planned delivery schedules. The inefficiency ‘alert’ metric here is the truck’s two hour waiting period in the yard. Areas of inefficiency that need to be tackled can quickly become apparent from supply chain visibility implementation when tracking the right measures. Supply chain visibility also enables more precision with cold chain operations to prevent temperature excursions as well as when handling equipment returns. 

Supply chain visibility requires examination into the measures that will lead to future quantifiable benefits and the ecosystem that will be required. In a recent article Dr Roland Klüber noted: “If the argument for improved supply chain visibility is weak, management will most likely not reserve sufficient budget to realise achievable future net benefits.”

Real-time inventory decisions - Troubleshoot faster:

Bigger pharma firms are seeking to bring down their often excessive levels of inventory. Real time visibility from serialisation bolsters awareness of how the supply chain is moving, which makes it easier to reduce and control stock.

Continue reading to explore more on: 

  • Recall efficiency improvement
  • Counterfeit measures
  • Enhancing patient centricity
  • Tips for setting yourself up to reap the ROI

Interested in learning more about this topic?
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Posted: 03/30/2017