Embracing Digital Transformation from Manufacturing to Distribution
Supply Chain

Revolutionizing Pharmaceutical Supply Chains: Embracing Digital Transformation from Manufacturing to Distribution

By: Akhilesh Sodhani

Publish Date: January 25, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was a watershed incident for the pharmaceutical industry, catalyzing a rapid shift toward digitalization. This transformative shift has seen the convergence of healthcare with information and communication technology (ICT), revolutionizing the patient experience. Patients can now actively monitor their health using wearable devices, enabling them to transmit comprehensive reports to their medical caregivers. Simultaneously, AI and ML technologies, drawing insights from the data generated by these devices, empower drug developers to craft personalized medications and refine precision treatments.

The pharmaceutical sector has only begun exploring the potential of sustained investments in digital technologies for supply chain optimization. A Gartner survey on the future of supply chains reveals that merely 19% of life sciences and pharmaceutical supply chains are actively developing new capabilities, in contrast to the broader average of 23% across all industries.

On a positive note, as pharmaceutical companies recognize the importance of new-age technologies for their business, they have started incorporating digital systems and analytics to improve drug development, production, packaging, and supply efficiency.

Several transformative trends are poised to reshape supply chains for pharmaceutical players:

Data Analytics: Coping with the surge in data poses a central challenge in supply chain management, amplified by the proliferation of interconnected IoT devices and sophisticated tracking systems. Pharmaceutical players must emphasize data availability, reliability, cadence, and consistency to channel this information toward healthier supply chains. Adopting an iterative approach to data management involves crafting a value-focused roadmap. By proactively addressing data quality issues, the derived insights should seamlessly integrate into every link of the logistical chain. Leveraging data analytics as powerful lenses will render previously ambiguous processes crystal clear.

AI and blockchain: AI and blockchain can potentially redesign the entire playing field for pharma distribution in the coming years. AI quickly sifts through complex data and can predict shortages before they occur. It can help optimize inventory levels to balance demand and supply to avoid stockouts and high storage costs. Generative AI can process more extensive data sets than previous ML forms and analyze highly complex variables to enhance production workflow efficiency. It can even enable virtual logistics communication to manage routine inquiries and provide quick responses.

Low-code platforms: The complexities of dynamic supply chain management, including ingredient provisioning, production, and product distribution, historically led to the creation of fragmented systems and disparate data sources. Updating software and applications within this landscape is time-consuming and prone to errors. Enter low-code platforms—an automation boon for pharmaceutical companies.

These platforms leverage a spectrum of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and pre-built integrations to unify previously siloed systems. They streamline development timelines, empowering companies to swiftly respond and adapt their applications to evolving demands and unforeseen disruptions.

Enhanced Visibility Across Tiers: Inadequate visibility beyond the primary tiers (tier 1 and tier 2) within their supply chains poses significant challenges for pharmaceutical companies. This lack of insight hampers their ability to detect and address supply chain risks and complicates adherence to regulatory mandates. Overcoming this visibility barrier beyond tier 1 offers organizations enhanced access to their network of supply chain partners.

Cloud-based solutions like control towers and digital twins prove invaluable in unveiling critical relationships with sub-tier suppliers. They facilitate the identification of sub-tier suppliers and warehouse locations and offer more precise insights into the intricacies of the end-to-end supply chain. These technologies bolster supply chain resilience, fortifying the system against disruptions at scale.

AI-Driven No-Touch/Low-Touch Planning: The growing emphasis on resilience and ESG considerations, coupled with the expanding complexities of locations, flows, and partnerships within pharmaceutical supply chains, underscores the critical need for meticulous planning. While traditional planning methods suffice for managing intricate multi-tiered distribution systems, they often fall short in conducting efficient scenario analyses to gauge the financial impacts of decisions.

AI-enabled sales and operational Planning and Integrated Business Planning applications streamline supply chain planning and execution, fostering greater coordination. Low-touch planning streamlines arduous manual tasks in the planning process, utilizing advanced analytics to address complex queries with minimal human intervention. At scale, AI scrutinizes data, pinpointing anomalies that could lead to unexpected disruptions, and offers recommendations for resolution.

Pharma Supply Chains: Transforming for 2024 with YASH

The landscape of pharmaceutical supply chains is poised for a significant transformation as we enter 2024. At YASH Technologies, we firmly believe that organizations equipped with a forward-looking approach to digitalization can harness these substantial shifts to chart smarter trajectories between laboratories and the end consumers of their products.

We specialize in empowering pharmaceutical and life science entities by strategically applying AI, leveraging data analytics, embracing low-code platforms, implementing cloud-based solutions, and adopting efficient low-touch planning methodologies. Our team of solution architects seamlessly integrates with your operations, serving as an extension of the workforce. Together, we aim to reduce costs, unlock inherent value within your processes, and embrace innovative business models that breed success in a dynamic market landscape.

Discover more about our Life Sciences Solutions and personalized services; write to us at info@yash.com.

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