The transparency in the chain of supply, key subject for the pharmaceutical industry
13 January 2012
The strong concentration of the sector by means of fusions and acquisitions, the continuous apparition of new products, the every time greater competition, the pressure on the costs and the diverse regulatory norms valid are factors that are conditioning the management of the chain of supplies in the pharmaceutical sector and that are transforming it to big speed.
By this reason, Miebach Consulting decided to realise an on-line study in which they participated 62 companies: 34 of Germany, 12 of Spain, 8 of Italy, 6 of Switzerland and 2 of France.
According to 96% of the participants, the visibility along all the chain of supply is the subject more candente of the pharmaceutical logistics. This is not surprising if it takes into account the own nature of the products, that does that they have to be transported and stored in special conditions of temperature and low strict legal controls. A high transparency is essential to control the complexity of the deliveries, assign responsibilities and face up to possible unforeseen. And closely linked to this subject, earn special importance the requests of trazabilidad. The 83 % of the interviewed consider very important to have of suitable solutions to monitor the state of the products along the chain of supplies, that provide a complete trazabilidad to warn damages or unsuitable manipulations of the product.
The subjects related with the environment are increasingly important, as it shows the fact that 84% of the companies polled indicated that the optimisation of the chain of supplies has to manage taking into account the subjects of sustainability. Some of the most typical measures to integrate the environment to the logistical practices, would be to establish collaborations with companies of the competition in terms of transport, optimising routes and capacities, or use renewable energies and new technologies to reduce the broadcasts of CO2, between many others.
The demand of pharmaceutical products characterises by strong fluctuations influenciadas by two questions: a strong estacionalidad and the caducity of the patents. The uncertainty of the demand has a strong impact in the processes of distribution and in the organisation of the chain of supplies and, to counter this problem, the companies treat to improve the precision of his forecasts. 76% of the participants of the study coincided in affirming that the optimisation of his networks of distribution is necessary because after the launchings of the pharmaceutical products, the logistical has to face up to beaks of demand. On the other hand, also the number of variants of product and the units of maintenance in stock increase, so that the networks of distribution have to optimise in accordance with the new catalogue of products. For 56% of the companies participants in the study, the increase of the number of units of maintenance in stock is also an important challenge and, although the volume of the container increases in the same measure, this change in the products perceives like less challenging (40%).
88% of the pharmaceutical companies respondents considers that the big potentials of optimisation are in the field of the management of providers, the forecast and the production Read. In these fields, totally developed in the sector of automotion, there are appearances perfectly applicable to the pharmaceutical industry, especially the wish of a continuous improvement to end to shorten the terms of delivery.
The majority of the participants have foreseen to expand his current warehouses and increase his capacity of storage. The reasons for this are the fusions of companies, that justify the union or extension of warehouses, and also the tendency to expand the networks of cross-docking in all Europe. The relatively low tax of outsourcing of warehouses goes to change significantly in the next years, as 64% of the respondents affirms to have a big interest in the services of external storage.
In the future, the degree of automation of the centres of distribution, that today already is quite high, will increase only slightly. For the respondents is more interesting to evaluate the processes and existent structures, with the help of tools of simulation, and centre in a good interaction between the processes automated and the manuals.