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[INFOGRAPHIC] The State of Digitization In Medical & Pharmaceutical Supply Chains

March 25, 2022

March 25, 2022

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x min read

Medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers have faced increasing logistical challenges in the past two years. Amid significant regulatory and compliance changes worldwide, they’ve had to contend with massive supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic. Increases in demand for certain products are also driving change.

As companies and economies continue to emerge into a post-pandemic world, supply chain executives, directors, and managers increasingly turn their attention to accelerating digital transformation in global supply chains in 2022. While the objectives and goals may vary from company to company, some common ground transcends industries. “There is a constant approach to better what we have and work with. Digitization is the future, and we need to make wise decisions on where and how we invest,” said an information technology director who participated in a recent study of medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers’ digital supply chains commissioned by Tive and conducted by LogiMed and LogiPharma.

This blog and infographic highlight some of the findings of that study, which sought insights from professionals in the areas of the Supply Chain; Information Technology; Operations, Safety & Risk Management; and Logistics & Planning for companies ranging from less than $100 million in annual revenue to more than $10 billion. In addition to the statistics related to the general state of supply digitization, C-Suite executives, vice presidents, department heads, and directors share some of their goals and aspirations for advancing supply chain digitization in 2022. 

What is the Current State of Your Supply Chain Visibility?

On a scale of 1 to 5, respondents ranked their organization’s current supply chain visibility.

   5 – Complete visibility end-to-end – 16%

   4 – Strong visibility end-to-end – 52%

   3 – Moderate visibility into function-based alerts & events – 27%

   2 – Some visibility into project statuses and applications – 5%

   1 – Little to no visibility – 0% 

What is Impeding Digitization of Procurement & Supply Chain?

  • Inability to leverage data - 47%
  • Complications when integrating legacy systems - 44%
  • Difficulty scaling up digital initiatives beyond the pilot phase – 42% 

Have You Deployed Procurement Technologies?

  • Compliance Automation – 53%
  • Mobile-First Digital Procurement Platforms – 51%
  • Blockchain – 44%
  • Predictive Analytics – 44%

Note: Most remaining respondents plan to deploy these technologies in the next 12 months. 

Have You Deployed Inventory Management Technologies?

  • Cloud-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) – 55%
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) inventory systems - 46%
  • Real-time Tracking Systems - 43%

Note: Most remaining respondents plan to deploy these technologies in the next 12 months. 

Do You Use a Cloud-Based Solution to Access Shipment Information?

  • Yes – 56% (of those, 93% say they’re somewhat or very satisfied with their current solution)
  • No – 44% (of those, 40% say they will implement a cloud-based solution soon) 

Do You Use GPS Trackers to Gain Real-Time Visibility into Shipment Location & Condition?

  • Yes – 45%
  • No – 55% (of those, 48% say they will do so soon) 

What Are the Top 3 Challenges in Ensuring Pharma Cold Chain Products Maintain Validated Conditions?

  • Refrigerator / Equipment Issues – 52%
  • Airport Delays / Port Congestion – 49%
  • Route Deviations – 47% 

What Type of Pharma Cold Chain Tracking is Being Used?

  • Real-Time / Active Tracking – 41%
  • Static / Passive Tracking – 32%
  • Both Static & Real-Time Tracking – 27%

Are You Ready for DSCSA?

  • Completely prepared – 20%
  • Almost prepared – 38%
  • Only somewhat prepared – 39%
  • Not at all prepared – 3%

Note: The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will be fully implemented by Nov. 27, 2023.

What Do You Hope to Achieve through Increased Supply Chain Digitalization in 2022 and Beyond?

Given the high-level overview provided above, let’s take a closer look at where supply chain professionals are investing their efforts and what they hope to gain through greater digitization in 2022. In our respondents’ own words, here are their insights. 

  1. Better feedback. “We want to create a real-time feedback loop from the supply chain that adds speed and value to supply chain decision-making.” – Logistics & Planning Department Head, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer
     
  2. Improve sustainability. “We need solutions that hold high potential to make a difference in the supply chain, essentially on the sustainability side.”  – Director of IT, Medical Device Manufacturer

  3. Fuel expansion. “Our supply chain needs to reach locations it hasn’t really reached before. Digitization will help us discover and participate in new geographies that are developing and need our product and services.”  – Director of IT, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

  4. Simplify to amplify. “Our idea is to simplify the network and provide better support to the supply chain.” – Director of Logistics & Planning, Medical Device Manufacturer

  5. Bolster planning. “Precision planning needs the support of digital solutions. For supply chain precision, we have been seeking digital support from external service providers.” – Director of Logistics & Planning, Medical Device Manufacturer

  6. More adaptability. “We would like to see our supply chain perform in every condition that could seem challenging.”  – Logistics & Planning Department Head, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

  7. Enhance communication. “Create a new network for this supply chain that will help it communicate with the rest of the organization through digital solutions.” – Director of Operations, Safety, & Risk Management, Pharma Manufacturer

  8. Extract value from data. “We cannot transform the supply into a demand-driven chain. From the vision of adding value, we are making an attempt to transform it into a data-driven platform.” – Director of Operations, Safety, & Risk Management, Medical Device Manufacturer

  9. Quality analytics. “There is a lot of data in supply chain operations that becomes unavailable due to its physical nature. This data is crucial when it comes to analytics. Digital upgrades will support this form of data to help us add more value to the supply chain.” – VP, Operations, Safety, & Risk Management, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

  10. Greater responsiveness. “A hyper-responsive supply chain is our strategic target.” – Director of Supply Chain, Pharma Manufacturer

  11. Control costs. “Our goal of achieving a cost-avoiding supply chain will gain momentum this year as we have identified an external solutions partner for it.” – Director of Operations, Safety, & Risk Management, Pharma Manufacturer

  12. More visibility. “For us, in our industry, visibility is key. We will chase better visibility for the supply chain with digitization.” – C-Suite Executive, Medical Device Manufacturer

  13. Accurate forecasting. “Advanced forecasting has been one of the strategic features we have been chasing for the supply chain.” – Director of Supply Chain, Pharma Manufacturer

  14. More customizations: “Adding more customizations to the supply chain will remain our focus for this year. Digitization will have a huge role to play here.” – IT Department Head, Medical Device Manufacturer

  15. Deeper connections: “The goal is to fully integrate and make visible all aspects of shipments.” – Director of Operations, Safety, & Risk Management, Pharma Manufacturer

Tive: A Trusted Partner Who Ensures Shipments Arrive On Time and In Full

Whatever their goals for supply chain digitization in 2022, medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers can depend on Tive’s hyper-accurate multi-sensor trackers, cloud-based application, and live 24/7 monitoring all working together to provide real-time visibility and insights across all modes. Contact Tive Today to Learn More

ABOUT THE RESPONDENTS

  • Seniority: C-Suite (11%); VP (27%); Dept. Head (19%); Director (43%)
  • Role: Supply Chain (28%); Information Technology (25%); Operations, Safety, & Risk Management (24%); and Logistics & Planning (23%)

Company size (based on annual revenue):> $100 million (18%); $100M-$250M (21%), $250M-$1 billion (21%); $1B-$10B (23%); more than $10B (17%)

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