The biopharma industry is experiencing rapid growth, as explored in our Future of Biopharma post. The industry is also seeing new opportunities, as mentioned in our 3D Pill Printing post. Even though the industry is booming, it doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing. As the market grows and new opportunities come into play, more and more focus is put on stringent regulations and cost effective solutions, causing manufactures to face a battle field of challenges. When you think more about managing a supply chain, it’s a whole new level of challenges as you are forced to manage costs, increase productivity, and mitigate risk. Unfortunately, not all manufactures can maintain and keep this battle field in house. For a company to truly be successful through an abyss of challenges, manufactures seek allies to help exploit and manage supply chain options.
Managing Lead Times
Abiding to schedules and timelines is key to the success of any manufacturing facility, especially in the biopharma realm, because a shutdown can cost you time, money, further delays and a major headache. Establishing an understanding of and aligning expectations around the lead times associated with key raw materials is critical to this supply chain planning process. In addition to lead times other factors such as manufacturer batch sizes, raw material receipt and QC testing processes. expiration dating must also be considered in building a successful raw material procurement strategy. Leveraging a distribution channel to assist in managing often unreliable and changing lead times and developing an effective supply chain inventory strategy can ensure reliability and mitigate the associated risks and added operational expense.
Damaged or erroneous shipments can be a real buzz kill when it comes to productivity. The fact that you have to drop everything and manage through the implications adds risk and expense to your manufacturing operations. A distributor can once again mitigate the risks of damaged shipments through the upstream inspections and required corrective actions with the vendor before the material arrives at your dock.
Quality documentation such as Certificates of Analysis (COA) is always needed and managing the receipt and proposer storage of all those files can be tricky and overwhelming. How many times have you been in a situation where the required documentation is not readily available for the person needing it in the right format, etc.? Or how many times have you been in a situation where someone moves on to a different position and even though he or she transferred all documentation to a central storage location you just can’t seem to find it? Building the required document management processes with a channel partner will allow you to optimize the receipt and storage of the information you need as many times as you want. You are always promised quick and reliable responses.
As the industry continues to grow companies are continuously evaluating the appropriate growth and investment strategies needed to realize the opportunities available. Many are concluding that investing millions of dollars in cGMP warehouse space and associated support staff and systems may not be wise or even required. Utilizing a third party supply chain partner to help meet these material storage and management requirements may be a more cost effective and operationally efficient solution. Utilizing a third party’s warehouse space and other services allows you to use your investment dollars for more value added purposes and also eliminate the ongoing operational and regulatory expense of maintain this capability internally.
Lack of Visibility in Supply Chain
Lack of visibility in a supply chain can cause difficulty in planning and executing a successful sourcing and procurement strategy. Having the correct information in a timely manner enhances the ability to make informed supply chain decision and ultimately eliminates risk and reduces time to market. When you have a partner to assist in manage your supply chain, you can focus on your strategic value added tasks, while working with your supply chain partner to provide the needed upstream information that affects you.
Managing a supply chain doesn’t have to be challenging, that’s why leveraging experts brings so much value add to your organization. We all have more we need to accomplish with the limited time and resources available. Leveraging a partner that can help accomplish your objectives can be a path to supply chain success.