How Technology is Delivering Better Operational Efficiencies Within the Pharmaceutical Industry and its Supply Chain – Part 1
Published by Vanesia Adkins, 08/18/2020
There’s no doubt that IoT technology produces significant results in just about every industry. When we look at the impact this technology has within the pharmaceutical industry and supply chain, inclusive of the manufacturer, distribution procedures, storage, and final consumer dispensing, the outcome is an intuitive and dynamic infrastructure that makes it easier than ever to drive better operational efficiencies and meet compliance standards.
This article is part of a three-part series where we will cover the impact to the pharmaceutical cold chain supply chain process.
First, we will focus on the importance of IoT for operational efficiencies. In parts two and three, we’ll cover how this technology can assist with compliance, cold chain and temperature sensitivity, risk reduction, tracking, and more.
Here are some excellent examples of how IoT technology is a significant player within the pharmaceutical industry, and how you can take advantage.
Connected Equipment and Machinery
On the manufacturing floor, IoT makes it easier for pharmaceutical companies to track their equipment’s efficiencies and statuses. Thanks to sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), team members and managers can know exactly when something is wrong, why something is wrong, and how they can go about fixing it. The sensors track sound frequencies, pressure, temperature, and even vibrations.
These tools can help keep workers safe and give your employees enough time to react if something is going wrong. Pharmaceutical manufacturers can opt for connected technology informing them of the location of their employees in the event of an emergency or evacuation.
Data also plays a role here. Connected equipment makes it easier for a company to collect data, allowing them to improve processes over time. Talent shortages over the past few years have made this information and data invaluable to bottom lines. The data is used to improve existing processes and develop new solutions for future work. It can
- Help to determine machine maintenance schedules and trigger service requests
- Predict when a machine will breakdown
- Predict dangerous operating conditions
- Save companies from costly failures and extended machine downtime
Improved Warehouse Management
It has been a long time since inventory had to be done by hand, and technology advances continue to help to improve warehouse management practices for pharmaceutical companies. Warehouses can be expensive when it comes to logistics costs, but ensuring the inventory is not understocked or overstocked can be critical in cutting expenses.
RFID tags and real-time monitoring can help pharma companies better track their inventory, improving employee productivity, and inventory accuracy. It also cuts back on inventory loss, damaged prevention, load discrepancies, and bottlenecks.
Employees can benefit by using IoT tools in the warehouse when allocating inventory and manual picking. Some manufacturers and managers have also opted for order-picking robots to speed up processes.
Easier to Monitor Transportation of Pharmaceutical Drugs
Pharmaceutical drugs require specific storage conditions during transport. Your company must have the tools it needs to ensure inventory arrives safely and on time. The right approach to maintaining cold chain requirements and compliance can cut back on costs, lost inventory, and even potential lawsuits if a damaged drug reaches a consumer.
IoT monitoring tools allow pharma companies to track temperature, humidity, time, and more while traveling on the road to its destination. If something goes wrong in the truck, the sensors can alert the driver as well as dispatch. This helps to ensure that any potential issues are fixed quickly, without unnecessary loss of goods.
It also assists with tracking, so either the sender or the recipient can know precisely where their inventory is at any given moment. Companies can, therefore, reduce waste as well as theft, even during shipment.
All of the strategies mentioned above with IoT can improve productivity across the board for a pharmaceutical company. Still, additional tools, like the cloud, can also help to improve production numbers and efficiency. The cloud allows for rapid communication and transfer of data between team members. Whether your inventory is in the manufacturing process or on the truck for delivery, employees can get the information they need to improve operational efficiencies.
Technology in the pharmaceutical industry allows companies to cut back on costs, improve productivity, increase safety measures for employees, and drive operational efficiency in every aspect of the business. The right approach here could be a difference-maker for your bottom line and business.
We know how important it is to use IoT in the supply chain for temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical drugs. Magnetic Precision ensures that your inventory arrives on time and in compliance. If you’re curious about how we can assist with your cold chain needs, please visit our website https://magneticprecision.com/. For inquiries and questions, contact us at [email protected].