27 April 2021 - by Arnoud Smeesters
Together with around 1000+ other likeminded industry professionals, we attended the annual -this year virtual- edition of LogiPharma last week: 3 days filled with being inspired by and networking with professionals from the world’s largest pharma supply chain community. This year, global supply chain leaders revealed insights ranging from how to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to how to leverage tech transformation to drive end-to-end patient-centric supply chains.
Being a proud sponsor of the event every single year, we were definitely looking forward to all these valuable insights that were shared, and to implementing them in our own business. And as we believe that sharing is caring, we’re happy to share our key takeaways with you.
Focusing on how to leverage air freight risk assessment to deliver resilience in these unprecedented times, Markus Koehler (SVP Supply Network Operations Merck Group) and Ilhami Arslanoglu (VP Life Sciences & Healthcare EMEA, DHL) brought up the fact that we now need to talk about pre-COVID and post-COVID supply chains. Supply chains need to change accordingly, and companies need to invest proactively in research into back-up scenarios for air freight, so as to be able to tackle crises more efficiently in the future.
A panel discussion with global supply chain leaders from Takeda, Bluefish Pharma, Etihad Airways, GSK and Sofrigam gave us a deepdive in how they were able to drive operational resilience in the face of the unforeseen challenges presented by the current global pandemic. They talked about 2020 being a year where the main focus lay in translating the unknown into the known. Suddenly, pharma distribution had to deal with longer lead times, higher demand and inaccessible routes. A good integration/relationship with your 3PL/LSP could have helped cope with many of the disruptions. Also, some of the measures identified during the preparations for Brexit were essential in order to ensure pharma distribution to be resilient in 2020.
During an interview with Wayne Rothman (VP Value Chain Management at Johnson & Johnson) on how to leverage technology and partnerships to drive traceability and patient-centricity amidst global vaccine deployment, a lot of interesting insights were put on the table. However, the most insightful one was that of recognition in the supply chain. Upstream and downstream visibility is key to keeping track of real-time information flowing in and out. It’s all about end-to-end transparency to enable you to identify issues and act when necessary.
How can master data support processes whilst taking into account the right technology and the right people? That’s what Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer and Infor touched upon during a live panel discussion on lessons learnt from pioneers in RPA and cognitive automation to improve tech implementation in planning and supply chains. The outcome? Fixing processes requires not only the right systems, but also the right technology and people. Technology is moving too fast for organizations to absorb it all, which is why you need the right people to prioritize the right digital initiatives in pharmaceutical planning.
Within that same panel discussion, Stefaan Vermeiren (VP Global Head Pharma Planning at Johnson & Johnson) pointed out the relevance of master data. Because it is a fact: any next level improvement must have master data at the core, correctly in place and governed. If not, all investments in A.I. & M.L will not deliver the expected results.*
In short, a lot of valuable insights to think about and apply to your own business. We definitely enjoyed it and will be very happy to be present as a trusted partner and sponsor next year. See you there!
*If you want to learn more about how to materialize the benefits of planning transformations and about the key role master data plays in this process, we have a free 30-min online session planned for 20 May covering that topic, so just click below to save your seat!