Pfizer reveals cloud-based technologyPharmaceutical giant Pfizer has engaged in supply chain optimization by utilizing cloud technology to create a more efficient system, according to the Financial Times.

The source reported that for more than a year, Pfizer has been reworking its IT network to implement this technology. The company and its partners are working with a cloud technology that allows everyone involved to connect to the system, which gives Pfizer a virtual model of its supply chain and transportation systems.

This new development will assist Pfizer in its role as one of the world's leading drug providers. With the cloud technology fully implemented, the company is able to track or trace any shipment across the globe.

"Right now, there's a map that shows all of our origins and destinations, and we have got complete track and trace (capabilities) over anything that is moving inside those lanes from a logistics perspective," said Pfizer's vice president, Jim Cafone, according to the Financial Times.

Pfizer chose to have its hundreds of partners connect to a cloud-based system, rather than demanding each company implement the same planning software. With this technology, Pfizer is able to quickly add or remove partners.

The cloud-based system may also assist the company in its cost savings efforts, because it allows Pfizer to quickly handle disruptions and see exactly where losses or problems occur.

Cafone told the Financial Times that the system was necessary because the company's supply chain was becoming increasingly intricate. Keeping track of the Pfizer's partners became just as important to the company.

"After the Wyeth acquisition we looked at the complexity of our network and realized that we not only needed to manage the tapestry of internal manufacturing and logistic sites, we also needed to manage and really understand what's going on with our external trading partners," he said, according to the source.

Pfizer's supply chain is especially complex because it deals with both the patented and generic drug markets. While the generic drug market typically sees a focus on efficiency and cost-focused shipping, the patented medications require the company to respond quickly and sometimes require an investment in more expensive, specialized logistical tactics.

Supply chain management has become a concern for the company, as it oversees thousands of drug shipments. The new program will assist Pfizer in ensuring that its supply chain operates in an efficient manner.
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