Regardless of the industry in which we find ourselves, it's important to have a competitive edge over other companies in the same field. On a larger scale, for separate sectors of commerce that can range anywhere from avocados to zebra-print textiles, having a unified supply chain in place is not only better for business, but forces the rest of the players in the game to rethink their methods.
One supply chain in particular is especially dexterous in maneuvering through the sometimes perilous waters of supply and demand: that of the pharmaceutical supply chain industry. Ads for pharmaceuticals are everywhere in the United States - on our televisions, in our magazines, on the sides of buses, on benches - promoting the various pills and potions that nearly 7 in 10 Americans take, according to the Mayo Clinic. And if you thought that the sector's advertising was effective, the supply chain to deliver medication to the nearly 70 percent of Americans is even more so.
Even though the pharmaceutical industry is a competitive player in the business, there are still some issues that need to be worked out in order for its supply chain to be as effective as possible.
What determines the best performers in the supply chain can sometimes seem arbitrary. As long as consumers get their goods in a timely manner, the materials were sourced in an effective fashion and there are as few extraneous costs as possible, then the supply chain has done its job well. However, Supply Chain Quarterly does its best to measure what makes a certain supply chain excellent or not.
Based on the metrics of its operating margin, inventory turns and the like, Supply Chain Quarterly was able to discern which pharma company's supply chain was the most effective over the period of years between 2006 to 2013 and 2009 to 2013. Despite the fact that there have been many mergers, acquisitions and new regulations that can be difficult to keep progress up, the numbers show positive growth of the supply chain even if they're slowing down a bit.
Paring down procedures
The pharmaceutical supply chain is a truly complex enigma. Researchers and doctors are always looking for the newest miracle pill that will change health care altogether. Unfortunately, this means that there is a lot more time and energy spent on procuring supplies and testing out new formulas than there is on delivery to the customer.
Supply Management suggested that pharma companies should focus more on the consuming customer rather than the self-sufficient scientists, as the customer is the end result, not the person who made the medication.
What can be difficult about this, the source indicated, is that the supply chains can feel convoluted when they involved so many small processes. That's not to say that there should be fewer regulations or more shortcuts to get the products into the bloodstreams of people across the nation, but taking out extraneous steps and reorganizing the focus may get the pharmaceutical supply chain up to where it could be.
While there are quite a few people around the world who maybe take too many medications, it is important that this supply chain is as effective as possible to ensure the delivery of life-saving medicines. Over the course of the next few years, we can expect to see a more trimmed-down supply chain and satisfied customers, without the supply chain losing the edge that pharmaceutical companies need to stay on top of their game.