Is your Supply Chain Making the most of its Data?

Regardless of industry, an increased demand for services always plants a strain on any supply chain; supplier onboarding, new markets to establish, products to be made, opening new facilities, the list goes on!

In life sciences, what we have seen since the pandemic began has been unprecedented. With a very steep increase in demand for research, development and manufacturing services, many contracted organisations have rapidly expanded their operations, as well as being forced to find alternative solutions for materials supply, not to mention other services. Additionally, issues surrounding logistics/distribution were rife, after many countries shut their borders.

Looking at vaccinations specifically, we witnessed an incredible landmark; an influenza vaccine going from inception to commercialisation within 12 months. To put that into context, an influenza vaccination usually takes 5-10 years to be commercialised – the need to make the product available to the public as soon as possible was the primary driving force behind this, but it also meant the demand for key information to be processed faster and regulatory scrutiny into data integrity was at an all-time high.

With several vaccinations now readily available, not to mention some of the fantastic work that is happening in other cell & gene therapies, this increased demand is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. I personally have been supporting several organisations planning for the long-term in several ways, but a common activity has been to execute improvements to data quality throughout their supply chain. Some have involved improving what is already an established data structure, others to implement a solution from greenfield.

Good quality data for planning, materials, inventory, logistics and distribution not only ensures that you are setup effectively to deliver your output but also have a significant financial impact, saving research/manufacturing functions millions in costs year-on-year.

One individual that has been at the forefront of these initiatives is Rachael Lear. Rachael has worked for global businesses such as Siemens, Smith & Nephew, Coca Cola Enterprises, Unilever and most recently the UK government, holding a real passion for data-driven supply chain practices.

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