When it comes to healthcare, one of the greatest hopes people have for themselves and their loved ones is an emergency intervention, treatment, medical device, or cure that can improve and potentially save their lives. But these advancements do not happen in the lab alone. It also takes a supply chain that contributes to the ingenuity and innovation required to conquer today’s health issues and provides those breakthroughs in perfect and compliant condition.
For life sciences companies, delivering on that promise requires an agile strategy that combines ruthless efficiency with connected, data-driven processes that are faster and more compliant than their competitors’. Big data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence – these technologies can play a distinct role in establishing a resilient yet flexible supply chain foundation that helps to ensure every person receives quality healthcare anywhere.
Unfortunately, supply chain complexity could be holding the industry back. Businesses may manage tens of millions of SKUs and rely on thousands of suppliers to build, manufacture, and distribute just one product. Yet, their entire ecosystem is often an antiquated one of phone-based orders, massive paper catalogs, and little to no e-commerce presence.
Discovering Opportunities for Change with Digital Supply Chain Solutions
The foundation of the life sciences industry is finding solutions to address health uncertainties. Just imagine the possibilities if companies harnessed that same mindset to their life sciences supply chains. They could improve product availability, lower costs, and free up working capital while unlocking the mysteries behind demand uncertainty.
These opportunities require much more than a projection of future demand. Instead, they need mechanisms that generate real-time insight based on a complex mix of factors such as business units, demographics, regions, multi-year time spans, and multiple units and aggregations.
Such a highly complex planning environment calls for advanced demand planning capabilities. Planners must understand the unique requirements that customers demand, apply best practices learned from other industries, and seek educational opportunities in statistics, new procedures, and advanced technology. And above all, they must balance stringent regulatory requirements, product lines with a short shelf life, and fast-paced innovation rates.
These challenges require life sciences supply chains to optimize inventory of all types – raw, work-in-progress, and finished. They must know how much of each is available and where it is stored to help providers give high-quality patient care.
Multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) can help fulfill that need for insight and visibility by modeling the entire supply chain with a holistic view of all types of inventory and locations. This approach allows planners to set product- and location-specific parameters to drive higher service levels while maintaining or lowering costs.
By pursuing MEIO to optimize planning, life science supply chain organizations can take sales and operations planning (S&OP) a step further. They can integrate volumetric and financial information into a flexible planning and decision support process for strategic and tactical planning, called integrated business planning (IBP). In return, the entire business can work as one network – aligned and synchronized to meet the same corporate objectives with a focus on harmonizing demand and supply.
Breaking Through Complexity to Produce Desired Outcomes
Every industry faces complexity and unique challenges. But for life sciences companies, overcoming them can become a critical breakthrough in how people access critical advancements on a global scale, including vaccines and a wealth of other drugs, treatments, medical devices, and over-the-counter cures.
At Logility, we believe advanced supply chain technologies built around big data, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence will help life sciences companies accelerate that new reality for all patients on a global scale.