NTT DATA Business Solutions
Ruud Nieuweboer | July 16, 2018

Re-imagine your Supply Chain Traceability


From the outside, Pharma is well known for cutting-edge research. But looking at it from the inside, the industry is quite conservative and introducing technology in strict regulated environments can be challenging. But, things are changing. Proven technology slowly finds its way to the core processes of the industry. A clear example is traceability.

Regulation demands innovation

More and more companies are operating on a global scale. This dramatically complicates logistical processes and makes it close to impossible to keep track of the entire supply chain without any digital platform.

As often within the industry, regulation becomes the catalyst for change. Upcoming serialization regulations are forcing a new way of working across the entire industry. Being part of multiple Serialization projects, I still see lots of challenges, as well as opportunities, that weren’t obvious up front.

Printing the serialized items and getting it right is one thing. Collaboration with your partners is another. Especially the collaboration and communication require a new way of working and are the perfect playing ground for innovative working methods.

It demands a different approach from the industry. In order to keep up, it is crucial to look into the benefits of an automated, digitized and – most importantly – transparent supply chain. Therefore, collaboration – and transparent collaboration with that – becomes really important and beneficial for both parties.

Create room for innovation

The biggest gain? The most obvious one is, getting fast insights and data from your supply chain. Not only will this ease compliance with regulation, it will also increase the understanding of and more control over your supply chain.

Another one, even more important, is that you will have all your important Supply Chain Data in a single platform.

Having such a platform in place, you can start working according to Gartner’s bimodal IT model. In it, Gartner describes the system of records as Mode 1, next to an experimental, agile, and exploratory Mode 2 development platform. While Mode 1 ensures that all crucial functionalities of your business continuously evolve, Mode 2 allows for rapid innovations. And that’s how you can experiment with new technologies, such as blockchain, that can pave the way for secure and safe data exchanges in the industry.

Embrace innovation

The term Digital Transformation has become a behemoth from my point of view. But if you dumb it down, you can quite easily start innovating, it comes down to choosing the right case, creating an enthusiastic team, setting the boundaries and just start!

Even if the strict serialization regulations are the initial reason you are looking into the possibilities of traceability, you can open your mind to the many benefits of an automated and transparent supply chain. In an industry that is notoriously slow to embrace change, it can give you an amazing advantage.

Want to know more? Download our Serialization factsheet.

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