The regulated world of the pharmaceutical supply chain can be complex and challenging. There are risks around products that are impacted by variation in temperature, humidity, slow deliveries and other deviations from ideal transport and logistic practices. This is particularly true if their systems and supply chain operations are not monitored and managed timeously.

As such, the yard has long been the underused and undervalued link in the supply chain process, often congested and rarely appreciated. However, for many logistic operators, the yard is where trucks come to unexpected halts due to congestion, dwell times reach unmanageable proportions and a lack of visibility creates costly delays.

Rectifying poorly managed operations

There has long been a desperate need to transform yard visibility and create seamless flow, thereby optimising assets, reducing dwell times and gaining insights through meaningful data and analytics.

Primary issues that impact significantly on the yard performance of pharmaceutical companies include delayed deliveries and poor management of both inbound and outbound schedules. This is further compounded by manual yard processes and inefficient and time-consuming administration practices which cause increased errors and delayed paperwork.

Poorly managed operations with no accurate real-time information create unforeseen truck delays and unnecessary detention. But worst of all, the lack of visibility into truck arrivals impacts on the execution process and is often made worse when gate administration is managed manually or there are disparate gate control and access systems. The overall result is a yard with no predictability or control.

Incorporating innovative technology

Many of the challenges that have traditionally impacted on yard inefficiencies can be overcome by innovative technology platforms and digital applications.

“Pharma supply chains are complex and reach a customer base rivalled by few. The increased access to copious amounts of data and the rise of data-driven technologies, including artificial intelligence, IoT, and cognitive computing, that ultimately thrive are those at the forefront of digital transformation, capitalising on these new technologies” says David Slotow, CEO Trackmatic.

Disruptive technology and transcendent UI is paving a new path and shifting the future of logistics. Analytics is playing an increasingly important role in shaping the future of the pharma industry. It is becoming critical to anticipate future scenarios and make better recommendations in areas such as supply chain planning, sourcing and transportation.

“Organisations need to become more proactive and action-driven in the way in which they manage their supply chains, both in taking advantage of future opportunities and avoiding potential future disruptions. They will need to enhance their risk mitigation by analysing their performance data, continuously identifying evolving patterns, assessing bottlenecks and identifying improvement initiatives,” adds Slotow.