With 2015 looming, many pharmaceutical companies are well down the path of serialization.
Most of these companies are designing and executing serialization pilot projects to prove out their architecture and strategy. I see many of these pilot programs working through the technical aspects of encoding serial numbers and storing them for reporting, conquering these challenges quite nicely. However, I’m continually observing companies focusing on the technical aspects of serialization and carrying out these pilots in controlled environments that do not represent real world scenarios.
As these pilot teams begin to move a line to production, they are confronted with the realities of managing serialized product inventory from manufacturing through distribution and shipping. And unfortunately, their pilot projects haven’t equipped them to tackle these real-world challenges.
Recently, I worked with a pharmaceutical company to help them develop a holistic approach to piloting their serialization initiative.
I would encourage all companies piloting serialization to consider the following areas of impact to best position yourself for serialization in the real world:
- The impact of the new business processes on the warehouse personnel.
- Managing a mixed warehouse with serialized and non-serialized products.
- The time and effort required to integrate with trading partners and their systems.
- Use of third party bolt on solutions versus developing in-house solutions
- Need for Global Governance to manage data and processes.