As if serialization efforts aren’t complicated enough working within our own manufacturing organizations, syncing our efforts with our trading partners can feel like an overwhelming task. And, this is especially true due to many contract manufacturers, packagers and 3PLs taking a wait-and-see approach with regards to legislation moving through Congress. Many CMO’s and 3PLs are at various stages of maturity – some may have started a serialization initiative while others have no plans to do so until they are pressed. Your trading partners’ collaboration is critical for you to design, test and implement a total serialization and traceability solution. Consider the following as you engage with your trading partners:
- Complete a Serialization Maturity Assessment for each of your trading partners.
- Conduct joint planning sessions early in the project to document requirements and set expectations with regards to your development timeline.
- Start now. Your timelines will only be dates on a page unless you have coordinated with your partners.
Hopefully most of our trading partners are customer-centric and are considered true business partners. With that in mind, we should expect that they are not going to move ahead with serialization until we make it a priority for the partnership. We also need to be mindful that they most likely have multiple customer demands when it comes to serialization. We need to approach these conversations from that perspective, again realizing that our success is contingent upon their support.