PHARMACEUTICAL

Making Pharmaceutical Supply Chains More Resilient

Making Pharmaceutical Supply Chains More Resilient

Making Pharmaceutical Supply Chains More Resilient 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

Building a resilient supply chain framework for pharmaceutical companies requires:

  • Understanding where the company is now.
  • Creating new business relationships with alternate raw materials suppliers, transportation providers, and other essential third-party businesses.
  • Weighing the benefits of a robust and versatile pharmaceutical value chain versus the impact on working capital.

Introduction

Pandemics, natural disasters, cyber-attacks, political turmoil, and other actions are beyond a company’s control. Any one or combination of them can thoroughly disrupt a smoothly running supply chain.

Critical supply chain areas getting battered by these disruptions include reduced or non-existent access to:

  • Essential precursor chemicals and components
  • Production facilities
  • Vital workers and managers
  • Transportation resources to bring in raw materials and ship out finished products

The unquestionable first requirement to improving supply chain resiliency is having access to accurate data and knowing what to do with the data-driven insights. Data sources such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) provide real-time information, and applications such as Microsoft Dynamics Supply Chain Management helps users evaluate existing information.

Precursor Chemical Supplies

A 2020 report from Avalere states that U.S. biotech firms making medicines here get their active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from U.S. suppliers – import them or import finished products. These precursor chemicals accounted for $86.5 billion in the U.S. alone during 2019.

One issue U.S. companies are facing is the location of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturers. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the top four places are:

  1. 1.U.S. – 28% (510 facilities for FDA regulated drugs)
  2. 2.European Union – 26%
  3. 3.India – 18%
  4. 4.China – 13% (230 facilities for FDA regulated drugs)

Figure:Percentage of API Sources in U.S. Dollars

Percentage of API Sources in U.S. Dollars

Figure:API manufacturing facility locations

API manufacturing facility locations

Canada and the rest of the world produce the remaining 20 percent of APIs used in medicines. Also, the FDA report states India, the EU, and the rest of the world have 1048 facilities making FDA-regulated drugs.

Adding to the importance of having resilience in the pharmaceutical supply chain are potential supply chain disruptions caused by using overseas suppliers. These include recalls, such as two from China cited by the FDA within the last six years.

One way to counter a dependency on foreign API supplies is by using advanced technology to produce chemicals and medicines at lower costs, the FDA suggests. Using the continuous manufacturing (CM) process to make finished products instead of producing batches with gaps between steps can be more effective.

Another method of reducing reliance on foreign API suppliers is using advanced technology. Newer methods producing APIs and finished dosage forms (FDF) helps in supply chain management in the pharmaceutical industry. The ability to rapidly respond to changes in demand, using smaller physical footprints that require smaller facilities, helps reduce pharmaceutical manufacturing costs potentially, offsetting overseas production advantages. High tech production methods, such as those in smart factories, also tend to have lower environmental impacts.

Pharmaceutical companies considering boosting their pharmaceutical value chain using this method can get help from the FDA. The FDA has an Emerging Technology Program (ETP) described in “Advancement of Emerging Technology Applications for Pharmaceutical Innovation and Modernization Guidance for Industry.”

The FDA is also working on a framework to develop miniature mobile manufacturing “Pharmacy on Demand” platforms to produce essential drugs at or near the point of care. This method, while requiring capital costs, provides the means of eliminating delivery costs.

Risk Sources

Before making changes to the current supply chain, CFOs should look at four primary sources of risk:

  • Sourcing of APIs and other raw materials risks. Counter risks by locating secondary suppliers and establishing working relationships with them.
  • Staffing and transportation risks. Consider having access to remote workers plus multiple methods of delivering finished products to customers.
  • Inventory risks. Contrast cash flow needs with inventories to be able to withstand short-term disruptions while also accounting for perishability.
  • Distribution risks. Be able to use multiple methods to deliver finished products to customers. Consider outsourcing part of the distribution to withstand problems in that area.

Strategic Questions

Before investing in building a resilient supply chain, CFOs would want to know:

  • How can we obtain the most accurate data on what we currently have? Is investment in IIoT sensors and other technology warranted?
  • What are our priorities based on what we have learned from the current pandemic? Is digitizing our data stream the top priority, or is securing a second or third API source more critical?
  • How do we balance internal conflicts? What will we do if a secondary API source that can deliver in the event of a natural disaster is more expensive than our primary source that cannot provide when we need the raw materials?
  • How do our risks integrate with risks from our third-party partners? How will a disaster impact their ability to supply critical products or services we need?
  • What do we consider a resilient supply chain? How much impact on near-term profitability is acceptable if we ensure that we can continue operations in the event of a significant supply chain disruption?

By the Numbers

$16 trillion (i.e., $16,000,000,000,000): Estimated total cost of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. alone.

$85 billion (i.e., $85,000,000,000) lost by the Nasdaq Biotech Index in the week ending March 6, 2021, its third weekly loss in a row.

$242 million (i.e., $242,000,000) lost by the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) in the week ending March 6, 2021, bringing the total loss to date to $1.68 billion

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health

 

Strategies for Greater Supply Chain Resilience

Figure: 1A roadmap to digital transformation to a resilient supply chain

A roadmap to digital transformation to a resilient supply chain

According to a recent Deloitte article, CFOs can reduce their chain disruptions and improve their supply chain resilience by using these strategies:

  1. 1. Identifying and mitigating their most significant supply chain weaknesses. Questions to consider include: Where are your API manufacturers located? Are there alternative sources able to deliver the required quantities when needed? Are the raw material sources within an acceptable range of the production plants? Identifying these alternative suppliers helps ensure a more continuous input of raw materials.
  2. 2. Prioritizing investments in the supply chain infrastructure to ensure significant delays do not occur when disaster strikes. Technological improvements supporting product storage and movement (e.g., Microsoft Dynamics Supply Chain Management) can make processes more transparent and improve efficiency in financial transactions and information exchanges.
  3. 3. Balancing the supply chain investments with competing company requirements, such as costs and services. Deloitte cites, “managing working capital while restarting operations and rebuilding inventory as one major challenge of a supply chain disruption.”
  4. 4. Creating a playbook to handle the causes of supply chain disruptions.
  5. 5. Implementing the updates from the standpoint of cost, speed, and efficient operation. The Deloitte report states that supply chain leaders should work with CFOs to determine the effects of supply chain changes on their working capital.

Before Making Any Decisions

Before making changes to their current supply chain, CFOs, chief technology officers, and other executives should consider:

  • Evaluating where the current pharmaceutical supply chain stands.
  • Creating a plan or series of methods for sourcing alternate raw materials, workers, and production facilities should any natural or human-made disasters strike.
  • Analyzing the cost versus benefits of making the current pharmaceutical value chain more robust and resilient.

Looking for a digital transformation to build a more resilient pharmaceutical supply chain? For a free consultation

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Top 8 Challenges of Pharmaceutical Supply Chain in 2021

Top 8 Challenges of Pharmaceutical Supply Chain in 2021

Top 8 Challenges of Pharmaceutical Supply Chain in 2021 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The Covid-19 pandemic not only came as a health threat, but it also disrupted the world’s socio-economic thread. Industries like pharmaceutical and biotechnology were at the forefront attempting to find solutions.
  • Pharmaceutical industry supply chain challenges that concerned top executives include shortage of raw materials, unprecedented changes in demand pattern, inability to plan lead-times and shortage of labor.
  • The pharmaceutical industry’s supply chain efficiency still has room for improvement and may need some transformative changes to thrive in the new normal.

Pharmaceutical supply chain challenges have been a major cause of concern for the industry throughout 2020. The challenges are still very much prevalent, even as the world moves ahead in the era of the new normal. This pandemic caused a major global socio-economic impact and led to disruption in almost all facets of the industry. Modern companies equipped with the right tools and technologies have been quick to adjust to the changes. Organizations that still functioned on archaic systems were struggling to adapt to the business processes changes brought about by the pandemic. Slow to adapt companies had to put in more effort to understand the needed changes and adapting to the changes without the right technologies in place was daunting.

Figure: 1Major Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Disruptors

Cotributors of  Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Challenges

Added to that was the inability of companies to quickly onboard onto newer applications and get into the rhythm of modern cloud-based solutions. Some of the major issues that surfaced during the pandemic are:

  1. a.The demand for therapeutics and/ or vaccines led to an overdrive of pressure on the industry.
  2. b.The lack of resources and slow global travel have increased pharmaceutical supply chain disruptions.
  3. c.Changes in quality standards have added new tasks to the workforce that were not part of their day-in-the-life and had to adapt to rapidly.
  4. d.Changes in quality testing created adjustments in the test specification and additional steps in testing.
  5. e.Disintegrated systems made it harder for the workforce to stay agile and adjust to the changes that came their way.
  6. f.Inability to manage supply-demand cycles.

70%

of the leaders said that the pharmaceutical supply chain was vulnerable to ongoing problems caused by the continuation of the pandemic and that on-time, in-full delivery of medicines had deteriorated by almost 50 percent within the first few months of the pandemic.

Source: IDC Whitepaper Report

While modern manufacturing companies did rise to the challenges and leveraged solutions such as cloud applications, automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Big Data to their advantages, many risk-averse pharmaceutical companies are still prone to supply chain challenges due to the lack of right tools in place to make them nimble. Let us look at the top 8 concerns of the pharmaceutical industry supply chain that still are pressing concerns:

1.Unprepared for further disruptions: Different countries worldwide are struggling with second or third waves of the pandemic (and many have reported new mutant strains of the virus). These continuous disruptions have led to major disturbance in the pharmaceutical distribution system.

2.Technological bottlenecks are prevalent: The pharmaceutical industry has been highly apprehensive and traditional in adopting newer technologies. While the last decade has seen major leaps, there are still many bottlenecks in leveraging technologies to their full potential.

3.Shortage of raw material: The inability to plan effectively during the pandemic can cause many hurdles if procuring raw materials. Knowing lead times and accurate inventory quantities without a planning tool can slow you down significantly as you try to extrapolate data and understand your supply schedule.

4.Standard operating procedures and processes: As workforce within the pharmaceutical industry needs to be onsite, proper SOPs need to be set. This would add new processes that warehouse personnel need to be trained on. A lack of the right kind of training tools can add to the burden.

5.Managing cold storage facilities is resource-intensive: Some of the products have to be stored at very low temperatures to ensure that the potency and formulation remain intact. This would need pharmaceutical supply chains equipped with refillable dry ice containers or specialized freezers, both of which are not budget-friendly options.

6.Pharmaceutical safety guidelines and regulations differ across Borders: The pharmaceutical industry has to be very tenacious and alert when adhering to the safety guidelines and regulations. However, pharmaceutical supply chain challenges get magnified as the raw materials and drugs cross borders and these regulations keep on changing.

7.Rapid drug delivery: The historical task of bringing medicines to market is a race against time. Pharmaceutical operations and supply chain management handling need to be as efficient as they come to ensure lesser bottlenecks and plausible errors in these testing times.

8.Lack of integration across processes: When your inventory, manufacturing, labeling operations don’t talk to each other and are manually managed, the error rate will go up and business productivity will go down.

The year 2021 will probably push the pharmaceutical supply chain to its maximum limit yet. However, with the right strategy, technologies, and solutions, the pharmaceutical sector can rise up in these challenging times.

Key Takeaways

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution companies are facing a once-in-a-lifetime level of challenge and they need to streamline their operations to ensure the efficiency of supply chains.
  • The pharmaceutical supply chain challenges have been a part of this sector for a long time and companies that are not properly equipped will tend to struggle more than others. This is the right time to transform to be equipped with the right technologies for a better tomorrow.

Take a free assessment to get recommendations in transforming your pharmaceutical supply chain.

Book Now

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Reducing the Risk of Pharmaceutical Non-Compliance with Technology

How Technology Can Reduce the Risk of Pharmaceutical Non-compliance

How Technology Can Reduce the Risk of Pharmaceutical Non-compliance 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are investing more money and resources to assure adherence to regulatory compliance.
  • Non-compliances need to be managed and tracked through their lifecycle, and using a digital platform eases the end-to-end process and follows it to completion.
  • The first step towards regulatory adherence is to thoroughly understand the compliance requirements and form a dedicated process to comply.

Many pharmaceutical companies have restructured their financial and resource allocation models to invest more in adhering to compliance. Compliance requirements around the globe have grown in past decades. Each country has differences in safety standards, and global companies have to ensure they meet local requirements. Companies need better management and tracking of non-compliance. This article discusses the ways to reduce risks of non-compliance in the pharmaceutical industry. Manufacturers and distributors have dealt with compliance issues in the pharmaceutical industry. Companies have to conform to multiple complex and varying regulatory norms and safety standards. All the stages involve detailed compliance requirements, from procuring raw material to producing finished goods and quality testing of the final product. These complexities have further multiplied in recent years because of:

  • Addition of several more regulations globally in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector.
  • Differences in the rules and regulations related to pharmaceutical compliance across different geographical regions.
  • Absence of a viable infrastructure to manage and track non-compliance.
  • Unclear SOPs and redundant record maintenance practices often lead to pharmaceutical manufacturing non-compliance.

Apart from these, non-compliance can result from other various smaller factors like faulty equipment, maintenance issues, faulty formula controls/ lab controls, etc. All contribute to quality compliance in the pharmaceutical industry. This is the reason that pharmaceutical and life sciences companies spend a fortune to avoid non-compliance. The costs of non-conformity are very high and thus, companies want to make sure that they adhere to the rules and regulations.

40%

of the pharmaceutical IT budget is spent on regulatory compliance.

Source: Gartner

Figure: 1 Major Factors Affecting Compliance in Pharma

 Major Factors Affecting Compliance in Pharma

So how can pharma companies leverage technology to mitigate the consequences of non-compliance? Here are some ways that experts believe newer tools and innovations can help in better pharmaceutical compliance management:

1.Making use of the right tools: Documentation and record maintenance are a big part of the pharmaceutical industry’s compliance processes. Conventionally these documents have been manually maintained, which can lead to both errors and oversights. However, newer pharmaceutical software platforms come with the ability to gather and store data efficiently. It is essential to track user behavior and user audits to ensure compliance. A compliance management system with audit tracking and reporting tools can avoid non-compliance and improve overall product quality.

2.Leveraging integrated labeling: Pharmaceutical companies struggle to manage compliance as they enter newer territories and markets. There are different labeling practices and regulations which are challenging to manage. The labeling practices keep going through changes and updates even in familiar territories, making it essential for pharmaceutical companies to stay on top of these changes. To tackle labeling issues, companies can leverage the automated labeling platforms wherein the data can be auto defaulted from the different processes such as receiving, production and shipments. Inbuilt label printing within business process workflows avoids user errors and enforces process compliance. With integrated labeling within the ERP, users are equipped to manage changes and make the labeling process run smoothly.

3.Standardizing processes across the organization with a common technology platform: Major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors are tying up with technologists to deploy a common technology platform and implement it across their locations. Companies that invest in business process uniformity will witness business improvement and growth. Quality issues often arise due to non-compliance of processes, undefined procedures, changing equipment and labels, etc. Many companies find that quality is impaired when processes vary from location to location. With the latest technology platforms, organizations can centrally assure that standardized practices are being followed across all locations.

4.Effective strategies to managing data: Non-compliance in the pharmaceutical industry is often a result of a poorly managed information loop. Systems supporting pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution generate enormous data. When data is managed systematically, the right information is made available to appropriate users. The right system can notify regulatory changes, changes in formulations, or process variations. Every data point serves as a crucial piece of information that can guide users to be more proactive in conforming to business processes. Data management and analytics platforms are equipped to enable pharmaceutical companies to report anomalies as they occur. Dynamic reporting cumulatively helps in better quality compliance.

The Covid-19 pandemic has added impetus on pharmaceutical companies to adhere to regulations while working on therapeutics and vaccines at an unprecedented speed. Companies that leveraged the latest machine learning, analytics, and other IoT tools/ platforms, perform better.

Pharmaceutical companies are always looking for newer methods to balance quality compliance and productivity.

Johnson & Johnson, for instance, has a comprehensive quality management framework in place for continued focus on compliance and quality, amongst other essential parameters. The latest technologies and innovations back this framework.

All in all, reducing the risks pertaining to compliance issues in the pharmaceutical industry requires a well-planned and executed technological strategy. With the latest innovative platforms, companies can ensure adherence to quality compliance regulations in the industry.

Key Takeaways

  • ERP, automation, data analytics, and machine learning are imperative in enabling pharma companies to mitigate the risks of non-compliance.
  • To reduce the consequences of non-compliance, pharmaceutical companies need to strategize their technological moves.

Book a free consultation to get started with our pharmaceutical compliance solutions.

Register Now

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

ERP in developing the operational efficiencies in Pharma

Impact of ERP Software in Boosting Operational Efficiencies for Pharma

Impact of ERP Software in Boosting Operational Efficiencies for Pharma 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Increased efficiency is an ongoing goal for any organization looking to stay ahead in today’s market, especially those in the Pharmaceutical industry. There’s often a lot of focus placed on things like increasing productivity, lowering operating costs, enhancing operational efficiency and improving product-based profitability, to name a few.

On top of that, pharmaceutical organizations need to devote a considerable amount of time towards operational planning, drug commercialization, go-to-market strategy and more.

While today’s best-in-class companies conduct these operations using automated tools, smaller pharma and biotech companies end up handling these operations with manual processes.Especially for these companies, a modern Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) system that can handle end-to-end business processes and be used to collect, track, manage, and distribute critical information across all departments is invaluable.

A few high-level benefits of a modern ERP System include the ability to

  • Standardize business processes and enable automation across different departments.
  • Monitor business processes across departments to accelerate operations.
  • Allow visibility and transparency by data sharing.
  • Establish strong collaboration across multiple departments.
  • Provide a multitude of flexibility and customization options to meet specific business requirements.

Modern ERP systems

Today’s ERP systems have evolved into powerful, agile platforms designed to integrate core and incremental business functions into one unified system. These modern ERP applications automate the flow of real-time information across departments, allowing easier collaboration and actionable insights to help drive important business decisions.

Based on experience, here are some of the differences seen in higher-end ERPs.

ERP SYSTEM ORACLE SAP MICROSOFT
ATTRIBUTE      
COLLABORATION MEDIUM MEDIUM HIGH
LOW CODE INTEGRATION MEDIUM MEDIUM HIGH
USER ADOPTION MEDIUM LOW HIGH
UPGRADE COSTS HIGH HIGH LOW-MEDIUM
CHANGE MANAGEMENT MEDIUM MEDIUM MEDIUM
ENHANCEMENT COSTS MEDIUM HIGH MEDIUM
EASE OF INTEGRATION LOW LOW MEDIUM
SCALABILITY TO BUSINESS GROWTH HIGH HIGH HIGH

Different Types of ERP Deployment

01. Cloud

A cloud-based solution delivered over the internet using Software as a Service (SaaS).

Benefits

  • No upfront cost for hardware and software
  • Remote access to critical business applications
  • The cloud vendor manages costs related to updating and upgrading.
  • Datacenter takes care of IT support services.
  • The company server is secured against the threat as the data is stored in the cloud.
  • Cloud services are scalable and can be consumed as per the requirement of the business.

02. On-Premise

The ERP system is installed locally in the client environment, and data is stored on internal servers.

Benefits

  • More customization options are available and with greater ability.
  • The organization holds control over the implementation process.
  • Data security control remains in the hands of the organization.

03. Hybrid

Splitting ERP functions between on-premise systems and the cloud server to receive the best outputs.

Benefits

  • Increased flexibility allows loose coupling among modules.
  • An intermediate cost between cloud and on-premise solutions.
  • Lesser training expenditure involved compared to cloud ERP.

93%

percent of organizations apply cloud-based software or system architecture. Also, the application of hybrid cloud systems has escalated from 19% to 57% in 2017, a three times rise in a year.

Source: Mcafee

The role of ERP in the Pharmaceutical industry

At present, the pharmaceutical industry faces numerous business challenges including

  • Major healthcare reforms
  • Rigorous regulatory requirements
  • Incalculable market trends
  • A discerning and demanding customer base
  • Increasing global competition
  • Lower drug prices demanded by consumers

The growing consumer demand for superior-quality healthcare products at compelling costs and the competitive market makes it essential for pharmaceutical companies to streamline operations, reduce cost, and maximize efficiency.

From planning and purchasing to things like inventory, supply chain management, sales, marketing, and human resources, a modern ERP technology solution can enhance operational transparency with better collaboration across all departments.

Why do companies choose ERP?

When current systems become the reason for slowed business growth most companies start looking for other options. Some companies just want to positively change the way they function and switching to an agile ERP system can help trigger a major change.

Some additional reasons a company may choose to implement an ERP solution include

  • Improving business performance
  • Making employee jobs easier
  • Satisfying regulatory compliance
  • Improving system integration

Reasons for Budget Overrun

One of the big detractors of new ERP implementations is budget, as it can be easy to underestimate the complexity involved. There are numerous reasons for a budget overrun during an ERP implementation, including

23%of budget overruns take place due to unexpected technical issues.

22% for the additional technical necessity

20%for increased scope

17% for underrated project staffing

The benefit of ERP for Pharma companies

In an industry that is so highly regulated, implementing an ERP can help streamline your organization’s ability to operate efficiently. Below are a few major benefits that pharma companies can gain from a modern ERP

  • Streamline production floor processes leading to a higher production rate
  • Manage sales & purchases in a few simple steps
  • Closely monitor and control inventory, including raw materials
  • Minimize operational work by sending real-time data alerts across departments
  • Increase operational performance accuracy
  • Ability to perform WIP and yield quality testing for an item or group of items
  • Save time and operational expense
  • Limit material wastage with pre-expiry alerts
  • Help maintain and manage compliance
  • Track the distribution of manufactured goods
  • Enhanced customer support
  • Maintain records of all business transactions through extensive reporting
  • Allow remote access to data to help make better business decisions 24/7
  • Handle all payments including customers and vendors

Challenges implementing an ERP in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Despite widespread ERP usage, there are still companies that face difficulty moving to a modern solution. Can the same ERP implementation strategy and formula work for every business? Unfortunately not, as each organization follows a distinct process, and has unique needs and expectations.

Here are a few challenges that companies usually encounter:

  • Selecting the ERP software that best meets their companies requirements
  • Attempting to complete the implementation in one step leading to numerous unforeseen problems
  • Crossing the budget limit because of project schedule overruns due to poor planning
  • Encountering compatibility issues with different ERP modules

Don’t forget

Finally, here are some things to consider when you begin the task of finding the right solution

  1. 1.Conduct in-depth research before selecting any ERP software. It’s wise not to make a decision based on a high-level feature list alone. Rather, go by detailed research that includes an understanding of the entire project.
  2. 2.Analyze your specific business requirements. Before choosing any ERP application, define a clear vision of what you plan to achieve from the ERP Solution.
  3. 3.Work with a partner that provides a free assessment. This process gives you the ability to break down the project into easy to manage pieces.
  4. 4.Evaluate the Return on Investment (ROI). The initial investment cost in an ERP solution may seem high, but the long-term benefits more than outweigh the initial cost. Understand from what specific solutions you need, and you can more accurately determine cost.
  5. 5.Ensure appropriate personnel training. Your team needs to hold a clear overview of how to use the ERP application. Initiating a mandatory training program for all users should help solve any such issues that may arise.

Key Takeaways

The right ERP solution, along with proper planning can improve your business processes and catapult your business to the top of it’s game.

Organize your operations today, to lead your company to success tomorrow.

Amplify the power of digital at your company. Get a free consultation today.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Rethinking Pharmaceutical Strategies in the New Normal

Rethinking Pharmaceutical Strategies in the New Normal 1200 675 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The year 2020 showed the world that every sector has to be prepared for disruptions of unprecedented scales. This has been especially true for the pharma industry, which already had stagnant operational models and a lack of consumer connection.
  • Working on a new pharmaceutical strategy model is a necessity and top executives at pharma companies concur that there is a need for integration of the latest technologies in pharmaceutical and life sciences operations.
  • Industry leaders have demonstrated that during difficult times they are able to quickly respond to changes and are nimble in adopting newer ways of running operations. This quick-to-adopt way of leading will enable pharmaceutical companies to succeed in the new normal.
  • Agile technologies and tools that streamline processes will be indispensable in the latest roadmap of pharmaceutical strategy.

The pharmaceutical sector has been traditionally apprehensive towards adopting newer technologies and methodologies. Compared to other industries, operations management within the pharmaceutical industry has not been quickly modified or completely transformed. C-suite executives are now looking to overhaul their pharmaceutical strategies ensuring growth in the new normal.

During the pandemic pharma supply chains were adversely impacted and witnessed supply-demand discrepancies. Companies that could quickly adapt rose to the challenge. The spirits have changed since the onset of the pandemic and so has the market. Thanks to visionary leaders, pharmaceutical companies began work on something that the world had never witnessed before – to develop and test drugs/ vaccines for a novel pathogen in mere months’ time since the gene identification.

70%

of leading pharmaceutical executives (respondents of the survey) were optimistic that the industry will continue to grow over the next 12 months.

Source: GlobalData Survey

This optimism calls for a strategy that enables companies to –

  • get their supply chains back on track
  • optimize operations
  • effectively handle the shortage of workforce
  • leverage the latest technologies for accelerated production and overall better
  • create more personalized patient connections.

However, the path ahead is not without its set of challenges. After all, the pharmaceutical sector has been conventional in its outlook when it comes to newer technology adoption. There are also challenges related to budget, upskilling of employees, technological glitches and more. Companies need to gauge the path ahead and handle the challenges faced by pharmaceutical industry in 2020 and beyond.

Steps towards Transforming Pharmaceutical Strategies

1.Recognize Best Practices and Retain Them:The path to recovery is a tough one as it involves undergoing quite a metamorphosis. However, this does not entail letting go of all the practices. Pharma executives would need to analyze their operations and chalk down the practices, tools and technologies that have worked the best for them and also have the potential of harnessing benefits in the future. Continuing these practices will make restructuring in other facets of pharma operations a relatively smoother task.

2.Restructuring Assets for Process Streamlining: Be it the shop floor operations or inventory management or handling the entire supply chain– a new pharmaceutical strategy would be truly beneficial when pharma companies reassess and restructure their assets. This would fortify individual practices resulting in overall process optimization. It would also help to let go of stagnant and redundant technologies or practices to make way for more agile tools.

Figure: 1Pharmaceutical Strategies Breakdown: Towards the New Normal

Pharmaceutical Strategies Breakdown

3.Adopting Digital Drivers of Change: The new normal is eventually going to be the only normal and thus pharmaceutical companies need to harness potential through digital tools and technologies. After retaining the best and letting go of the redundant, pharma operations would benefit greatly by using tools for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Big Data, Advanced Analytics etc. These tools and technologies would help in process automation, centralized data access, real-time supply chain monitoring and a lot more. Many pharma companies are looking at the digital revolution as their segue to pharma 2.0.

For instance, pharma giant Sanofi has already rebooted it’s digital strategy and is now ramping up operations in marketing, research and even e-commerce.

4.Moving from a Product-centric to a more Patient-centric Model:The healthcare sector is transforming and is becoming more personalized. With access to information and medical assistance becoming quite easy through smart devices, the consumers are highly aware of what they want. This is the pharmaceutical sector’s chance to connect with their end-users and know their requirements. The overall shift to become a patient-centric industry would take time and effort, but it is the right step. In fact, patient-centricity is already one of the key goals for many pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations (CRO’s) and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMO’s). For example, the contract research organization, Parexel has hired its first-ever chief patient officer, with a focus on boosting clinical trial diversity for better results and ensuring that their drug is scalable to multiple demographics.

These points of considerations serve as the platform for companies to work on their renewed pharmaceutical strategies. Of course, every company has its unique set of operations, models and unique challenges. However, optimizing operations and leveraging digital technology to expedite growth are common must-haves for a pharmaceutical company’s renewed business approach. After all, the new normal will bring as many opportunities in the form of challenges and a well-equipped pharmaceutical company can harness the most out of its investments and talent-pool.

Key Takeaways

  • Even though the pharma sector has been slow to adapt to newer technologies, the dynamic changes in the past decade seemed to have enabled the industry to step up to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • A change in perspective is essential for success in the new normal and to rethink pharmaceutical strategies. Equally important is the communication of the perspective of this change from top management to employees.
  • Pharmaceutical companies would need to make use of the data being collected to generate insights and know exactly what their end-users need. Transforming to a more patient-centric business with the help of the right digital platform is the need of the hour.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Importance of Data in Pharma Product Development

Importance of Data & Analytics in Pharmaceutical Product Development

Importance of Data & Analytics in Pharmaceutical Product Development 1440 810 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Research and development (R&D) has always been the backbone of the pharmaceutical industry. In 2001, there were 1,198 pharmaceutical companies with active R&D pipelines, and in 2020, this figure spiked to 4,800. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have doubled their efforts in creating new products. In fact, more than 17,700 drugs were recorded in the global R&D pipeline in 2020—and a lot of them made headlines.

The world got a glimpse of how complex and costly it is to create new drugs. Moreover, that also sparked an unprecedented wave of data sharing and access not just in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, but in the IT sector as well. In fact, 96% of all companies will have hired a data specialist by 2022, according to “The Future of Jobs Report” by the World Economic Forum. This is why there has already been a huge uptick in the number of professionals pursuing data analytics careers, with worldwide big data revenue already predicted to have passed $203 billion.

In the pharmaceutical industry, multiple organizations came together to share and exchange data: Google Cloud provided researchers free access to critical information through its COVID-19 Public Dataset Program, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offered government entities and researchers access to innovative AI tools and experts in data and public health.

Figure: 1Role of Data in Pharmaceutical Product Development

Never before has data been so readily accessible and this has helped speed up the R&D efforts of many companies. In addition, data also helps the pharmaceutical products development in many other ways:

Improves research efficiency

Several companies were able to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in under a year—a record time—currently making it the fastest vaccine to ever be developed. It helped that pertinent data and information were exchanged freely between pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and data analytics organizations.

Free-flowing data sharing, as seen during the pandemic response, makes the development of drugs easier as it cuts down several steps in the R&D process. And with the available information, researchers have a better understanding of the recipients of the product. This makes it possible for trials to acquire smaller sample sizes with higher accuracy, lower expenses, and in less time.

Creates precision medicine

Precision medicine is an approach to patient care that allows doctors to create diagnoses and treatments based on data on genetic make-up, environmental factors, and behavioral patterns. This approach allows companies to create personalized medicine for individuals’ genes and lifestyles. This data-driven approach also helps drug makers identify patients’ susceptibility to certain disorders, enhancing disorder detection. Since precision medicine has a higher probability of success compared to more conventional approaches, it also reduces trial costs.

One such example is Pfizer’s Xalkori (crizotinib), which they produced after combing through data from electronic medical records, clinical trials, and genomic data. They found that a small subset of lung cancer patients had a mutation in their ALK gene, and using this insight, they developed a personalized drug. “Had this compound been tested against a broad spectrum of lung cancer patients, it likely would not have been found to be effective. With this analytics-based approach, it was found to be very effective,” says Pfizer CIO Jeff Keisling.

Provides real-time analysis

It’s now possible to access real-time information—a feature that greatly benefits trials. With this, it’s easier to respond to issues in a timely manner, and create more accurate safety measures for trial participants, all leading to higher success rates from the R&D standpoint. Additionally, data can now be collected from real-world information such as health records, insurance claims, and even social media. This provides drug makers with evidence on how medicines work in an uncontrolled setting and across a wider demographic. This lets them make adjustments and improvements to the drugs.

Major pharmaceutical companies now have dedicated teams collecting data from studies and trials across different diseases. Their analysis of this information helps them formulate their drugs to be more potent and effective while combating the rising costs of traditional clinical trials and parallel development programs.

30%

of life science organizations will have achieved data excellence, or the concept of effectively using the right data at the right time, by 2022.

Source: IDC Health Insights prediction

Simplify production plans

After developing a product, it needs to be mass-produced and distributed. You need to know the appropriate targets for the best ROI. With the right data, companies are able to create a more solid production plan, reduce labor costs, eliminate waste, decrease the need for excessive inventories, and optimize equipment usage. This ease of production will only increase in the future both within the healthcare industry and companies connected to it. And with the pharmaceutical industry predicted to grow to $1.57 trillion in value, the role of data in streaming lining production processes will only increase.

Smoother supply chains

50%

of pharmaceutical and biotech companies will be using prescriptive data analytics with IoT data to optimize their supply chain.

Source: Worldwide Health Industry 2020 Predictions report

Today’s pharma companies are breaking away from traditional practices and are embracing digital transformation and pharmaceutical data analysis on a much bigger scale. This move allows them to understand and cater to the needs of both their customers and stakeholders, as we mentioned in our previous write-up on the ways to enhance customer experience. Using data analytics, you can improve your supply chain efficiency by easily validating data, detecting anomalies, benchmarking operations, and accessing mobile and logistic reports.

Moreover, data analytics for pharma development offers real-time route optimization and improved inventory management, freeing up man-hours which otherwise would’ve been spent tracking and monitoring business operations.

The use of data in developing pharmaceutical products is very beneficial, it helps prevent health issues and strengthen the patient care sector.

Article specially written for xcelpros.com By Nina Ross

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

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electronic signature for compliance

Role of Electronic Signatures in Pharmaceutical Quality Control

Role of Electronic Signatures in Pharmaceutical Quality Control 1500 844 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Many life-sciences companies struggle to ensure stakeholders’ revenue growth due to low performing, paper based systems. Furthermore, they deal with challenges related to operational efficiency, productivity, product quality, return on investments, and compliance-related issues. Another key challenge is managing humongous data in paper systems or disintegrated systems that are hard to access, analyze, and report. If any of these challenges ring a bell, your primary focus should be on redefining your current business proesses and standard operating procedures. Rapidly growing companies are quickly revisiting their business process and procedures as the industry is evolving. They are moving towards simple, agile and powerful electronic business management systems to stay ahead of competition. Your ability to grow the business is directly related to your openness to change.

A cross-functional pharmaceutical organization has departments such as Procurement, Receiving, Quality, Inventory, and Shipping that may be disjointed. Business processes tend to be more reactive when visibility of operations is low. Rapidly growing companies embrace a paperless environment to improve operational efficiency, cut down costs, meet regulatory standards, and, most importantly, maintain complete visibility. Switching to a system with electronic signatures can help cope up with evolving quality conditions, and make your company more relevant in the current market conditions.

Life sciences companies need digital systems to support their core business procedures and follow the right implementation practices to pass all computer systems validation requirements. Having electronic signatures embedded in their ERP system will be a major benefit to pharmaceutical companies. It provides the additional validation and visibility of authorized personnel who approve the movement or release of inventory after passing quality control.

Most modern pharmaceutical companies are moving towards electronic signatures to track their business activities. This eliminates manual circumvention of any activities or violation of procedures.

The global e-signature market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 34.7% during the forecast period, to reach $9,073.1 million by 2023.

The following are a few processes considered for computer systems validation:

  1. 1.Purchasing – Raw materials and packaging materials purchased from approved suppliers.
  2. 2.Receiving – Incoming inventory received with the right paperwork requires validation by a supervisor of the receiving department or a Quality manager.
  3. 3.Batch Production – While verification of raw materials consumption, operations, and yields.
  4. 4.Quality – This is an absolute requirement for inventory on hold, waiting for batch quality testing before releasing material for consumption or shipments.

Figure: 1 Electronic signature in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations – Production order release function

One of the primary FDA regulations called ‘Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 11’ states that “Persons may use electronic records instead of paper records or electronic signatures in place of traditional signatures, in whole or in part, provided that the requirements of this part met, and that a docket stating a company’s intent submitted to the FDA.

The transition from a paper-based quality management documentation to a comprehensive digital record system is not simple; it involves an array of challenges. Below are a few:

1.Poor Data Management: Data is a key component of a CFR 21 part 11 compliant system. Poorly managed and stored data can cause havoc when an auditor comes to your doorstep. How intuitive you want the Digital systems ultimately depends on how well the data is stored in the system. Information that is all over the place without a proper structure will only increase more audit and compliance issues. It is a good practice to conduct a periodic data review to ensure that all of the necessary steps are executed within different departments or when interacting with 3rd party systems.

2.Managing Digital Signatures With companies’ transitioning to digital systems, regulatory agencies have formulated several policies to safeguard electronic signatures. Poor document control is a significant reason for companies’ failure of regulatory audits. A ‘hard to audit’ digital system opens it up to more manual documentation changes by end-users. Companies need to have robust security control with hierarchical approval procedures to preserve electronic information and avoid regulatory penalties. It is hence imperative that your ERP system has the necessary infrastructure to manage electronic signatures at different steps. These acceptable electronic signatures can then easily be audited and reported.

3.Mitigating Quality Management Issues The purpose of implementing an electronic signature software is to grow collaboration across departments in your company, and not just in quality control. How your end users adapt to quality management processes plays a crucial role in realizing a software’s true potential. The digital system helps generate faster resolutions to pending requests by auto-reminding end users. Adopting good documentation practices in the pharmaceutical industry is essential to drive away quality management issues to make your company more stable, reliable and growth-oriented.

4.Changing Complacent Corporate Culture electing an intuitive, easy-to-use system and overall organizational change management are two critical parameters to ensure a swift transition to a digital system. It is essential to make end-users understand the workflow benefits of digital document management systems. If issues get ignored before the transition to a more compliant system, the legacy system’s inefficiencies will transfer over to the new system. Even though there could be initial resistance to switch to such a controlled system, the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term user adaption issue. Being prepared and setting an expectation of what the change will be like and the type of issues to expect will be the first step to help users understand that the changeover may feel difficult at first but ultimately will help them be more successful.

Companies, therefore, require a digital system that demonstrates both regulatory and functional electronic signature compliance. A system that

  • helps in customizing levels of authentication
  • provides scalability and flexibility to customize workflows
  • supports bulk approval of all artifacts which are duly reviewed and signed off from a regulatory perspective
  • supports test management processes such as test plan, test lab, etc.
  • provides detailed audit trails for stakeholders and regulatory organizations.

Figure: 2Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations – Quality control transaction with digital signatures

Below are some common requirements for electronic signature within a Pharmaceutical ERP system:

  1. 1.The employee should have the appropriate security role in the system to create an electronic signature.
  2. 2.The employee has to be individually recognized by the system with their signature.
  3. 3.The employee should have a certificate on the system that is used to generate the electronic signature.
  4. 4.The signature should be able to detect if there were any susceptible violations.
  5. 5.If a signature violation occurs, it should be easily audited.

Electronic signatures can be possible with different levels of security, which allows you to verify a user, data and attest a signature on certain set processes. Only those individuals with access to view the transactions and have the ability to sign off electronically will be able to create the signature. The system will have a log to track the individual, the associated transaction event, date and time of the signature.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (F&O) is a CFR 21 Part 11 compliant system that gives you the ability to record an electronic signature on different Quality-driven transactions. F&O maintains the necessary audits of approvers authorized with a secure certificate from the system. The certificate provides you with an encrypted key using a password only accessible to the user. The system allows users only with the appropriate security credentials to access the transactions and once all the verification is done, lets the authorized personnel create a signature on the transaction.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

CRM in Pharmaceutical Industry

How CRM Fosters Customer Engagement in the Pharmaceutical Industry

How CRM Fosters Customer Engagement in the Pharmaceutical Industry 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Pharmaceutical Companies are updating their software systems to improve customer retention, customer satisfaction and increase up-selling products.
  • By the end of 2018, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system became the most extensive and fastest-growing software market globally, estimated to churn out $80 billion revenue by 2025.
  • The primary reason for the staggering growth of the CRM software industry is the accessibility to customer data that help businesses close customer deals.
  • The pharmaceutical industry’s complexity makes CRM software a must for faster development to retain and expand its existing customer base.

Post COVID19, most sales and marketing teams have gone remote. The unforeseen circumstances of not having an in-person interaction with customers have driven businesses to invest in the latest and conversion-oriented CRM tools. Pharmaceutical Companies are rapidly onboarding systems for marketing, sales, and customer service. Companies now have newer sales objectives such as managing long-distance interactions, maintaining the same engagement with health care providers, pharmacies and even end patients. Tools need to be interactive, AI-based and understand customer behavior based on their interactions to meet the mentioned sales objectives. We have seen an increase in polls and surveys, more digital content like videos, podcasts, and more impetus on tracking each of these interactions’ results. There is a lot more crossover between sales and marketing now, with sales professionals taking over some marketing responsibilities. With the role shifting, there is no other way than moving to digital-AI-based CRM systems.

All these changes and life sciences companies rushing to bring out a COVID19 vaccine have intensified competition. But competition is just a small concern that pharmaceutical organizations face. Profitability becomes a key concern with rapidly changing stringent government regulations, time lag between testing, commercialization of the drug and stiff competition due to lower-priced products.

Recently Mark Cuban, an American billionaire entrepreneur and investor, announced that he is investing in a business that will manufacture low-cost generic drugs. Per Forbes, the low-cost generic pharmaceutical drug company’s business plan is to maintain supply chain transparency. They intend to achieve this by buying drugs from wholesalers, packaging them, adding only a 15% markup, selling to pharmacies, clinics and health systems.”

Driving drug costs down will become a trend moving forward to make prescription drugs more affordable for end-users. The Pharmaceutical market anticipates its growth to exceed $1.2 trillion by 2022. Due to this growth, companies invest in innovative and cutting-edge technologies to manage their most significant asset – customer insights.

According to a report by Seeking Alpha, the CRM market’s potential is estimated to be approximately $82 Billion by the year 2025, with an annual growth rate of about 12% per year. The report also suggested that if the same annual growth rate is maintained until 2034, the CRM market can grow to $228 billion. Your company is more successful in selling, maintaining customer relationships, and improve customer loyalty when users from different departments are trained on the right CRM tools.

The statistics prove that CRM helps meet the end-to-end customer acquisition demands, potential leads from the vast database of loyal customers, and keep customers satisfied with the products offered. Pharmaceutical firms gain a competitive edge through lead scoring, quote management, marketing automation integration. Most Pharmaceutical companies need to send samples to customers before actual orders are placed. They track how samples performed and what the viability is for sale to happen.

The solution to a slow-growth company is to increase its profits by keeping the existing customers happy and acquiring a more extensive customer base. CRM in the pharmaceutical industry offers to centralize functioning by providing a common platform for maintaining the existing customer base and developing new strategies to expand in the market. Maintaining customer relationships helps ensure that customers are happy and will not be poached by competitors.

Figure: 1 How much time do your sellers spend engaging with customers?

32%on average sellers only spend 32% of their time selling.

Source: CSO Insights

59% of sellers say they have too many sales tools.

Source: Accenture

18%Only 18% of salespeople are considered trusted advisor.

Source: HBR

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Need CRM?

  • Building better relationships with customers – The directly proportional relationship between drugs released and an increasing number of patients makes it essential for your pharmaceutical company to strategize relationship building with your existing customer base.
  • Finding and utilizing data – Effectively using CRM insights by capturing useful data about patients, doctors and drugs. Developing a centralized repository with customer interactions accessible to various departments ensures transparency and enhances customer experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Improving marketing strategies – Smart marketing through collateral and digital media can help gain customer attention. CRM in such customer-centric industries derives valuable insights from centralized repositories containing relevant information (of all their open and closed activities) for pharmacies, doctors and other clients. This helps sales experts to expand their customer base and increase customer loyalty.
  • Tracking campaigns – An advanced CRM software helps in campaign management for pharma companies who advertise their products. The software also increases transparency in sales costs vs. the number of leads generated and converted.
  • Effective customer service – Solving queries raised by customers immediately, reducing delays and providing effective customer support services are must-haves to increase customer retention. Various AI-based customer service tools like assignment rules and alerts are instrumental in building a customer base.
  • Building on customer feedback – The feedback and suggestions gathered from the existing customer base help strategize better customer interaction in the future. This helps in making more refined, enhanced products and services thus, expanding the business areas. Implementing a tool to track feedback helps ensure that departments know to manage unhappy customers, and help with customer pain points.

According to a report by Capterra, 80% of the CRM users reported that their sales teams are the ones who have access to these systems, helping them acquire better quality leads and potential customers. The marketing and customer service departments come after the sales department to access the CRM software used for pipeline reporting and ROI tracking, edging at approximately 45%.

Why building effective customer relationship management in pharmaceutical industry is essential?

  • Salesforce predicts that 51% of sales pros give building and maintaining customer relationships more importance.
  • Building functional customer relationships is the paramount need for companies to increase their customer retention metrics and expand their customer bases.
  • Research conducted by Zesty showed that only 5% increase in customer retention results in up to 25-90% increase in profits for firms.
  • Building an effective customer relationship is essential for pharmaceutical companies as maintaining functional relationships with customers boosts the company’s revenue and helps acquire large customer bases by increasing customer satisfaction in the pharma industry.

How Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM serves your pharmaceutical company?

Dynamics 365 CRM helps improve the connection between you and your customer instantly by managing your customer engagement from Discovery to closure. It offers you the full range of functionality you need for a high-performance, motivated sales department.

Dynamics 365 CRM for pharmaceutical integrates into your ERP and BI systems to leverage your customer data’s full potential. It is used as your central information platform from leads management functions to smart customer analytics, and with AI helps you make the right moves to close deals. Move ahead of your competition with advanced sales force automation. Dynamics 365 Sales is a state-of-the-art CRM solution that integrates with your everyday tools like Microsoft Office applications to increase seller productivity, fully grasp your customer needs, and increase sales.

Figure: 2What can your company do to get ahead?

Make Smarter Decisions

How do sellers know which opportunities to pursue and how to personalize conversations?

Leverage data-driven insights and AI to guide sellers with next-best point for personalized engagement.

Free up time selling

How much time do your sellers spend on administrative tasks?

Reduce busywork by automating manual tasks and enable sellers to complete actions right from Outlook to be more productive.

Get up and running fast

How many tools does your sales team use to get work done?

Empower your sellers and help your IT staff focus on other priorities with a connected sales platform that is easy to set up, configure, and maintain.

D365 provides you the following add-ons for project-specific extensions-

  • Business intelligence with Microsoft Power BI for business development
  • Campaign management
  • Customer segmentation
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration
  • Project and Resource management
  • Terms and conditions data price/lists

Key Takeaways

  • You must stay at par with the growing market structures to thrive, mostly post COVID19 and adopt the new technologies as they emerge.
  • The benefits of CRM, especially with AI, has transitioned from just customer acquisition to maintenance of good customer relations and many more.
  • With all the capabilities to make your sales and marketing teams successful, the right CRM application is a key growth-enabler for your company.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Batch Processing In Manufacturing Of Pharma Industry

Unifying Pharma With Batch Manufacturing Process for Simplified Formula Management

Unifying Pharma With Batch Manufacturing Process for Simplified Formula Management 1500 844 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Batch manufacturing or batch processing in manufacturing are conventional methods used by chemical, pharmaceutical and related sectors. These methods pose various challenges when it comes process management, formula simplification, quality checks and more.
  • Formula management is the core of process manufacturing to manage ingredients and related raw material, making it audit prone and a validated process.
  • Manufacturers are looking for solutions and software to allow the R&D and production team to work together on formulations. Manufacturers need to simplify Formula management and track changes to maintain an audit trail.

The pharmaceutical industry faces many challenges related to formula management in manufacturing. Maintaining formula, formula lines, cross-checking the data, managing raw material supply etc. can be a daunting task for the people on shop floor. Any change in formula needs to be communicated and cascaded down to production line operators to make necessary changes while running the manufacturing process smoothly.

We currently live in a modernized, connected world and it is thus essential to bring these modern hi-tech solutions to pharmaceutical formula management. After all, advanced technologies will dominate pharmaceutical manufacturing patterns, trends and changes in the coming future.

According to a survey by The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 68% of biopharmaceutical companies think that advances in technology will significantly impact their organizations.

Before we understand how manufacturing software can help in formula management, let us first consider the challenges in this area.

Challenges in Batch Manufacturing and the Need to Simplify Formula Management:

1.Formula Consistency:As stated earlier, pharmaceutical manufacturers need the formulations to be maintained. This would affect the quality and result of the drug (or other pharmaceutical product) being manufactured. In batch manufacturing, formula consistency plays an essential role in getting consistent results. The challenge lies in maintaining this consistency across multiple locations for different batches.

2.Communicating and Implementing Formula/Line Changes:A formula or formula line is subject to change based on batch history, planned vs. actuals, potency values or other unpredictable factors. When changes are not communicated and implemented correctly, pharmaceutical production can be challenging, especially while producing multiple lots. The cost and labor lost in such scenarios is tremendous. Communicating formula changes to all the stakeholders in the process is equally crucial to avoid quality discrepancies.

3.Maintaining and Managing Data:A pharmaceutical manufacturing facility deals with numerous formulations. Bill of Materials (BOM), ingredients, coproducts, byproducts, different formula lines, 3rd party manufacturing within a formula line, vendor management list, supply chain tracking etc. are all interrelated to formula management. This indicates extensive data generated daily, which needs to be collated, documented, and even analyzed, making it a daunting task prone to errors.

Leveraging Technological Innovations to Address Formula Management Challenges:

Today, digitization and automation have paved newer paths for conventional methods. Tools and systems developed for productiveness and superior performance can address the challenges faced by manufacturers. Speaking particularly of formula management challenges in pharma batch manufacturing, organizations can adapt batch manufacturing ERP software to facilitate:

  • Centralized record maintenance of formula, items, formula lines etc.
  • Formula management
  • Automated change communication
  • Data collation, systematic classification, report generation in the system and more
  • Track and tracing of the lot/ batch
  • Effective supply chain management
  • Production line management
  • Cost sheet maintenance and cost management

These and many more such benefits have turned pharma manufacturers’ attention towards integrating ERP in their batch manufacturing process to simplify formula management.

Figure 1:How ERP Software Can Simplify Formula Management in Batch Manufacturing

How Does Batch Manufacturing Software (ERP) Simplify Formula Management?

With the benefits mentioned above, subject matter experts and CXO’s in pharma companies know how to achieve formula simplification through an ERP software for batch manufacturing. The answer lies in the design and programming of the software which is built to

  • Manage item variants
  • Maintain purchase order sheets for scheduling, re-ordering, etc.
  • Inventory management, forecasting and order management
  • Formula recording, process control, change management and more

The payoffs of investing in batch manufacturing ERP software are numerous. With the increase in globalization, it is all the more important for pharma companies to reduce the time to market while ensuring that the product quality is not compromised. Managing the formula and how it scales for different sizes is probably the first step towards meeting those needs. With the help of high-end software, batch processing in manufacturing can be carried out effectively while simplifying formula management.

Key Takeaways

  • Pharma companies need to go digital to manage formulas for their product lines.
  • Batch manufacturing is a complex process with many factors such as scalability of batch sizes, scrap percentages, potency calculations, by product yields, etc. By simplifying formula management, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies can effectively track their batch production process.
  • There are currently many software tools/ solutions available for pharma companies to integrate into their manufacturing processes. By recognizing their requirements for formula management and batch manufacturing, they should invest in the ones that offer maximum ROI.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

How to Reduce Pharmaceutical R&D Costs by Going Digital

5 Digital Strategies to Save Big on Pharmaceutical R&D Costs

5 Digital Strategies to Save Big on Pharmaceutical R&D Costs 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Pharmaceutical research and development is steadily going on the path of digitization and the companies that can leverage this digital transformation will be ahead in the curve.
  • R&D digital transformation is not a goal; instead, it is a journey wherein companies would need to strategize their moves for an effective result in terms of cost reduction and manage quality criteria of the medicine.
  • R&D constitutes a significant portion of pharmaceutical expenses and by automating, optimizing, and expediting processes through digital technology, pharma companies can turn the corner and get better outcomes of the research.

The pharmaceutical industry relies on R&D and clinical research for drug development and efficacy testing. The core of pharma operations lies in the research that goes behind formulating, testing, developing and researching a drug. That’s the reason that the R&D costs in the pharmaceutical industry are in the higher stratum. Companies, both large and small, are searching for one answer- how to reduce cost in the pharma industry? Many experts believe that they need to start with R&D digital transformation in pharma companies. This will not only effectively cut down the excess costs but will also save time and labor.

While going digital is inevitable, many pharmaceutical companies are not yet fully equipped to undergo this change. Even today’s clinical trials have changed, and the pharmaceutical industry needs to cater to this rather personalized, targeted healthcare system. By adopting digital tools and artificial intelligence for faster and more accurate R&D, Pharmaceutical companies can achieve much-needed improvement in tracking test results and performing trending and analysis. Digitized systems also help save pharmaceutical research and development costs by reducing the human effort and error rate in extrapolating the data to adjust ingredients better while producing samples.

According to Investopedia, pharmaceutical companies spend, on average, 17% of revenues on research and development (R&D), making it one of the biggest spenders in this area.

So it is essential to look at some of the ways pharmaceutical and life sciences companies can leverage the latest digital tools and technologies to minimize expenses and maximize R&D efficiency.

5 Digital Strategies for Pharmaceutical Research and Development

1.Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Identifying Drug Molecule:Identifying a drug molecule for a particular ailment and synthesizing it can take years of research and trials in the lab. However, scientists can run data through systems and identify the potential molecule/s and their plausible effective dosage within a short time with artificial intelligence. AI tools can also help devise the chemical formula and method of synthesis for these molecules to be synthesized entirely from scratch in a laboratory under controlled settings.

2.Using Predictive Analytics for Drug Discovery and Development:Like AI tools, predictive analytics software can be a boon for scientists looking to cut down pharmaceutical expenses and improve their outcomes. With predictive analysis, scientists get to know how a particular molecule or combination of different ones behave in the drug, how long they will take to be effective, and what percentage of ingredients will impact the drug’s potency and life. This will help in deciding drug dosage, its schedule and efficacy.

3.Streamlining Drug’s Regulatory Timeline:Pharmaceutical R&D works in close collaboration with the regulatory bodies to get the drug formulations approved. This involves much paperwork, which calls for time and effort. Digitization can easily create efficient methods of running operations without compromising regulatory requirements. Automated workflows will avoid slowing down your progress and expedite your ability to go to market.

Figure 1:Pharma R&D: Digital Transformation Elements

4.More Efficient Selection of Volunteers/ Patients for Clinical Trials:The current Covid-19 pandemic has seen clinical trials at a break-neck speed and a large scale across various countries globally. Such speed and scale would not have been possible without leveraging digital technologies to select the most appropriate candidates for the trials. Digital databases can also analyze and prepare best-matched trial samples of the patients to represent diverse age-groups, ethnicities and even people from various socio-economic backgrounds. Such a varied and well-matched selection can yield better and more all-encompassing results.

5.Bridging the gap between pharmaceutical R&D and academia:R&D and academia go hand-in-hand. However, the lack of correct avenues has created a gap between these two research bodies. This data (non-confidential) can easily be made available to academic institutes and even research organizations for further insights and value generation with digitization.

Apart from these strategies, pharmaceutical companies can also leverage digital technologies to streamline their supply chain and optimize operations to effectively support their R&D. The R&D digital transformation journey is not an easy one as it has many challenges and setbacks. However, pharma companies must keep in mind that the long-term benefits of digitization strategies are plenty. With the right roadmap, pharmaceutical R&D can become less resource/ revenue-intensive yet more effective in terms of outcomes.

Key Takeaways

  • While pharmaceutical companies are keen on applying digital technologies, there needs to be a strategy in place for effective implementation as per the companies’ customized requirements.
  • Pharma executives and decision-makers will need to look at digitization as an ongoing journey and prepare themselves for internal resistance, technical challenges and more.
  • Going digital is indeed the need of the hour, and pharma companies need to strategize their R&D infrastructure accordingly.

About XcelPros

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