Advanced Analytics

inventory management strategies

Top 4 Efficient Inventory Management Strategies

Top 4 Efficient Inventory Management Strategies 1500 750 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Challenges of an inventory can be both daunting and persistently confusing for shippers/ suppliers; however, a strategic re-evaluation can do wonders to your inventory management.
  • Accuracy, agility, and quality seem to be the main driving factors in today’s inventory management scenario.
  • Companies need to make the necessary changes to their approach to inventory management strategies today to have a seamless supply chain and, eventually, a satisfied customer base.

As technologies and the latest strategic trends bring on a blanket change across various industries and their related subsets of functions, organizations need to adapt to these trends. Such adaptations can at first sound overwhelming, but proper planning and execution can help you in the long run. Inventory management has come a long way from being just a function related to buying, stocking, and selling. In today’s digital era, managing an inventory entails predicting stock-outs and preventing them, enhancing workflow efficiency, providing real-time information to various stakeholders, and supporting large scale productions. The unprecedented growth of the e-commerce sector has given rise to customer expectations that can be daunting to the sellers and suppliers. Today’s supply chain culture is all about being the fastest and the most accurate. Thus, both B2B and B2C markets continually look for ways to efficiently manage their inventories’ challenges.

48%

of supply chain and transportation executives say they are experiencing the need to reevaluate warehouse locations due to shifting trade patterns resulting from changes in the U.S. economy.

Source: A Report by Forbes Insight

Whether you are a manufacturer, supplier, or retailer, the road ahead to managing your inventory effectively is full of complexities as well as opportunities. Let us look at various good inventory management practices that will help you unravel these problems while tapping many efficient inventory management options.

01.Be Efficient When You Go Omnichannel

These days, the customers/consumers are empowered by various online applications, e-stores, and even physical shopping options to complete their order. As a retailer who wants to tap into these different distribution options, one needs to dive into omnichannel retailing. But this requires accurate and highly efficient management of stocks and their distribution across various channels. A complex omnichannel inventory requires a central data management system, effective track and trace mechanism, and sustainable storage options to operate seamlessly. An omnichannel store that operates both physically and online needs to purchase data and patterns for predictive analysis to preempt customer demands and stock their inventories accordingly.

Figure 1:An Omnichannel Retailer’s Inventory

02.Create an Efficient Connected Ecosystem

Long gone are the days when inventories were simply warehouses located close to the supplier base and managed as a separate function. With advanced, cutting-edge technologies, everything is connected today. Thus, to overcome the inventory management problems, you need to create an efficiently connected ecosystem where different functions work in tandem while sharing data, exchanging real-time developments, and being governed in an optimized way.

To help you manage your inventory’s problems with ease, speed, and accuracy:

  • Moving your data from legacy platforms to Cloud.
  • Implement process automation to simplify laborious manual tasks.
  • Use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to preempt stock-outs.
  • Apply Advanced Analytics for accurate inventory reporting.

Figure 2:Benefits of a Connected Ecosystem for Inventory Management

03.Revisit Your Warehouse Location design

In the past, inventory locations were not always well-managed and streamlined based on supply, consumption, and demand. With cumbersome planning and different modes of transportation, warehouses would ship goods to the desired locations. However, in today’s times, inventories cater to multiple channels and changing consumers’ demand patterns. This has made companies rethink their logistics strategy. Companies are setting up distribution centers closer to the customer-base to help streamline order fulfillment. Also, these distribution centers, when integrated through a common and efficient warehouse management software, can share data and prevent stock-outs.

04.Balancing the Influx of Inventory

There has always been discord between stocking up on inventory and the actual space available in shippers/suppliers’ warehouses to store the inventory. Sometimes, shippers miscalculate the future demand, while other times, they fear the increase in the price of goods. Whatever may be the scenario, this influx of inventory and the lack of actual physical space can lead to a menace for distribution centers. This can also lead to damage of goods, loss of perishable items, and a mismanaged inventory. To avoid this kind of influx, suppliers can get supply chain experts on board to use technology to their advantage. Tools and applications like MRP with AI and Advanced Analytics can accurately forecast customer demands. A good and robust software system to track the inventory items will prevent excessive purchases and stock-ups.

Inventory problems have always been the peril of supply chain management. You can be better prepared using the latest technologies with features like track and trace through LPN, a mobile supply chain, use of barcode, labeling, etc. By rethinking and replanning your supply chain process, you can proactively streamline inventory. A smooth supply chain needs to have a well-managed inventory, and taking the right steps in this direction will help you build a higher business value.

Key Takeaways

  • No two companies can have similar inventory requirements and structures; so, you need to assess your needs to optimize and manage inventory challenges.
  • A complex inventory requires stringent workforce management, change management, skill force updating, latest technologies, and application of intelligent tools to be managed seamlessly.
  • Contingency plans need to be in place for disruptions in inventory management, giving your company the ability to plan for unexpected situations.

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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

agile transformation strategy

The What and How of Agile Transformation Strategy

The What and How of Agile Transformation Strategy 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The world is moving at a fast pace in terms of technological advancements, and organizations across industries are keen on keeping up with these changing times.
  • Companies are moving towards establishing integrated processes instead of working in silos by connecting the end-to-end operations.
  • Reporting real-time insights, shorter turn-around times, virtual connections, establishing multi-polar communication across locations and a flexible work environment are essential for agile transformation in an organization.

What is Agile Transformation?

Thought leaders and key decision-makers in an organization are always pursuing opportunities to enable a more efficient, systematic, and faster work environment. A strategic realignment between processes, tools, and people is required to start planning any Organizational transformation. Agile is one such phenomenon that makes this realignment possible and expedites the productivity in an enterprise. The use of advanced technology requires proper implementation and resource allocation. When combined with the up-skilling of the employees, it can generate maximum benefits from an agile transformation strategy.

Agility is not just a different viewpoint in today’s world; it is the way to move forward. Organizations need to understand and implement agile technologies to remain relevant and prosper in this world of going fast and staying connected.

According to a study published by KPMG, 68% of organizations (participants of the survey) said that faster product delivery was one of their key drivers for agility. In comparison, 45% indicated that increased flexibility was the main driver for shifting towards agility.

The study indicates that Organizational Agility is growing and is the next organic step forward for enterprises to integrate fortified IT infrastructure with results-driven, faster business models.

The Key Benefits of Agile Transformation Strategy

By now, the world knows that Agile equals faster, better, and smarter ecosystems. However, to implement Agility into your business model, you must first understand the key driving factors compelling enough to take Agile’s right steps. Let us have a look at some of these significant benefits:

  • Better collaboration amongst people inside the organization leading to reduced communication gaps, avoidance of inter-department bottlenecks, and a comprehensive approach towards newer ideas and innovations.
  • The real-time process driving and problem-solving through Agile technologies offers organizations the benefit of saving cost, efforts while reducing waste.
  • Disruption brought by newer technologies, changing government policies, or unprecedented economic factors are inevitable, and Agile gives organizations the flexibility to change priorities, customize operations, alter process flows, and make organizational changes. Agile companies have a chance to stay on top of things even in the face of any plausible disruption.
  • Faster turnaround time is possible, especially in the software domain. Companies can deliver work-in-progress or beta versions of their product and get feedback from their customer base to improve.

How to Leverage Agile Technology for Your Enterprise: The Agile Transformation Blueprint

Companies need to look at agile transformation as an organic extension toward a better, faster, and more technologically empowered ecosystem. Any change at an organizational level requires companies to make strategic decisions from the top and implement systematic alterations at a granular level. Technology and business experts help form an agile transformation blueprint that should serve as a centralized guide for all functions, domains, teams, and processes across the company.

Figure 1:Agile Transformation: Facets of Implementation

Agile transformation requires fortifying ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems in any organization. You can use Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step Agile and Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP to implement these changes. These systems allow enterprises to explore changes with flexibility and implement them at a faster pace. With automated insights generation, design, and deployment features, your organization can benefit significantly with these tools in the journey toward an Agile Organization.

Challenges of Agile Technology and Ways to Overcome Them

Any organizational change faces different challenges – in the system as well as from the people. The decision to move towards a more agile, flexible ecosystem too has its set of challenges:

  • Forming an agile transformation strategy has many hurdles- ranging for technological maturity of the organization, financial burdens, readiness of the management body, and the effort required in bringing about this change. It is this essential to get business strategy and technology consultants on board to help your organization go agile smoothly.
  • A cultural shift is a big part of agile transformation. Thus, it is essential to gauge the cultural readiness towards this change. Otherwise, organizations can find it very difficult to implement and leverage the maximum benefit of going agile. Taking out time to inform and educate people in your company about the changes and their benefits is a must when you take on the agility journey.

Agile transformation is the need and the calling of the hour. It is essential to prioritize the change and recognize the technological facets or upgrades that your IT infrastructure needs. By making the right strategic calls and planning your growth’s core, you can chalk your enterprise’s agility transformation roadmap.

Key Takeaways:

  • The agile transformation process is a continuous one that needs planning specific to an organization’s technological adeptness, cultural readiness, and growth potential.
  • It is essential to visualize the end-user and the end product to implement any change in this journey of transformation successfully.

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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

new technology in pharmaceutical industry

Maximize Profit with New technology in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Maximize Profit with New technology in the Pharmaceutical Industry 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Pharma industry is moving from conventional methods of research, manufacturing and distribution towards more technologically adept ways for better output.
  • The globalized nature of the pharma supply chain calls for technological transformation at macro and micro levels of every player in the industry.
  • The need for newer technologies, the cost of their adaption and the overall ROI are factors that pharmaceutical companies should consider to bring about a technology-driven reformation of their processes.

For years now, the pharmaceutical sector has been slow to adopt technologies, especially when it comes to their business models. While the past decade has seen positive changes in the way technological advancements have made their presence felt in this industry, there is still a lot to be desired. Technology can be leveraged by pharmaceutical companies (start-ups and the giants) to transform their operations, the pace of research, and manufacturing processes. Even the pharmaceutical supply chain is on the verge of going through a digital overhaul, changing how drug/ raw material distribution will be handled locally and globally.

Pharmaceutical Facets Being Transformed by Cutting-Edge Technologies

Application of Newer Technologies

01

Expedited Process, Optimized Operation, Reduced Manual Labour and Error Mitigation

02

Better Understanding of the Market and End-User Dynamics

03

Formation of a data-driven and Technologically-Enabled Business Strategy for Enhanced ROI and Profitability

04

The impact of adopting newer technologies on the business front is going to be positive. However, the pharma companies’ key decision-makers would need to align their business models with the current market needs and then choose the right mix of technologies to drive growth and maximize pharmaceutical profits.

Let us look at how technology in the pharmaceutical industry can prove to be integral in accelerating business growth for pharma companies.

01.Going Big with Big Data – Anchoring Business Decisions Based on Data Generated Insights

Big Data has made its way in almost all the major industries and healthcare-pharmaceutical integration can benefit from this technology to store, organize and leverage the humongous amount of data generated. The pharmaceutical industry can gain insights from the patient data stored on various applications. It can also leverage the data generated at hospitals to gain foresight into the current drug demands and the c-suite level executives can drive their decisions based on these insights. The global pharmaceutical supply chain can benefit from historical and real-time data sources available on Big Data platforms. This will help mitigate supply errors, prevent bottlenecks, and ensure smooth distribution of drugs and raw material. To make best use of Big-Data learn more about pharmaceutical data analytics and business intelligence here.

02.Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the Way Forward- Expediting Processes and Enhancing Profitability

The past few months are abuzz with the news of AI being used to fasten vaccine development using computerized programs. AI is imperative to complete genome sequencing of the Covid-19 virus, running humongous data through machine learning tools to shortlist plausible drugs and vaccine candidates and systematically design massive-scale clinical trials. The pharmaceutical industry has been using AI and related technologies to fine-tune operations, fasten the drug discovery processes, and minimize human efforts. Speaking of its impact on business, the pharma executives see the positive transformation of accelerated processes. The increase in profit margins caused by AI tools and techniques has encouraged pharmaceutical companies to expand AI use.

According to Gartner’s 2020 CIO Survey, AI is the healthcare industry’s top game-changing technology. These analysts predicted 75 percent of healthcare delivery organizations will invest in an AI capability to explicitly improve either operational performance or clinical outcomes by 2021.

03.Going Virtual – Catering to the Need of the Hour to Make Better Business Choices

The past few years have seen a shift in the way the healthcare sector has been operating. Patients are moving towards online consulting and self-medication via various forums and apps. The partial shift of the healthcare sector to virtual platforms has created a ripple effect on its related sectors. The pharmaceutical companies can use this transformation to their benefit and enhance customer engagement by going digital. Digital customer engagement and experience will help them in understanding the demands and expectations of their end-users. Pharma companies can align Business strategies for manufacturing and distributing generic and over the counter (OTC) drugs with insights generated from capturing the consumer behavior on these virtual platforms. A well-researched business strategy can become the blueprint that the pharmaceutical companies can replicate in other geographies to grow their business.

How Technology is Crucial in Enhancing the Pharma Business

01

Research and Development – Cloud Computing, Big Data, AI, and Machine Learning are Expediting R&D in the Pharma Sector

02

Drug Manufacturing – Automation is Proving to be a Game Changer in Continuous Manufacturing

03

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain – The Pharmaceutical Supply Chain is Getting Digitized and Optimized with Latest Technologies

04.Opting Automation – Moving from Batch to Continuous Manufacturing to Meet the Demands

There is an ever-growing demand for drugs and vaccines worldwide, and pharmaceutical companies are on the lookout to enhance their manufacturing capacity without inflating costs to the extent that it will disrupt their business models. Technology experts are touting automation in the pharmaceutical industry as the next big thing for them. Automating the manufacturing processes and facilities will enable pharma companies to move from batch production to continuous manufacturing. Business process automation will help meet customer demands and enhance their operational efficiency.

To summarize, adapting new technologies in the pharmaceutical industry during these rapidly changing times will favor these companies. The key decision-makers who are ready to think out of the box and take bolder steps by trusting the endless possibilities of technology will be remembered as pioneers in transforming the pharmaceutical sector.

Key Takeaways:

  • Adapting new technologies and up-scaling entire infrastructure as needed might be a cost-intensive process, but in the long run, it will help pharma companies cater to the needs of changing times.
  • Business executives in pharmaceutical companies have started looking at newer technologies as imperative factors in not just R&D optimization but as catalysts in the overall transformation of the sector.

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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

erp trends

Top 5 ERP System Trends in 2020 to help plan for 2021

Top 5 ERP System Trends in 2020 to help plan for 2021 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for organizations. Companies are figuring out systems to handle remote work, disrupted supply chains, sudden changes in raw material prices, an onslaught of data, and labor shortage significant challenges globally. Many of these companies got their tasks streamlined and optimized in these times with ERP systems.
  • Going forward, ERP in 2021 will be a gateway towards more flexible and agile systems which will enable companies to aim for zero downtime, improved resource functionality, and overall better process optimization.
  • Innovation is the key to ERP’s growth, and the current trends are pointing towards organizations’ keenness for out-of-the-box ERP applications.

Organizations worldwide integrate ERP into their IT infrastructure for operational efficiency, data management, finance and accounting, and process automation. The digitization of an enterprise through newer ERP solutions raises an organization’s performance and dexterity.

ERP has come such a long way from its early inception days that the older versions are quickly becoming obsolete. Companies are moving from legacy to newer ERP platforms to gain traction in the digital ecosystem.

According to the Panorama Consulting Solutions’ 2018 ERP Report, 49% of companies (USA, EU and Asia) reported improved business after ERP implementation.

With such a tremendous success rate, it is no wonder that majority of companies have either implemented or are looking to implement ERP. However, like any other technology, it is essential to keep on top of ERP systems’ features and solutions. Here’s a look at the top 5 ERP technology trends that companies need to watch out for:

1.Integration with AI and its positive impact: Gone are the days companies would look at artificial intelligence (AI) and ERP systems separately. The upcoming ERP comes integrated with AI and offers smooth functionalities in various functions such as efficient accounting, report generation, warehouse/ inventory management, customer service betterment, and more. Another positive impact of ERP systems integrated with AI is that it helps process automation and can save manual labor efforts and cost. This can serve as a boon for companies struggling with workforce shortage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

2.Cloud Acceleration: Another upcoming ERP trend is the much-talked-about cloud acceleration feature, wherein organizations (or individuals) will be able to expedite data delivery to respective nodes with the help of a smart ERP system. A cloud ERP system also enables organizations to seamlessly go along the digital transformation journey with real-time data feeds and verifications.

3.Agile ERP to Support an Agile Organization: Most companies are asked today if they are agile? To be agile and get away from the conventional waterfall method (where one function would complete the task before moving to the next), companies will delve into agile ERP. An agile ERP will support co-existence and concurrent working of multiple functions with a centrally accessible database. This will help companies reduce and expedite iterations, preempt and avoid operational glitches, and better manage their processes.

4.Customer-focused ERP: The business landscape is changing with digitization. Companies can now reach their customers directly and get honest reviews about their services/ products, thanks to various online platforms. Thus, in the year 2021, ERP will play an essential role in strengthening this connection and taking it in the right direction by generating alerts, reducing response time, and improving overall customer satisfaction for a company.

5.ERP aiding persona Marketing: Organizations worldwide are trying to make the most of their digital marketing spend by optimizing R&D about a customer/ prospect demographic. Cloud-based ERP systems can prove vital in that facet by serving as the data-gatherer and insight generator systems for a better, faster, and more accurate understanding of the customer’s preferences. Not many enterprises know the immense value that the current sales/ customer data provides to cross-sell/upsell/sell new products to existing customers or prospective customers within the same demographic. ERP systems can effectively streamline backend data and provide trends to aid digital marketing.

Figure 1: The Future of ERP: Comparing Features

The past year has seen numerous benefits of ERP in different business processes. A trusted ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations will be instrumental in helping companies manage operations efficiently. This ERP software is designed for today and the future, and it encompasses cutting-edge features that help fulfill your organization’s digital transformation quest.

New-age ERPs release updates to stay current in the market, and it is essential to upgrade by assessing the latest feature sets in the latest versions. Getting ERP consultants and experts on board can also help you in continuously improving your ERP system to adapt to the latest trends.

Key Takeaways

  • To stay ahead in the digital era, organizations need to keep up with the trends of cutting-edge software like the ERP.
  • The current and coming years will see further integration of various digital technologies into ERP to provide a comprehensive system that benefits both companies and customers.
  • The future and growth of ERP lies in digitization, agility, and enhanced process optimization features. Companies from various industries will need to upgrade their ERP systems to reap these features’ full benefits in the coming times.

Make the Move to Microsoft Dynamic 365

A Pilot program is risk-free and a good way to evaluate Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Team-up with us and protect your investment on a no-obligation engagement.

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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

The Role of ERP in Improving Manufacturing Performance and ROI

How an ERP system can help improve Manufacturing performance?

How an ERP system can help improve Manufacturing performance? 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Installation and modernization of ERP software comes at a high cost for manufacturing companies, and they are rightfully looking for ways to maximize their manufacturing performance from these software investments.
  • Manufacturers must embrace the comprehensive ERP model and let their production line and their vendors work in tandem with the software to streamline processes.
  • ERP systems are no longer a part of the business backend- newer tools and applications like Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine Learning are changing ERP systems’ face, affecting the overall ROI of technology spend.

The implications and benefits of using a comprehensive tool like ERP are well measured in advance by large and small/ medium scale manufacturing organizations. However, there are still ways with which ERP systems can be used to better the overall operational efficiency in manufacturing, streamline existing processes, and improve the production line. These ways with which a solution like ERP can become the catalyst in generating ROI are usually the difference-makers for the manufacturing sector.

Mid-size businesses’ adoption of ERP software will grow at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2014 to 2020.– alliedmarketresearch.com

As the investments in ERP keep pouring in, manufacturers find themselves looking to adapt and manipulate their current practices to reap the maximum benefits from these investments above. Let us look at these practices that will improve ROI with ERP in the manufacturing industry. But first, let us learn how the ROI is calculated when it comes to manufacturing ERP.

Figure 1:Factors that Decide the ROI of Manufacturing ERP

 

Calculating the ROI for ERP Manufacturing- A Comprehensive Look at the Benefits of Installing the ERP System

Every organization has specific short and long term goals in mind while installing an ERP system. So, while the ROI might be a relative concept for every manufacturer, certain common areas can help you decide as to exactly how beneficial can your ERP system be for your company:

  • Does the ERP system help you in streamlining the processes and improving overall production line efficiency?
  • Does it minimize human intervention and the cost spent on intensive labor for data management and analytics?
  • Does it help you in managing your purchases, procurements, and inventory better?
  • Does it help you get real-time visibility across the production line for improved communication and faster response time?
  • What other tangible benefits mainly in terms of cost savings and profit gains can you see after installing the ERP system?

Once you get answers to these questions, you can calculate the ROI for your ERP.

The Road to Better Manufacturing ROI: Improving Manufacturing Performance with ERP

01.Efficient Machine-to-Machine and Machine-to-Human Interaction

In the times of Cloud dominated software practices, everything is virtually connected. Manufacturers have a chance of enhancing their ecosystem where real-time connectivity between the workforce and machines is established efficiently. This will add transparency to the entire production line from the top floor to the shop floor; it will also help the skill base use smart manufacturing techniques to save both time and effort. Application of ERP software to adopt smart manufacturing techniques will help manufacturers avoid production delays, track material and equipment with better efficiency, and move faster. All of this will result in more significant revenue generation.

Figure 2:ERP in the Manufacturing Industry

 

02.Better Management of Inventory

Large-scale manufacturers can afford to hire a larger workforce to manage their inventories. Small and mid-scale businesses often suffer a loss due to glitches in inventory management and its usage. Even larger companies are looking for a centralized network that can keep track of all the raw material, incomings, outgoings, and maintenance schedules for their inventories. This is where a modernized, sturdy ERP system succeeds where older, legacy platforms fail. It allows companies to get real-time data on their personnel and material in the inventory, allowing them to better plan their management well ahead in time. Any manufacturing company- large or small- will vouch that a well-managed inventory is a must to avoid stock-outs and other related production delays. So a robust ERP system will help in improving ROI by assisting manufacturers to improve their inventory management.

03.Forming a Competent Skill Base

No advanced software or tool could provide a manufacturer with better ROI if their workforce is not fully acquainted and expert in using the said software or tool. Well, the ERP system is no exception to this rule. Especially with the modernization of many of the ERP systems and its integration with cutting-edge applications like Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Advanced Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence, it has become highly imperative for manufacturing companies to train their skill base in expertly using the ERP system to its fullest capability. This will not only ensure lesser glitches but also prove to be beneficial in long term profit gains.

These positive changes in your manufacturing ecosystem will not only help you gain maximum benefit from your ERP system, but it will also solidify your work standards and technical competencies in the long run.

Key Takeaways:

  • Modernization of ERP systems need not necessarily mean a costly affair for manufacturers if they utilize smart manufacturing techniques to improve their ERP ROI.
  • Large and small and medium-scale manufacturers need to look at ERP software as an integral part of their production line and get their workforce well-acquainted with all the details for a better profit model.

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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

Pharmaceutical Analytics and Business Intelligence using Power BI

Pharmaceutical Analytics and Business Intelligence using Power BI

Pharmaceutical Analytics and Business Intelligence using Power BI 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Modern pharmaceutical companies are undergoing a significant transformation with opportunities presented by digitization, big data, and analytics. Post COVID19, businesses are seeing an increased need for an agile enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) architecture to leverage these opportunities & seamlessly deliver business-critical insights to executives. Successful Pharmaceutical companies go beyond standard operational & statutory reports and are implementing more powerful Analytics and AI-driven solutions. These solutions provide actionable insights and useful performance indicators for efficient decision making. The more actionable your reporting is, the more empowered your team gets to enable the right engagement that ultimately drives results for your organization.

The strength of the analytics software comes with the agility of the tool to help users easily create quick insights, especially if you are an agile pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Creating reports in days instead of months frees up hundreds of hours in unnecessary spend to gather these hidden insights. This cost-saving allows business leaders to repurpose cost savings towards other operational improvements and growth. Pharmaceutical companies generate massive information every day through their day to day operations. But the data is not always being put to the right use. Some companies tend to look at reports with a traditional eye that doesn’t drive a ‘call to action’ to grow the business.

There is a right and wrong way of reporting – one provides overwhelming numbers, while the other means to understand those numbers and make them actionable.

Modern pharmaceutical companies are still undergoing a significant transformation with opportunities presented by digitization, big data, and analytics. Enterprises are seeing an increased need for an agile enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) architecture to leverage these opportunities & seamlessly deliver business-critical insights to executives.

The Strength of PowerBI

Power BI, a business analytics solution, lets you visualize your data and makes it accessible to your Organization. Insights can be easily shared through various platforms of your Organization by embedding them in your app, portals, or website, collaborating on Teams, and integrating them into your ERP or CRM applications. Microsoft’s Power BI makes it easy to combine these numbers from different sources, streamline analytics onto a single dashboard, act on newfound insights, and enhance visibility to other teams in your organization.

Leveraging the strength of PowerBI through interactive reports can be done through a few quick and easy steps:

  • Onboard
    • Access PowerBI either from portal.powerbi.com or any of the Microsoft ERP/ CRM applications.
    • Connect to your data wherever it lives.
    • Explore your data with interactive visuals.
  • Collaborate & Share
    • Publish reports and dashboards.
    • Collaborate with your team.
    • Share insights inside and outside of your Organization.
  • Access insights from anywhere
    • Act with seamless access to data insights from your desk or home.
    • Access on the go with Power BI visual reports built rapidly.

Turning Industry Data into Smart Decisions

Leading Pharmaceutical companies who are transforming into agile organizations need 360-degree insights for business-critical functions such as manufacturing execution, sales productivity, financial management, purchasing raw materials from approved suppliers, quality assurance & quality control.

New age pharmaceutical organizations collaborate, monitor, and communicate on available live data to achieve operational excellence. Pharmaceutical business intelligence enables these organizations to monitor real-time data from multiple sources and combine them into one pharmaceutical dashboard with the ability to drill-down into the report to identify issues, as necessary.

Figure 1: Pharmaceutical Analysis using Power BI

Usage in the Pharmaceutical Industry

01.Interactive Reports

Power BI is an analytics software that brings to the table a strong background in delivering end-to-end BI analytics to modern Pharmaceutical companies such as

  • Efficiency Reports On Lot Production
  • Trending And Analysis Of Quality Control Data
  • Recommendations Based Clinical Trial Reporting
  • And Financials Per Batch Produced For Each Product
  • Product Go to market assessments (how much spend and types of activity is involved, expected and actual results)

02. KPI Reporting

Accurate decision making occurs when reporting provides clarity on both good and bad data points on prime KPIs. With business analytics in the pharmaceutical industry, companies can acquire intelligence in real time and can track key performance indicators such as

  • Machine utilization
  • Process efficiency
  • Cost of Sales
  • Inventory levels
  • Batch Losses and cycle times
  • Quality standards of a product line
  • Customer engagement and customer experience

03.Real-Time Analytics

One of the essential requirements of agile Pharmaceutical companies is to have real-time analytics of overall operations as they occur, to make quick corrections, and proactively handle situations before they turn into risks. Especially for manufacturing execution and inventory management, knowing the work is progressing and inventory is turning around helps production supervisors to manage batch production processes much faster and make on the fly corrections. This type of real-time reporting on big screens in a production plant gives that needed visibility to both the manager as well as the operator to be alerted and aware of any green, yellow or red batch processing.

Figure 2:Real-Time Data Tracking with Power BI

Why PowerBI?

Few benefits of PowerBI that is enabling a business to lead to improvements are as follows:

  1. 1. This information gives the ability to make changes in the process based on how well resources are functioning to increase productivity, and how each product lot produced is performing in the market.
  2. 2. Getting real-time alerts with Power BI mobile apps makes your operations more efficient, allowing you to achieve a higher level of organizational agility and minimize response times.
  3. 3. Power BI enables monitoring of your supply chain end-to-end, letting you identify problems and potential bottlenecks before they can affect critical processes.
  4. 4. Monitoring quality inputs and outputs from all sources, including your customers, allows you to make quick and meaningful decisions that will improve the quality of batches that are manufactured.
  5. 5. The ability to share your dashboards with suppliers and partners is a plus and accommodates adjustments to the latest information available to work towards making your processes leaner and smarter.
  6. 6. Microsoft’s Power BI is a full-featured, must-have BI solution that offers a lot of micro benefits to many different organizations on their path to success such as –
    • Global Scale – Local Speed
    • Agile Business Processes
    • Predictive Analytics
    • Machine-to-Machine
    • Employee Onboarding

Some basic analytics used by Pharma companies are as follows:

  • Products & Inventory
    • Full Track & Trace Functionality
    • Enhanced Global Marketability
    • Customer Requirements
    • Product Quality
    • Product Recalls
  • Sales
    • Quotes & Order analysis
    • Pricing and Cost reporting
    • Available-to-Promise reporting
    • Order Profitability
  • Supply Chain
    • Match demand and supply
    • Improved Supply Chain Responsiveness
    • Updated and efficient Logistic analysis
  • Financial
    • Product Profitability reports
    • Batch costs
    • A full audit of transactions
  • Manufacturing
    • Safety and sustainability analysis
    • Realtime production data reports
    • Equipment failure predictions
    • Production rescheduling

Closing

The first and foremost step for change comes from enhancing visibility in operations be it in manufacturing execution, sales force productivity, procurement, or financials. From the moment you start considering a BI solution for your growing Pharmaceutical company, the benefits of Microsoft’s Power BI become evident very quickly. Power BI brings to table a strong background in delivering end-to-end BI services to modern Pharmaceutical companies – covering BI strategy, managed services, implementation & support. Microsoft’s Power BI will continue to be a must-have product for leading Pharmaceutical companies by delivering 360-degree insights for business-critical functions such as sales, finance, procurement, and more.

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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

Key Role of ERP Systems in Pharmaceutical Industry

Key Role of ERP Systems in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Key Role of ERP Systems in the Pharmaceutical Industry 1440 810 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Disruptions brought by Industry 4.0 and digitization in the pharmaceutical sector is undeniable, and thus pharma companies need to arm themselves with state-of-the-art software solutions and tools to stay ahead in the game.
  • Tracking, tracing, and serialization needs the support of automated tools that can not only reduce manual efforts but can also mitigate the errors leading to stock-outs, delivery issues, and callbacks.
  • Pharma companies need to be compliant with managerial and quality regulations. An ERP with Pharmaceutical and Biotech centric solutions help companies meet all the regulatory requirements.

Technology has taken over our way of life and way of work. All major and minor sectors are undergoing massive changes to adapt to these changing times, and the same goes for the pharmaceutical industry. Pharma companies worldwide face various challenges, such as increasing process complexities, changing consumer dynamics, healthcare reforms, an abundance of data without an infrastructure to leverage it, and more. These changing tides caused pharma companies to look at ERP as a panacea to solidify their IT framework and use the latest technologies (Cloud, Big Data, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, etc.).

However, merely adapting an ERP system will not give pharma companies value for their money.

In fact, according to a report by Gartner, by 2021, ERP cloud enterprise application implementation labor rates will increase by 60 percent due to high demand and a lack of skilled resources.

This indicates that, like other sectors, the pharma industry would need to invest in skill upgrading of their employees and get expert ERP consultants on board for a smooth implementation.

Now, let us talk about the need for an ERP software system in the pharmaceutical industry in today’s time (especially as it needs an ERP that is tailor-made for the industry’s regulations and norms). Here is a deep-dive into some of the key reasons for pharma companies to go the ERP way:

1.Manufacturing formulation and preformulation management:The drug manufacturing process comprises strict formulation and monitoring of raw material ingredients and finished product yields to produce a batch. The pre-formulation stage includes defining drug production procedures, stages, quantities, so forth. With a robust ERP system, such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP, pharma companies can ensure automated management of these formulations without constantly monitoring productions and without the worry of manual errors.

2.Effective product costing:The costing of drugs involves various factors such as raw material master management, procurement cost, supply chain tracking, vendor cost management, so forth. In a legacy system, these departments work in silos, and the changes made in data or any variable takes time to get communicated to other branches. There is centralized access to data with an ERP system, and an interconnected network is established between various functions to develop concurrency. Well captured data helps in efficiently defining product costs, and any changes made can reflect in the system, enabling finance to accommodate those changes appropriately.

Figure 1:Benefits of ERP for Pharmaceutical Companies

 

3.Meeting Regulatory Compliance:Regulatory compliance is a big one for all pharma companies. These regulations affect the brand name and consumer’s trust, but there is a factor of safety involved. Regulations and norms also differ regionally. It is essential to stay on top of safety and healthcare protocols to maintain global standards, and this is where a comprehensive system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP can serve as a game-changer. Its flexible interface, centralized networking features, and automation solutions allow pharma companies to keep up with the changing rules and regulations and helps drug manufacturers to track these measures and stay compliant.

Pharmaceutical companies are also mandated to maintain CFR 21 Part 11 wherein it is a statutory requirement to record (or document- either in print form or electronically) the steps and procedures that comprised the production of a medicinal product. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is compliant with this FDA regulated electronic signature and electronic record.

4.Systematic and Efficient Inventory Management with Real-time Tracking:Effective inventory management for a smooth supply chain and avoiding stock-outs or bottle-necks is always a concern for pharmaceutical companies. This concern has now reached the global level as governments across the world are looking to not only manufacture or procure enough potential Covid vaccines but to manage inventories so that the doses reach their population smoothly. An ERP system can help with real-time track and trace and serialization to manage the inventory and avoid plausible glitches. An ERP system can also effectively help in accelerating product recall with its high-end traceability solutions.

5.Managing Variability and Predicting Scalability:Manufacturing of drugs involves managing supply chain variability, understanding its sources, and gaining a hand over release failures. Another aspect is predicting the scalability of product demand to alter manufacturing capabilities/capacities effectively. Both these involve strong communication between different functions and the use of data to preempt change. With a robust ERP for the pharmaceutical industry, companies can achieve these goals through predictive analysis, data crunching, and supply chain visibility.

In summation, it is crystal clear that pharmaceutical companies can benefit a great deal from an effective ERP implementation. This will not only accelerate production but also help in streamlining operations and managing costs.

Key Takeaways:

  • A cost-effective and flexible ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is proven to enable pharmaceutical companies to take the right steps in the realms of digitization, automation, and artificial intelligence.
  • ERP system is the need of the hour, and getting expert consultants onboard can help pharma companies in meeting their customized financial, operational, and regulatory requirements completed without complications.
  • The industrial dynamics are changing at lightning speed, and the pharmaceutical industry needs to keep up with these changes to stand the test of times.

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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

Manufacturing Metrics and KPIs That Matter the Most

Manufacturing Metrics and KPIs That Matter the Most

Manufacturing Metrics and KPIs That Matter the Most 1440 810 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The manufacturing industry runs with the integration of people, tools, processes, and information. The data generated from each of this facet needs to be quantified and analyzed.
  • In the manufacturing world, those who know their metrics tend to learn the tricks of the game.
  • The metrics that matter the most are the ones that help you and your manufacturing company gain essential insights regarding different functionalities and business areas to improve the manufacturing process continuously.
  • One of the most crucial aspects of knowing and managing manufacturing metrics is being systematic and optimizing the best results.

In any business, it is essential to know and understand your numbers. While this may sound simple, we all know that it is far from that! The numbers or metrics need to be collated, classified, quantified, and analyzed to add value to the business, especially for a multi-pronged industry like manufacturing. The manufacturing metrics are diverse, and each metric has a different value in the entire manufacturing value chain. The cumulative analytics study of a group of these metrics helps the manufacturing companies gauge their performance and form strategies for continuous improvements.

Figure 1:Cycle of Continuous Improvement Methodology

 

As a manufacturing company, you aim to achieve a higher ROI by a thorough analysis of manufacturing metrics and aligning them with your short-term and long-term business goals. Each of these metrics can serve as the source of truth as it represents a precise measurement of your manufacturing processes either in terms of quality or quantity (and sometimes, both). So, let us take a look at the manufacturing metrics that matter the most and how you can fortify your IT infrastructure to study and derive insights from these metrics.

1.Forecasting of Demand:Market research helps companies gain ideas to make estimates about demand forecasting. Manufacturers’ objective is to gauge the amount and type of raw material they will need for their upcoming business cycle. Planning, supply chain management, and operational alignment can significantly benefit with the help of this metric. It is essential to keep in mind that demands foreshadowing is dependent on external factors and, thus, subject to sudden changes. Take, for example, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many manufacturers found that their yearly estimate had taken a hit (especially sectors like automobile and luxury consumer goods). On the other hand, the demand for medical equipment and hygiene products increased by several folds all over the world. In such a disruptive scenario, manufacturing companies can benefit from a robust enterprise resource planning system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations that seamlessly enables change management, demand analysis, and order management.

2.Throughput/ Yield in Terms of Units Produced:A manufacturing company’s business efficiency is directly proportional to its yield. Throughput is a metric that measures the average number of units produced in a particular amount of time (other coefficients being per machine, per production line, or facility). The correct yield information helps manufacturers gauge their performances accurately, address bottlenecks, and design plans for improvements.

63%

of manufacturing executives plan to get more out of what they already have invested within their manufacturing and supply chain network.

Source: Accenture

3.Inventory Turnover:An inventory is the mirror of a manufacturing companies’ performance- after all, knowing how many times an inventory is sold or used up in a particular timeframe is the measure of knowing its success in the market. Thus decision-makers in the manufacturing industry need to analyze the turnover data of their inventories. To expedite the analysis and avoid data mismanagement, manufacturers can invest in an automated ERP system that can track the inventory data in real-time and facilitate seamless coordination between multiple stakeholders.

4.Quality Analysis:The quality of your product is the final truth. Thus, it is essential to know your quality metrics- this includes monitoring and documenting raw material quality, supplier’s quality incoming, random quality checks at manufacturing plants, and packaging quality, so forth.

5.Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE): Be it single equipment or the entire production line, knowing effectiveness is essential to attain timely yield that matches the quality and quantity requirements. This metric is recognized by the manufacturing industry worldwide as one the most important to assess agility, downtime, and overall production quality.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and BI Helps in Tracking and Management of Your Quality Metrics in Manufacturing

The metrics above and many others in manufacturing come in the form of humongous amounts of data generated through multiple sources and are subject to many changes. So how does one democratize this data? By creating a data pool, the answer is a single source of truth for multiple manufacturing metrics that can help companies track, manage, and analyze the data against their KPIs.

Figure 2:Role of Sophisticated ERP in Managing Manufacturing

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and BI essentially optimize your IT infrastructure to systematically allow real-time data access, multi-level visibility, and artificial intelligence-backed insight generation. You can visualize and track your manufacturing metrics’ progress and get a cumulative progress cognizance of your production line.

For every manufacturing company, metrics are the quintessential sources of truth. However, how you view these metrics, how accurate your information is, and how you leverage it will decide your manufacturing company’s success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Every company needs to reinvent its best practices with the help of manufacturing metrics for a profitable business.
  • Investing in a fortified IT infrastructure to track and manage manufacturing metrics is the need of the hour for manufacturing companies.

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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

pharmaceutical serialization track and trace

Gen-Next Serialization in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: Improving Track & Trace

Gen-Next Serialization in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: Improving Track & Trace 1500 1049 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Worldwide, pharmaceutical companies are dealing with drug counterfeiting, adulterations, supply chain thefts, and packaging glitches. Serialization has become the need of the hour, and it is much more than just applying barcodes to personalized medicines.
  • This age of fast-paced digitization calls for modifications and improvements in the serialization techniques. To better strengthen the supply chain loopholes need to be identified and transparency to be maintained not just at the batch level, but for each strip or bottle of the drug.
  • Pharmaceutical companies and their supply chain vendors will need to make use of Advanced Analytics, Cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT) to get a grip on the modern-day serialization techniques.

Traceability being a mandate globally, and the laws changing across borders, major pharmaceutical companies are working towards improving the tracking and tracing process in the supply chain for better compliance. To that effect, pharmaceutical companies are developing and implementing serialization techniques. Supply chain security, counterfeiting drug theft, better product traceability, mitigation of drug contaminations, and overall cost-savings are different facets that are considered.

Reports suggest that by 2023, globally, more than 90% of drug supply will be scrutinized under track and trace regulations to enhance patient safety measures by combating drug counterfeiting.

The need for serialization is no longer restricted to global mandates compliance but accounted for various other factors. Over the years, pharmaceutical companies have struggled to maintain transparency, accountability, and integrity in the supply chain. The product lifecycle from manufacturer to supplier, distributor, and ultimately the consumer has had various loopholes at different levels – package damage, drug theft, manual errors, and so on. To seal these gaps and improve overall supply chain, serialization is proving to be a useful technique even surpassing the shortcomings of other solutions such as sturdy packaging and traceable 3D hologram models.

FIGURE 1: Common Loopholes in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

 

Innovation is the key to improving trace and track in any supply chain model, and the pharmaceutical supply chain is no exception to this. Companies worldwide are investing millions of dollars in maintaining the integrity of their product throughout its lifecycle from the lab to the patient. To overcome manipulation in product quality and quantity, assigning either a unique identification number or a barcode to the individual items (such as a strip of tablets of a bottle of medicine) for computerized serialization and tracking proves to be a fortified supply chain solution.

This article discusses the newer innovations and latest trends in serialization in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

01.Data Encryption and Data Security

The primary aim of pharmaceutical supply chain serialization is to make sure that the ultimate consumer gets the right drug at the right price. At the same time, companies can easily trace and track their products. This calls for stringent data management and security. The inefficiencies are arising in life sciences companies’ supply chain due to data errors or data leakage causing massive financial debt.

According to Interactive Data Corporation (IDC), the pharmaceutical industry loses on average 4.5% of its potential revenue because of supply chain inefficiencies.

The upcoming trend in serialization will place extra emphasis on data encryption to maintain security and thus the integrity of the product throughout its lifecycle.

02.Recalling Made Possible for Individual Product

The pharmaceutical industry is highly susceptible to product recalls in cases of insufficient packaging or a risk-inducing drug. Earlier, these recalls were made at batch-levels, causing companies massive revenue leakage and disturbing the supply chain on a larger scale. Narrowing down traceability to the individual unit makes it possible for companies to in-turn, narrow down the recalls to different products. Serialization also allows in knowing exactly when and where the product quality was compromised.

FIGURE 2: Serialization to Improve Track and Trace

 

03.Use of Advanced Analytics

The life sciences companies and their collaborative research branches are looking to better gauge the consumer pattern to cater better to the demands. The use of advanced analytics applications like Microsoft Power BI for visualized, cutting-edge business intelligence reports for serialization will help in learning this pattern. Power BI can enable the end-users in creating their customized dashboards, thus helping with predictive analysis. This can also help in preempting the demand for a particular drug so that pharmaceutical manufacturers can alter their supply chain accordingly to meet the requirements.

04.Enhanced Visibility at Every Level of Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Apart from ensuring better accountability and compliance, companies are also making use of serialization to enhance visibility and improve monitoring at every level of the pharmaceutical supply chain. This will aid in avoiding stock-outs, monitoring packaging, improving the distribution process, and making sure that the drug is supplied per requirement across the market.

05.Barcoding & Labeling

This time-tested method is one of the most-used for a reason- it makes serialization a lot more streamlined and can help in advanced tracking. The latest digital barcoding techniques and advanced label-making capabilities can help the pharmaceutical industry in taking serialization in the supply chain, a level up.

10%

of the global pharma drug supply is counterfeit, which costs up to $200 billion annually. Additionally, the Interpol calculation reveals that this volume of counterfeit drugs takes a toll of 1 million people every year.

Source: WHO

How will Serialization Impact the Face of Pharmaceutical Companies in the Near Future?

  • Globally various countries like the USA, UK, Italy, Turkey, and India have taken up serialization of their pharmaceutical supply chain to some extent or the other. Speaking specifically of the United States, serialization of all the drugs at the sealable unit and case level has become a mandate since November of 2017 under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). This will impact the pharmaceutical companies and their supply chain vendors in the following ways:
  • In the near future, manufacturers will need to serialize all their drugs at an individual level with barcodes for better track and trace.
  • There will also be a change in the ways in which manufacturers supply their drugs. Thanks to serialization, they will get better visibility of the market, down to individual drug demand. This will help in better drug distribution.
  • Warehouses and inventories will be equipped with better visibility and a fortified drug distribution plan.
  • There will be a better understanding and communication among cross-functional teams. As serialization has an inflow and outflow of information at the production-floor level and at inventory-level, life sciences researchers, packaging personnel, IT experts, and distributors will all be on the same page with regards to the data available for a particular drug.

Challenges in Serialization Faced by Pharmaceutical Companies

Like any other change across the supply chain, serialization has its own set of challenges for the pharmaceutical companies. Here is a look into some of the potential challenging areas when it comes to implementing serialization:

  • Hardware Setup and Updates: Companies will need to make sure they have highly functioning hardware to manufacture labels, barcodes, and seals that are essential for serialization.
  • Steady Flow of the Production Line: Sticking to the process of serialization and making your skill base acquainted with this process might slow down the production line. The use of labels for individual units will also significantly slow down the packaging process.
  • Overall Cost Inflation: Cost inflation is a given when it comes to serialization, given the costs involved in hardware and software. However, this can be negated via pooled-investments and sustainable applications of the hardware and software.
  • Skilled Personnel Shortage: Newer, digitized ways of serialization would require a skill base that is well acquainted with the technicalities and details of these techniques. Currently, companies are facing a lack of a skilled employee base that is technically sound enough to implement their serialization strategies seamlessly.
  • Technical Glitches: Serialization is a process that requires minimal human intervention, and while that can be beneficial to avoid manual error, there is also a possibility of technical glitches in the process leading to incorrect tagging and compromised track and trace.

Key Benefits of Serialization Implementation in Operations:

  • End-to-end implementation across the supply chain for drugs in a hassle-free way
  • Seamlessly sealing the supply chain loopholes to combat drug counterfeiting and warehouse packaging glitches
  • Minimal human intervention needed, making serialization a full-proof, effective way to ensure brand authenticity and mitigate batch recalls
  • Total compliance with the US traceability regulation.

With all the challenges and benefits in mind, every pharmaceutical company will need to keep working towards an advanced, digitally-adept, full-proof serialization process for their supply chain to counterfeit the proliferation of drugs and avoid compromising with drug quality.

Key Takeaways

  • Serialization in pharmaceutical supply chain plays a significant role in avoiding drug theft, counterfeiting, batch recall and plausible hazard to the patient’s health; Newer trends in serialization are making use of advanced analytics for better drug distribution and fewer stock-outs.
  • No two pharmaceutical companies will have the same blueprint for their supply chain, and thus they will need to devise unique serialization processes to suit their requirements.
  • As the serialization of drugs has become a mandate in the USA, it is imperative for pharmaceutical companies and their supply chain vendors to understand and master the technical details of implementing serialization at batch and case levels.
  • The pharmaceutical companies will need to prepare themselves to overcome the potential challenges in implementing adept serialization to fortify their supply chain and enhance visibility for better drug track and trace.

XcelPros’ Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions enable pharmaceutical companies to seamlessly implement serialization for better compliance and enhanced track and trace.

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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

Predictive analytics in the pharmaceutical industry: Key Use Cases

Predictive analytics in the pharmaceutical industry: Key Use Cases 1500 752 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The digital era has given companies various tools and techniques to help pharmaceutical manufacturers optimize and streamline their operations, and predictive analysis is one such highly advanced method.
  • There are different ways with which predictive analytics can integrate with existing software setup and forecast plausible technical glitches and predict future trends, thus helping in enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Predictive analysis can help planning to execution, aftermarket services level to develop better products/ services, improve their response time, and stay ahead of the curve for delivering better customer experience.

The Role of Robust Infrastructure

Database management has become one of the topmost priorities for companies across the globe. This database is used to fabricate trends and patterns for a particular time-frame or a process or a product. Data historians have been around for quite some time now, but manufacturers have recently started to look at them as more than software that stores and retrieves data. Application of predictive analytics is turning out to be a game-changer in terms of predicting the future with maximum accuracy and helping manufacturers make the right calls across various functions- purchase, operations, consumer demands, marketing, and more.

Any business operates with the ultimate motive – to enhance productivity and profits. Optimizing operations thus becomes a must for manufacturers. Companies are riding the digital wave with cutting-edge technologies and tools such as Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, and Digital Analytics. By making the most of this digital disruption and using predictive analysis to their advantage, companies can achieve better operational efficiency and higher productivity.

Increased and better predictability for both structured and unstructured data helps companies in planning their operations accordingly for enhanced productivity and a faster pace of work.

Predictive Analytics in Pharmaceutical Operations

Predictive analytics is creating a buzz in the Pharma industry for quite some time now. Different pharmaceutical manufacturing companies are looking to model their business processes by gauging the future requirements. The predictive analysis makes use of data historians to accurately make predictions about future trends, possible glitches, and diversions along the road. While technology has come a long way when it comes to predictive analysis, at an enterprise level, there are many things you can do to make the most of this technique.

93%

of healthcare executives stated that predictive analytics is important to their business’ future.

Source: CIO.com

As major companies are competing to stay ahead, product sales and consumer acceptance of a specific drug are a few contributing factors that help decide on advancing to Predictive analytics.

Here are a few ways that predictive analytics helps Pharmaceutical operations become more streamlined and agile:

01.Predictive analytics assets help in understanding patient needs ahead of time

For years Pharma companies have invested heavily in market research and insight experts to understand various geographies and patient domains. This included research to understand and forecast patient needs and drug usage compliance to help both R&D and manufacturing teams prepare them ahead, thus catering to the requirements of the patient base. Predictive analysis plays a vital role in this domain by taking historian data and mining it to populate trends and patterns that can be used by Pharma companies to decide upon the demand for their product. Advanced digital analytics is also capable of generating models based on consumption density for a particular geography, demographic, and health index of the patient base. A pharmaceutical company, thus, would automatically be empowered by knowing its end customer base better and learn the composition of drugs and approximate quantities to produce. You can, therefore, produce the drugs as per the forecast and restructure your supply chain as per the demand. All this will optimize your operations by streamlining both the production department and your supply chain. This will result in enhanced productivity and reduced risks of stock-outs or inventory influxes.

02.Digital analytics plays an imperative role in predicting plausible manufacturing equipment glitches

Anyone working on a production line can vouch for the fact that faulty equipment can cost fortunes by becoming the reason for slowed down or altogether stopped production for days. What predictive analysis does is that it uses the stored equipment data and runs the algorithms to understand the working patterns of any equipment. This, in turn, helps in generating reports for plausible scenarios of equipment malfunction. The production team can get forewarned and can work on the said equipment beforehand to prevent any glitches. Apart from helping in enhancing the operational efficacy, this can also help in preventing loss due to stalled production.

One can take the predictive analysis a step further and use the trends generated to get into a proactive maintenance mode, rather than a more cumbersome and costlier reactive maintenance option.

9%

uptime improvement can be achieved by ensuring predictive maintenance in factories.

Source: A Report by PWC

03.Predictive analytics enhances operational efficiency by enabling risk assessment

Predicting the actions and production outcome of a batch record has become integral to measuring the performance of a Pharma product line. Predictive analytics helps in this assessment with maximum accuracy. It also helps in proactively foretelling issues risks related to product line performance, which allows Production Managers to mitigate these risks to raise product quality standards, and hence become a key driver in increasing product performance in the market. This could apply to both software and hardware in a production line. The cumulative phenomenon results in better risk assessment. This helps the operations team to proactively plan the course of their actions for a better outcome. The advanced predictive analytics tools integrate with different software used by the manufacturers to recognize patterns, share information with other machines and apply the principles of machine learning to automatically gauge risks and alert the users on a timely basis. For optimized operations, risk aversion plays an important role.

Figure 1Use Cases of Predictive Analytics in Pharma

01

Deriving 360 degree patient journey insights

02

Influencing patient adherence

03

Capturing genomics data to accelerate discovery of precision medicine

04

Speeding up drug discovery and development

05

Improving the efficiency in clinical trials

06

Identifying gaps in compliance to streamline regulations

07

Reducing cost and speeding up time-to-market

08

Improving safety and risk management

09

Managing operations and employee training

10

Taking effective sales and marketing initiatives

04.Advanced analytics is essential in accelerating operations

The ways mentioned above with which advanced predictive analysis helps in operational efficiency have all resulted in more agility in the overall operations. Rapidly delivering drugs to the end customer, is becoming a primary responsibility for Pharma companies within the Pharma Value Chain. Companies see a rapid generation of patterns, demands met with more ease, lower risks in manufacturing processes – advancing production lines, and related functions to be more agile.

Business Scenario

Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer company, continues to experience manufacturing challenges in the production of EpiPen® (epinephrine injection, USP) 0.3 mg and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection, USP) 0.15 mg Auto-Injectors, and the authorized generic versions of these strengths. These challenges are expected to result in tighter supplies and greater variability in pharmacy-level access at this time.

Added to the shortage of EpiPens due to tighter supplies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided additional information on lots that are about to expire creating further risk in Epipen availability for the patient base.

A good model of predictive analytics in the Pharma supply chain that provides a gauge of stock requirements based on patient demand, in-store inventory, and expiration dates would have mitigated this risk of Epipen outage before it is too late. Time to market is an essential factor in deciding the success of a product. Accelerating pharma manufacturing processes will thus help companies stay ahead in the competition.

Key Takeaways

  • Predictive analytics is highly effective in risk assessment, equipment analysis, trend forecasting, and data mining.
  • Every industry has their specific criterion to make use of predictive analysis to boost sales and with better use of such tools, enterprises will be better prepared to serve their customer base.
  • Manufacturers can benefit highly from this advanced digital technology by optimizing their operations and enhancing the speed of production.
  • Speeding up the drug to the market process by predicting demand based on patient demographic enables Pharma companies to be prepared for the increase in end-customer demand and manage stock outages without compromising patient needs.

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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.

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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.

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