Monday, June 30, 2014

Repost, with comments: AstraZeneca's Focus On Supply Chain: With Change Comes The Obligation To Respond

Pharmaceutical Online recently posted an article on the need for tight collaboration within a pharmaceutical company's supply chain in order to respond to changing market conditions.

They also mentioned a Gartner study defining the five steps that a company needs to make in order to ensure an effective supply chain: React, Anticipate, Integrate, Collaborate, and Orchestrate. For years, we have been saying that using solutions such as MES and Workflow can be the underpinning of a responsive, agile supply chain.

Let's look at #Workflow. Its basic function is to coordinate logical steps of a process, and enforce compliance to processes, procedures, and actions, such as a corrective action or remediation. It can also drive activities such as the correct way to conduct a quality audit, or respond to a shortage of inventory (which locations do you go to first, etc.).  Workflow orchestrates work steps to ensure the correct resources are being used on the correct lines, in a consistent and predicatable manner.

#MES, or Manufacturing Execution Systems, assist in the integration of ERP to Manufacturing.  A core function of MES is to provide process results to the business system, such as the material consumption by step or by line, the outcome of any quality testing, recipe management, and labor utilization. This integration is key for process visibility, order status, and inventory management. Supplier management can be enforced with MES, providing instructions for sample sizes, frequencies, and escalation factors, helping a company better react to issues at hand, and anticipate material, labor or process shortages.  In other words, using MES along with workflow helps a pharmaceutical company better manage their operations, to become the agile, flexible, supply chain-driven enterprise they need to be.

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