The way forward for SCM
Our News Bureau – Mumbai
The pharmaceutical industry is known for its highly sensitive products. The delivery of these ‘easy to damage’ products is largely dependent on the logistic network in the industry. Stronger Supply Chain Management (SCM) assures the quality and integrity of the product. Moreover, increase in manufacturing activities, foreign and domestic acquisitions, joint ventures, legislative reforms, have increased the importance of SCM many fold. Understanding the importance of SCM for the pharma industry, UBM had recently organised SCM Pharma India 2010 event in Mumbai. Logistic experts from the domestic and the global pharma industry talked about some of the key logistic issues that mattered most to the industry.
Hemant Kumar, General Manager, Global Supply Chain, Ranbaxy Laboratories, said, “The way SCM is managed will keep on changing. It will not remain the same. Speed and scale will be the key ingredients for the success of SCM in the coming future.” Kumar opined on the challenges for the global and domestic logistic for the pharma sector, “Logistics for pharma industry overseas is very challenging. The norms for the logistics/warehouses are as challenging as that for pharma product manufacturing. Such stringent requirements really add to the pains of the logistic section of the company or the logistic service provider. As far as the domestic pharma logistic challenge is concerned, speed to the market is very important. Optimising time for distribution is also very challenging.” Kumar reiterated the fact that India is the low cost country, which is the biggest advantage.
Ryan Viegas, Vice President, Supply Chain and Procurement, Watson Pharma was also one of the speakers. He spoke about securing global supply chain to protect quality and integrity of high value pharma products. He said, “ As far as SCM is concerned we have to cross different conditions, regulatory requirements etc.” Veigas briefed listeners about global logistic disruptions like natural disasters/ accidents. “Future trends suggest even longer and more complex supply chain driven by greater product variety and faster change in assortments. Besides this, the longer a product is in the supply chain, higher the risk to it. We should not forget to mention counterfeiting as well,” he added. The event was attended by experts from different pharma companies. Avinash Shrivastava, Manager, Distribution and System Support, Lupin, handles SAP support and also the central point of co-ordination for corporate distribution activities for PAN Indian operations. He is also responsible for Western Zone operations. He said, “I benefited many ways by this event. I got networking opportunities with both industry speakers and also with the service providers apart from listening to the speakers on demand forecasting and the challenges industry is facing in maintaining ‘as is’ status of temperature sensitive products till the time of its final consumption by the patient. However, I think cold chain logistics service providers in India should have been invited for their presentations and the challenges and limitations they have with regard to the cost effective movement of temperature sensitive goods and in delivering the goods within pre-defined time frame.”