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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Building One True Control Tower

PMPS: Location tracking remains integral in temperature-controlled logistics, but what improvements need to be made to better inform distributors and reassure clients?

Gisli Herjolfsson: Many pharmaceutical supply chains are not equipped with real-time data that would help them prevent issues; often, they can only see the issues once the product has been received. This leads to companies not being able to alert their carriers and logistics providers that a problem has arisen so that proactive action may be taken to prevent in-transit product waste. Real-time data, monitored and tracked by Internet of Things (IoT) devices, can be used to send escalation notifications based on product integrity, location, and other risks, for example pallets being split up, longer than usual dwell times, or similar incidents that can compromise quality conditions.

The COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts have demonstrated how technology can be used to effectively connect stakeholders and align goals across the supply chain. Integrations of various systems and platforms made it possible for manufacturers to aggregate data into insights using multiple control towers. Technology improves communication and collaboration with their carriers, while also automating workflows and processes. Integrating cold chain control towers will enable greater visibility, agility, and responsiveness moving forward, connecting stakeholders across the value chain, reducing waste, improving delivery time, and ultimately increasing patient safety.

How are risks mitigated throughout a cold chain shipment's journey?

Within the cold chain, problems typically happen at multiple handoff points. Temperature excursions account for nearly 80% of supply chain problems, damaging products and diminishing consumer confidence in trusted brands. Each lane of travel – air, road, or sea – requires different handoff points, and each one poses unique risks. Losses of temperature-controlled products often occur because cold chains have historically lacked real-time access to actionable data that enable accurate decision-making and document the integrity of delivered cargo.

Real-time data logger technology can be used to measure various scenarios that would require escalation, such as products being delayed, pallets being split up or arriving at the wrong location, a potential security issue, or issues at borders. This level of insight allows companies to see into their business operations, supply chain operations, suppliers, and partners, and then make decisions that maximise improvements.

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Gisli Herjolfsson is CEO and Co-Founder of Controlant, a technology company that is pioneering the development of next-generation supply chain monitoring and traceability solutions for digitally connected pharmaceutical cold chains. He has driven the vision, culture, and growth of the company for the last 10 years.
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Gisli Herjolfsson
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