5 Supply Chain Lessons from Covid

As 2021 draws to a close, it remains unclear whether life will ever return to the pre-COVID “normal” we enjoyed prior to 2020. But the pandemic wasn’t all bad, even when it comes to the global supply chains that endured so many challenges. Today, manufacturers and their partners can take solace in the many lessons learned that better position them to protect and distribute future clinical breakthroughs with confidence. Following are five of the most vital lessons that will keep pharma manufacturers moving in the right direction:

  1. Digital supply chain technologies are ready for prime time. IoT devices added a layer of confidence to existing thermal protection, with the ability to relay information on temperature, location, and condition in real time. These devices are only becoming smarter, smaller and less expensive, as IoT technologies advance quickly in their ability to generate real-time condition insights.

  2. “Do something” becomes a rallying cry. While real-time data feeds enable the identification of issues, the ability to act on those insights is vital to eliminating risk from supply chains. For example, clinicians were able to administer vaccines in a safe and timely manner through access to inventory alerts about delays or package-handling errors.

  3. When it comes to weather, expect the unexpected. Using thermal materials for additional protection, vaccine administrators can salvage doses that would otherwise have to be removed from the last mile. Real-time access to weather data is helpful for anticipating problems, but shippers can also mitigate the long-term effects of storms by optimizing packaging for both weight and duration.

  4. Vaccine hesitancy is multi-faceted. Since the start of the pandemic, the availability of PPE and pharmaceutical counterfeiting have been a concern, giving rise to anxiety about authenticity. Healthcare workers can help to ensure the integrity of vaccines by educating the general population about high-tech protections, including effective packaging and integrated monitors.

  5. Protecting the earth is more important than ever. During the pandemic, providers and consumers adapted to many new ways of doing things, including demonstrating comfort with reusable packaging when the return process is simple. Going forward, manufacturers and end-users can benefit from higher-grade thermal protection by embracing a reuse approach for biopharmaceutical packaging.

Read more in the Supply Chain Brain article, "Five Lessons From Covid: Looking Back to Keep Moving Ahead," by clicking here.

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