FDA Making Drug Supply Chain More Secure George Frey,Getty Images

Tracking Progress of Pharma Supply Chains

While consumer goods and food and beverage industries have made great progress in supply chain improvement, the pharmaceutical industry has been slower to change according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals ( CSCMP). “The many mergers and acquisitions among companies in this category has slowed progress in achieving supply chain excellence,” the group said.

However, last year the group developed the Supply Chain Index to quantify not just supply chain excellence but also supply chain improvement. After three years of research, in 2014 the group’s Index quantifies both supply chain excellence  as well as supply chain improvement.

The company posting the best performance in the portfolio of metrics is AstraZeneca; however, the company is not improving (as measured by the Supply Chain Index for the two periods studied). The companies making the greatest improvement are Biogen Idec and Novo Nordisk. Moreover, most companies in this sector are making progress on individual metrics, but not on the entire portfolio.

To find out how high profile pharma companies scored see the performance and improvement rankings.  

While the group acknowledges that that supply chain performance has not been as strategically important in this high-margin sector as it has been in other industries, the growth of regulation will require a higher level of excellence.

Building end-to-end supply chains is the key to improved supply chains, says the CSCMP. At issue is the bias toward a "siloed" culture. This tendency combined with the shortage of mid-management global talent is a challenge, explains says Lora Cecere, CEO of  Supply Chain Insights. She recommends that companies devote resources to building their talent pool. 

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