Risk management methods and tools in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries

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Understanding and implementing risk management methods and tools is crucial for the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries in view of the fact that errors in this area can lead to dangers for human life. Since any mistake in any chain of in this industry can lead to serious consequences; the FDA and other regulatory agencies have created a number of risk management methods and tools for these industries.

A few commonly used risk management methodsIn the pharmaceutical and life sciences area, a few commonly used risk management methods and tools for organizing data and using these to help in decision-making include the following:

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A few popular risk management methods and toolsIn the field of pharmaceuticals and life sciences, these can be said to be some of the more popularly used risk management methods and tools:

Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA)FMEA is a popular one among the risk management methods and tools mainly because it provides a methodology for assessing a potential failure mode for the process that goes into the manufacturing of the pharma or life sciences product and helps to analyze their possible impact on the product’s ability to perform to its required standard.

risk-in-pharmaceutical-and-life-sciences-industriesIdentification and establishment of failure modes are taken as the basis for using risk reduction techniques for eliminating, containing, reducing or controlling the possible failures. Since FMEA depends on a deep understanding of the product and the process; its main steps include dissembling complex processes into simpler and comprehensible ones. For this reason, FMEA is considered a potent risk management method and tool.

Failure, Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA)Extending the concept of FMEA a little farther, the Failure, Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) takes into account the added feature of the extent of gravity of the consequences of a fault or failure, along with the possibility of their occurrence, as well as the chance of their detection. While this is the slight extension that the FMECA brings to FMEA; it is similar to it in other respects, namely:

risk-in-pharmaceutical-and-life-sciences-industriesFMECA too, like FMEA, uses identification and establishment of the process specification to identify risks and failures

FMECA too uses the method of breaking down difficult processes to easier ones to enable better understanding of the failures and risks.

Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)Fault Tree Analysis is another of the risk management methods and tools. What this tool does is that it takes up a single fault at a time for analysis, but links the chains that cause the fault. This is why it gets its name, wherein the results of the analysis are represented in a shape of a tree, in which each level of fault is described with possibilities. A sharp and incisive analytical bent of mind is required to create the FTA.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)HACCP is yet another important one among the risk management methods and tools. It takes a systematic and proactive approach in ensuring the following in a product:

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It is considered a comprehensive risk management method and tool because it addresses all the issues relating to risk management methods and tools, applying scientific principles and methods for carrying out the following:

risk-in-pharmaceutical-and-life-sciences-industriesControlling of the risk or the negative outcomes of hazard, which could be due to any of these:

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Supporting statistical tools
risk-in-pharmaceutical-and-life-sciences-industriesWhile all the risk management methods and tools described above are a snapshot of some of the major ones, a few supporting statistical tools, too, are used to engender quality risk management. These are some of them:

 

 

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How to choose a supply chain management solution

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Any business that opts for a supply chain management solution has to have clarity on how to choose a supply chain management solution. This is because the supply chain management solution is expected to carry out a number of very important functions. Choosing the wrong or inappropriate one can backfire on the business and derail and impede, rather than ease its work.

Businesses have to take a few important factors into consideration when they have to choose a supply chain management solution. For the supply chain management solution to perform its function of facilitating the supply chain for the business, it needs to perform its functions smoothly without causing hiccups to the business. This is where the decision-making ability of the business owner comes into picture.

supply-chain-management-solutionSo, what factors need to be taken into consideration when a business has to choose a supply chain management solution? Try considering these:

1. Choose by industryThis is obviously a no brainer, but it is an important first consideration nevertheless in choosing a supply chain management solution. Many supply chain management solution providers sell the idea that these are one-size-fits-all solutions that work across a number of industries since the core functions are essentially the same.

This may be true to an extent, but while a number of functionalities are common across a few industries; it is important to get down to the one that is built for your business. A supply chain management solution that works best for retail, for example, may not be as effective for an automobile store. Getting down to the details and dissecting the functionality that the supply chain management solution performs for your particular industry is an important first step in choosing a supply chain management solution.

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2. Define your needThis is the next important consideration when choosing a supply chain management solution. A number of supply chain management solutions are available in the market. Choose the one that suits your need the best. In order to do this, the business has to define its need to the fullest extent. It could take a few factors such as this into consideration:

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3. Understand the integration function of the supply chain management solutionIntegration is, well, the very soul of a supply chain management solution. The business should have clarity on what functions need to be integrated into the supply chain management solution. The reason for which the integration function is built into a supply chain management solution is to facilitate synchronization of the whole chain. This makes it one of the core factors that determined how to choose a supply chain management solution.

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4. Insist on the visibility featureVisibility is a great means for the business to have control over its sales, inventory, logistics, and a host of other functions. The supply chain management solution has to offer visibility on all these functions.

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5. Customer relationship management (CRM)A supply chain management solution is incomplete if it does not come equipped with a strong CRM feature. The CRM is the determinant in helping to establish a good relationship with the customer. The CRM feature should enable the business to completely understand the nature of the orders and their status, plus, more importantly, help in customer query responses and other important customer-related features.

 

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Trends that will shape Supply Chain and Logistics in 2017

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Trends that will shape Supply Chain and Logistics in 2017 is an interesting topic to think about. Though most of the trends are a takeoff from the previous years, unless something really disrupting happens out of the blue at some point of time in the year; the signals are strong that the trends that emerged in the previous few years are set to solidify and get reinforced.

What are the trends that will shape supply chain and logistics in 2017?

For a sector that is dependent heavily on infrastructure for its working; there has been little of path breaking significance in terms of what has been added to the existing infrastructure in any country of significance in the world, at least not to the extent that it can impact the industry in a significant way. The Chinese hobbyhorse, the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, is not slated for completion in this year. The completion of this grand project could spell a major change for the shape supply chain and logistics, but nothing of such drastic significance is set to take place in 2017.

trends-will-shape-supply-chain-and-logistics-2017In the other “happening” countries – for the supply chain and logistics industry that is – 2017 is not likely to see a signal shift. But the developments that have been happening over the past few years are likely to gather pace. Technology is one area in which the change is to be expected. While again, technology itself may not really be new till this point of time in this year; a few trends have been emerging, promising to make some impact on the shape supply chain and logistics industry in 2017.

Big Data as a driver of changeBig Data is the word on everyone’s lips. How can one expect an industry that is so completely data driven as logistics and supply chain to be insulated from its influence?

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Transition to m-commerceA notable development that is expected in the supply chain and logistics in 2017 is the evolution of ecommerce into m-commerce. This again, is nothing new or defining for 2017, but the year is likely to see a continuation of the trend set earlier.

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People all over the world are finding it much easier to shop with the help of their mobile devices, and are adapting to this medium, albeit at different levels and speed. The explosion in the number of smartphones being purchased globally has added impetus to m-commerce.

Try-ons as a new trendA new feature of online shopping is the try-on option that consumers are now being given. Online shoppers are given the option of choosing 4-5 varieties of their chosen product. All these pieces are delivered with the order, and the consumer can try out each of them and select the one that she thinks suits her best. The idea is to replicate the actual shopping to the extent possible.

trends-will-shape-supply-chain-and-logistics-2017This trend has its challenges, for sure, because the cost of making it work could be unimaginably high. As with any new trend, it is going to be some time before the economies of scale of such huge logistical operations start kicking in. Yet, this is a very tangible factor that is sure to count among the supply chain and logistics trends of 2017.

 

 

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