Become Better With Biostatistics for the Non-Statistician In 10 Minutes

It is aimed at professionals who must understand and work with study design and interpretation of findings in a clinical or biotechnology setting.

That statistics can be a vital decision-making tool for clinical research is well-established. It is helpful for the clinician in situations where a p-value can help determine the next steps in the development of a drug or procedure. It is thus vital for decision makers to comprehend the theory and application of statistics.

We have many statistical software applications that help in arriving at crucial decisions. However, almost all these software applications were developed for statisticians. These software applications could confound the non-statisticians. Their confusion could start with something as basic as even knowing which key to press.

In this scenario, learning how to use biostatistics and derive its benefits is important. A marathon, six-hour webinar being organized by GlobalCompliancePanel, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, on October 25, will explain biostatistics for the non-statistician.

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Elaine Eisenbeisz, a private practice statistician and owner of Omega Statistics, a statistical consulting firm based in Southern California, will be the expert at this webinar. Please visit https://www.globalcompliancepanel.com/virtual-seminar/6-hour-virtual-seminar-on-biostatistics-for-the-non-statistician-10307LIVE to register for this webinar.

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This webinar, designed for non-statisticians, provides a non-mathematical introduction to biostatistics. Elaine will arm the participants with all the information and skills necessary for understanding statistical concepts and findings as they apply to clinical research, and to confidently convey this knowledge to people with whom they work.

This webinar will emphasize statistical concepts, application, and interpretation, and not on mathematical formulas or actual data analysis. Participants are expected to have an elementary understanding of statistics, but this is not mandatory.

It is aimed at professionals who must understand and work with study design and interpretation of findings in a clinical or biotechnology setting.

This will be the agenda that will be covered at this webinar:

Why Statistics?

  • Do we really need statistical tests?
  • Sample vs. Population
  • I’m a statistician not a magician! What statistics can and can’t do
  • Descriptive statistics and measures of variability

The many ways of interpretation

  • Confidence intervals
  • p-values
  • effect sizes
  • Clinical vs. meaningful significance

Common Statistical Tests

  • Comparative tests
  • Regression analysis
  • Non-parametric techniques

Bayesian Logic

  • A different way of thinking
  • Bayesian methods and statistical significance
  • Bayesian applications to diagnostics testing
  • Bayesian applications to genetics

Interpreting Statistics – Team Exercise

  • Team Exercise: Review a scientific paper and learn how to
    • Interpret statistical jargon
    • Look for reproducibility, transparency, bias, and limitations
    • Convey information coherently to non-statisticians

Study power and sample size

  • Review of p-value, significance level, effect size
  • Formulas, software, and other resources for computing a sample size

Developing a Statistical Analysis Plan

  • Using FDA guidance as a foundation, learn the steps and criteria needed to develop a statistical analysis plan (SAP).
  • An SAP template will be given to all attendees.

Specialized topics/Closing Comments/Q&A

  • Comparing Survival Curves
  • Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics (PK/PD)
  • Taking a holistic view to study design and interpretation
  • Question and Answer session.

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About the Director:

Elaine brings over 30 years of experience in creating data and information solutions for industries ranging from governmental agencies and corporations to start-up companies and individual researchers. She has designed the methodology for numerous studies in the clinical, biotech, and health care fields.

She currently is an investigator on approximately 10 proton therapy clinical trials for Proton Collaborative Group, based in Illinois. She also designs and analyzes studies as a contract statistician for nutraceutical and fitness studies with QPS, a CRO based in Delaware.

Supply Chain Integrity and Security

Supply Chain Integrity and Security

The topic of supply chain integrity and security is relatively new in Pharma, having gained prominence in recent years for the reasons described above. Breach of security related to criminal activity is where the issues are most visible and enforcement activity is actively taking place around the globe. In parallel, if we are looking for sustainable, root cause solutions, we must also turn our attention to supply chain integrity and deal with both security and integrity concurrently.

An Oxford on-line dictionary definition of integrity is “the state of being whole and undivided”. Over the last 40 years, the Pharma supply chain has fragmented to the point where it is a million miles from that state. There are now multiple business models, such as virtual, biotech, specialty Pharma, innovator, generics, biosimilars, etc and a divergence of supporting actors, such a contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), contract research organizations (CROs), central laboratories, third party logistics providers, pre-wholesalers, wholesalers, specialty pharmaceutical providers (SPPs) etc. As a result, our supply chains have dis-integrated to the point where visibility and accountability have become blurred at the edges – and it is this disintegration that has opened the doors to criminal activity and errors in quality outcomes.

The solution is not an easy one. It requires urgent action to mitigate activities of the ‘bad guys’, together with a longer term approach to ensure the ‘good guys’ get better at building and managing robust supply chains. This can only be achieved by collaboration between regulators, other enforcement agencies, technology providers and the industry itself. Where do we start?

We must initially focus on the end-to-end supply chain in its current state. Chains of custody and ownership must be clearly identified and remediation actions agreed by responsible parties to plug the gaps that currently exist. For example, Quality and technical agreements must become far more ‘process’ orientated so that they become working documents shared between business partners, rather than merely a static list of tick boxes. Change control has to work on upstream and downstream impacts that might affect supply chain integrity and procurement must forge supply agreements that impose obligations for supply chain visibility on prospective partners. This and much more needs to happen and will be discussed in the session.

Then we must turn attention to the building of supply chains for the future – the product development phase. This industry is unique in that the entire supply chain must be registered with competent authorities before approval to sell and post-launch changes have to be approved. This places a great responsibility on getting it right from the start. This is where the opportunity lay for sustainable improvements in the physical architecture of the supply chain and the underpinning management processes and information flows. A foundation for this has already been put in place by the regulators through FDA’s 21st Century Modernization initiative and ICH Q8 – 11 guidelines. The key to translating these initiatives into meaningful supply chain improvements, however, it in understanding the patient value proposition and the organizational/cultural elements that must firstly be in place, and these are explored in some depth.

Why should you attend: The Pharmaceutical supply chain has never been in such turmoil and under such attack from governments and regulators globally. The evidence is stark and mounting. Supply chain shortages in the US have moved even the President to demand urgent remediation; high level congressional committees have also asked searching questions of FDA and other involved stakeholders, in an attempt to discover what has been going on with high profile supply chain failures. Cargo theft, diversion and counterfeiting have become almost endemic, with detection and enforcement efforts stretched to the limit. Finally, and possibly most worrying of all, are the cases where materials have been adulterated or substituted with toxic alternatives (for economic gain) and have progressed undetected through one or more stages in the supply chain causing eventual patient death.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • How to organize for supply chain integrity throughout the product life cycle
  • Current approaches to clamping down on criminal activity in the supply chain
  • Issues causing greatest concern to regulators and how to address them
  • Role of ICH Q8 – 11 in building robust supply chains
  • How the disciplines of procurement and supply chain management (SCM) can be leveraged
  • Role of technology as an enabler

Who Will Benefit:

  • Research chemistry and biochemistry
  • Chemical and biochemical engineering
  • Chemistry, manufacturing, and controls
  • Preclinical Development
  • Clinical Development
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Quality Assurance

Speaker Profile

Hedley Rees is a practicing consultant, coach and trainer, helping healthcare companies build, manage and continuously improve their clinical trial and commercial supply chains and risk profiles. He has his own company, Biotech PharmaFlow Ltd, based in the UK and handles assignments across the spectrum from top ten Pharma’s through to highly virtual early stage start ups. Prior to this, Hedley held senior supply chain positions at Bayer, British Biotech, Vernalis, Johnson & Johnson and OSI Pharmaceuticals. His skill set covers the range of supply chain management processes from strategic procurement, production and inventory control, distribution logistics, information systems and improvement. His specific interest is in driving industry improvements through the regulatory modernization frameworks of FDAs 21st Century Modernization and ICH Q8 – Q10.

Hedley holds an Executive MBA from Cranfield University School of Management and is a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS). He is a member of the UK BioIndustry Association’s (BIA) Manufacturing Advisory Committee and also regularly speaks at international conferences, being co-chair of the 2011 FDA/Xavier University sponsored Global Outsourcing Conference in Cincinnati, October 2 -5. He has published in US and EU pharmaceutical journals and is author of “Supply Chain Management in the Drug Industry: Delivering Patient Value for Pharmaceuticals and Biologics” published by J. Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Best Biostatistics Tips You Will Read This Year

How do you know if you are pressing the right key, let alone performing the best test?

Statistics is a useful decision making tool in the clinical research arena. When working in a field where a p-value can determine the next steps on development of a drug or procedure, it is imperative that decision makers understand the theory and application of statistics.

Many statistical softwares are now available to professionals. However, these softwares were developed for statisticians and can often be daunting to non-statisticians. How do you know if you are pressing the right key, let alone performing the best test?

biostatistics

This seminar provides a non-mathematical introduction to biostatistics and is designed for non-statisticians. And it will benefit professionals who must understand and work with study design and interpretation of findings in a clinical or biotechnology setting.

The focus of the seminar is to give you the information and skills necessary to understand statistical concepts and findings as applies to clinical research, and to confidently convey the information to others.

Emphasis will be placed on the actual statistical (a) concepts, (b) application, and (c) interpretation, and not on mathematical formulas or actual data analysis. A basic understanding of statistics is desired, but not necessary.

  • Physicians
  • Clinical Research Associates
  • Clinical Project Managers/Leaders
  • Sponsors
  • Regulatory Professionals who use statistical concepts/terminology in reporting
  • Medical Writers who need to interpret statistical reports

A guide to practical Risk Management [ISO14971 and IEC62304]

Risk management being a mandatory component of almost any activity in the medical device industry.

Gaps, incorrect or incomplete implementation of safety functionality can delay or make the certification/approval of medical products impossible. Most activities cannot be retroactively performed since they are closely linked into the development lifecycle. Diligent, complete and correct implementation of risk management from the start of product development is therefore imperative. This course will introduce all necessary steps to design, implement and test critical medical devices in a regulatory compliant environment. This course will additionally address the software risk management and the resulting interfaces to device level risk management.

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To comprehensively summarize all risk related activities and to demonstrate the safe properties of a device the ‘Safety Case’ or ‘Assurance Case’ document is a well-established method to collect all safety related information together in one place. This documentation will most likely become mandatory for all devices (currently only required for FDA infusion pump submissions). This course will introduce the basic concepts and content of safety assurance cases and will illustrate the usefulness for internal and external review of safety related information.

Risk management with emphasis on the application of risk management principles and requirements to the medical device development cycle. Risk management has become the method of choice to ensure an effective and safety oriented device development. International consensus, reflected in globally applicable standard requirements, has led to risk management being a mandatory component of almost any activity in the medical device industry.

The course will emphasize the implementation of risk management into the development and maintenance process. It will use real-life examples and proven tips and tricks to make the application of risk management a practical and beneficial undertaking. This seminar will address the system level issues of risk management as well as the increasingly important software and usability related issues of critical systems. It will help to comply with regulatory requirements with minimized overhead and resource burden. To make the combines effort to design, implement and verify a safe device transparent the concept of an assurance case will be introduced.

The course is mainly based on international consensus requirements such as ISO14971, IEC62366 and IEC62304. It will cover European (MDD), US (FDA) and international risk management requirements from a regulatory and practitioner’s perspective.

Following personnel will benefit from the course:

  • Senior quality managers
  • Quality professionals
  • Regulatory professionals
  • Compliance professionals
  • Project managers
  • Design engineers
  • Software engineers
  • Process owners
  • Quality engineers
  • Quality auditors
  • Medical affairs
  • Legal Professionals

How the Things Will Change The Way You Approach [Phase I Gmps]

Including vendor selection and management, stability, labeling, and documentation requirements will also be reviewed and explored.

Early clinical trials are conducted to establish initial safety of a drug. The studies are generally in small number of healthy subjects and use lower doses of the drug product. Therefore, only small amounts of investigational material are required. In order to not undertake substantial costs and to reduce regulatory burden during these early stages, the FDA has established guidelines to allow early stage investigational products to be manufactured under less stringent GMPs.

This workshop will review the current regulations, guidance documents for early stage manufacturing and GMPs in detail. Regulatory strategies and logistical considerations for early development stage product, including vendor selection and management, stability, labeling, and documentation requirements will also be reviewed and explored.

manufacturing

So, that you may understand differences between GMP requirements for early and later stage clinical development. Explore and discuss ways to develop and implement strategies for early GMPs for phase I clinical studies.

  • Directors
  • Managers
  • Supervisors in Regulatory Affairs
  • Manufacturing
  • Quality Assurance, and Clinical Operations

Effective Technical Writing in the Life Sciences

The most effective techniques for extracting information from SMEs as well as those techniques that work best when observing procedures and activities to be documented.

Technical writing and its role within the life sciences. Technical writers produce a variety of technical documents that are required to manage and direct regulated operations and to meet regulatory requirements. We will spend some time in this webinar discussing those document types, their importance, and the consequences of the messages are unclear or misunderstood.

After setting the stage for this content, we delve into the writing process beginning with the audience and how the audience must be analyzed to determine the level of writing that must be employed to complete the document.

Gathering the information to be included in the technical document requires collaboration between the writer and the various subject matter experts that possess the knowledge to be harvested. How that information is gathered can be an effective efficient process or an ineffective time-consuming endeavor all dependent upon the techniques employed to execute the activity. We will address the most effective techniques for extracting information from SMEs as well as those techniques that work best when observing procedures and activities to be documented.

Why you have to know

->Even with the advent of technology, we still communicate with the written word. Technical writing is about conveying information quickly, accurately, clearly, and succinctly. How we communicate, how we are understood, and how the message is received directly depends upon our skills as technical writers. In the life sciences, this skill is exceedingly important.

->In the life sciences, the stakes are high in terms of the writing’s ability to enable 100% accurate understanding of the content and where applicable, performance of the task or procedure documented. In the life sciences, that could mean the difference between life or death, safety or injury, loss or recovery, contamination or purity, success or failure.

->Unfortunately, technical writing is not a skill that is given much emphasis in college curriculums if any. Technical writing is a skill, life sciences workers are assumed to have and are expected to demonstrate at a level of skill usually beyond the capability of most. Unfortunately, most readers of technical writing are in the “same boat.” They “don’t know a good one when they see one.”  At the end of the day, in most cases, you have mediocre writing at best that may or may not convey the message intended.

->This virtual seminar will walk you through the technical writing process from start to finish. Each critical aspect of writing technical documents for the life sciences will be addressed with the goal of helping you become better technical writers. The tips and skills presented can be applied immediately and will be evident in the very first document that you write after this virtual seminar.

Writing technical material to include http://bit.ly/2SFohvo_Technical

An understanding of Risk Management and Analysis for Medical Device Manufacturers

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Risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers is an essential set of approaches to quality in the field of medical devices. Implementing these is of absolute importance and criticality to the field, as the products in this industry are high-specialty ones that deal with human lives. A small error at any stage can send the product, and with it, the reputation of the manufacturer and even the healthcare provider, into a tailspin.

From its beginnings a few decades ago as a “nice to have” feature or discipline that used to come into the picture only when there were issues; quality has grown into an indispensable element of a medical device product. A medical device product into which quality does not get intertwined at every stage, right from procurement of the raw material to the use it is put to by the consumer and beyond, is unthinkable today.

risk-management-and-analysis-for-medical-device--manufacturersThe primary driver of this metamorphosis is risk management. Risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers has been the lynchpin among the agents of change brought about into this field. Quality has evolved as a result of the change in the import regime in the US in the seventies, when products from around the world used to deluge the US market.

the consequences of this trade policy have led to the emergence of the creation of quality approaches such as Six Sigma and kaizen among many others, and global standards, of which ISO 14971 specifically relates to Quality Management Systems and methods for medical devices. Root Cause Analysis is at the root of each of these methodologies and standards.

So, what is risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers?

risk-management-and-analysis-for-medical-device--manufacturersIn the context of medical devices, risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers means applying a set of processes, policies, methods and practices into their manufacturing systems in alignment with respective and relevant standards as set out by global standards such as the ISO. The aim of these standards and practices is to analyze, assess, control and monitor risk. The ISO 14971 has been revised many times and each time this is done, the latest one becomes the extant version. This and other standards and practices prescribe steps and processes that need to be implemented at all stages of the product lifecycle.

The need for risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturersThe need for risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers is simple: To ensure that the medical device meets quality requirements and is manufactured according to standards and specifications and methods prescribed in these standards. Standards such as ISO 13485, various Quality Systems Regulations (QSRs) such as 21 CFR 820 and a few European standards work in tandem with ISO 14971. The core purpose of requiring medical devices manufacturers to meet these requirements is to ensure that safety and quality are built into a medical device from start to finish.

The time at which to carry out risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers

risk-management-and-analysis-for-medical-device--manufacturersRisk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers is to be carried throughout the lifecycle of the medical device. A set purpose is set out at each stage of the manufacturing process. For example, medical device manufacturers are required to identify and eliminate potential hazards at the initial stage using the concepts of product optimization, and use the principles of risk elimination at all the next stages, and to use the methods prescribed during a product recall.

The ways of carrying out risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturersThe ways by which risk management and analysis for medical device manufacturers are to be exercised form an important part of quality. The ISO 14971 standard is pretty flexible in this regard, allowing the manufacturer to adapt any existing standard or approach that he thinks is best suited for his organization.

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The role of packaging in food safety and security

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The role of packaging in food safety and security is paramount. Perhaps no other factor plays the role of packaging when it comes to ensuring food safety and security. The role of packaging in food safety and security can be understood at its barest from the fact that packaging saves the product from rotting, contamination and a host of other undesirable changes.

Food being a highly decomposable item; it is prone to many effects resulting from pests, microorganisms and other contaminants. It is here that the role of packaging in food safety and security comes into play. Proper packaging not only protects food from the influence of any of these; it also helps the food to retain its moisture, shape, substance and other important characteristics. The most important attribute of the food that packaging in food safety and security plays is in helping to preserve the nutritive value of the food item.

The role of packaging in food safety and security and its importance to the world
packaging-s-role-in-food-safety-and-securityFood is the most essential need for all animals, including man. In the developed world, there is such a surplus of food that much of its gets wasted. The role of packaging in food safety and security is in ensuring that this can be minimized to a great extent. If food is properly packaged, it is possible to extend its shelf life and have it consumed after a while, instead of altogether throwing it away.

On the other hand, the role of packaging in food safety and security is equally important in many other parts of the world, there is not enough food for millions of people. When food is packaged rightly, its use can be optimized. The developed world transports food in millions of tons to the developing world. The role of packaging in food safety and security is crucial in such operations, where the quality of the food can be retained.

The role of packaging in food safety and security in the globalized world
packaging-s-role-in-food-safety-and-securityWhen food that is prepared in one part of the world gets consumed in another; the role of packaging in food safety and security acquires vital importance. This is what is happening in today’s globalized world. Food companies have their operations in almost any part of the globe that makes economic sense for them. This food is not necessarily fully consumed in the part of the world in which it is produced. Rather, it reaches out to different parts of the world. This globalized system works in the food industry just like the way it works in a garment or an automobile business.

Key points
packaging-s-role-in-food-safety-and-securityCountries of the world follow many of these regulations and conventions in addition to the many of their own. The core concept behind these regulations is that food must be safe throughout the supply chain, from the proverbial “farm to fork”. Planners and thinkers around the world work in tandem to understand the food problems the world is facing and prioritize their tasks towards ensuring that a good part of the inequities get minimized, if not outright eliminated. In ensuring this, the role of packaging in food safety and security is primary.

 

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Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Management and Audit

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An environmental, health and safety (EHS) management and audit program is now a prerequisite for organizations in various kinds of business. Allied to the emergence of and developing along with the concepts of worker safety and corporate social responsibility; the environmental, health and safety audit is today a major component of an organization. Organizations that need visibility and are desirous of earning a good name should make the environmental, health and safety management and audit a part of their culture.

The practice of companies auditing their environmental, health and safety (EHS) began in the 1970’s, almost contemporaneously with the enactment of OSHA. Around that time, the environmental issue was gaining ground in the corporate circles of the West with the governments and other agencies pitching in with their efforts to create greater awareness of the impact of business activities on the environment. As a result, the thinking that the top management of an organization needs to be viewing this issue more seriously started to develop and got ingrained over the years.

Cannot be glossed over
environmental-health-and-safety-management-and-auditAs a result of various legislations on the issue of environmental safety; the role of the Board of Governors became central in ensuring this aspect of the business. Environmental health and safety was no longer something that needed to be administered superficially, but in formal and designated ways, more specifically in the form of an audit. In order to incentivize corporate entities to implement environmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit; the trend started moving towards making these activities carry value addition to the organization.

Environmental health and safety management and audit is now a more formalized activity that needs to be carried out in a proper, set and well-defined manner. The processes that go into the EHS management and audit are clearly laid out in the form of standards such as the ISO 14001 standard, which is essentially an Environmental Management System (EMS) audit. To strengthen and enrich the audit activity and round it better; a few related and parallel standards such as the relevant parts of the 9000 family of standards, which deals with quality management, and 18000 series audits can be carried out with ease to supplement the environmental, health and safety audit.

Role of environmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit
environmental-health-and-safety-management-and-auditEnvironmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit have now evolved into being a practice that is coupled with and fused into many business-related activities. The practice now is to make an environmental health and safety management and audit an inseparable part of the Quality Management System. Environmental health and safety (EHS) management and audit audits are now a sure means to ensure that the organization has a reputation for corporate social responsibility by implementing this audit.

Aspects of an environmental health and safety management and auditThe aim of environmental health and safety management and audit is to instill the EHS right from the top management down to the line level employee. A properly carried out EHS management and audit system should ideally take these factors into consideration:

environmental-health-and-safety-management-and-audit

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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?

trends-will-shape-supply-chain-and-logistics-2017

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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