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The pharma supply chain needs to prioritize getting out of its silos and working in unison to push fundamental structural reform, according to one speaker at last week’s LogiPharma Conference in Montreux, Switzerland.
TEAM-UP’s Alan Kennedy argued that that the pharma sector is "way behind the curve" when it comes to supply chain innovation, collaboration and integration. Outside pharma, companies such as Amazon, Volkswagen, McDonalds and Inditex are all “at the top of their game through fostering and leveraging innovative, even disruptive, supply chains built around strategic relationships and mutual trust," Kennedy explained. "The common theme in all of these exemplar, yet very different, supply chain scenarios is 'structured collaboration' ".
Kennedy maintained that, despite being encircled by huge challenges and disruptive forces, pharma seems “oblivious” to some of the potentially huge pay-offs that are on the table. "Truly transformational results are being achieved in other industries through the pursuit of strategic supply chain relationships that are 'beyond transactional' ", he explained. "Although pharma is putting huge effort into outsourcing and is investing heavily in new technologies, it persistently fails to appreciate that all this endeavor needs to be underpinned by more strategic end-to-end integration. If a pharma company is looking for a single remedy to the problems of optimising its supply chain performance, differentiating its market presence and creating truly sustainable commercial outcomes, then it need look no further than strategic collaboration."
Considering one approach to this problem-the possibility of more asset-sharing between pharma companies and between suppliers-Kennedy noted, "Doing this will be contingent on having the necessary trust between stakeholders. Such collaboration demands a highly-coordinated approach and the parties concerned might need to confer 'pre-competitive' status on any such asset-share arrangements.”