Why is Supply Chain the Rockstar of Consumer Pharma?

The obsession of drug makers to re-evaluate and minimize Operational costs is the New Black. Nowadays Consumer Health (over-the-counter or GSL drugs) has a profit formula quite similar than the Retail business, but unfortunately delivering safety and quality are simply not enough.

The decrease trend on sales of the biggest US drug retailers (WBA, MCK, CVS) is due to the consumers shift from traditional to online shopping “the Amazon effect”.

As a consequence, because of discounts and pricing pressures, the profit strategy is getting lower. Moreover fighting against Amazon is not a solution, it’s just like a patient who tries to cure himself using a Placebo.

So what?

Industry really needs a Turn the ship around, which implicates radically changing Supply Chain Strategy from Deliberate to a more Emergent one.

Indeed, the future is getting harder to read and winning strategies that used to work in the past are not effective anymore … this is the point that differentiates you from the rest.

In particular, if we analyze the evolution journey of Retail and FMCG to an Agile Supply Chain Management, we will obtain a present-day version of the 3 pillars of Organizational Transformation: People, Processes and Technology.

  • Companies like Walmart Unilever and P&G are hiring the best talents where market skills and in-depth technical knowledge are the priorities to ensure creativity coming from top-rated professionals.
  • Their excellence in processes goes from the latest up-to-date Lean methods (TOC, 6Sigma …) to the most innovative Customer Segmentation, Supply Chain Resiliency and Circular models. 
  • They invest in technology. Advanced Analytics such as: machine-learning and AI enhances and even automate, decision making by reinventing operational models.

… and this is just the beginning.

Supply Chainers who are able to adapt its company value chain, make good products even better and at the same time improving Profit Margin, will ensure that the company model will not be disrupted in the future.

References:

  1. Bezos Starts the online drug war https://chiefexecutive.net/bezos-starts-the-online-drug-war/
  2. Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain list http://www.argentus.com/gartner-global-executive-partner-speaks-about-2017s-top-25-supply-chains-list/
  3. Deliberate versus emergent strategy https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/the-business-of-life
  4. 2018 Trends to disrupt pharma supply chains https://www.pharmalogisticsiq.com/regulations/news/2018-trends-to-disrupt-pharma-supply-chains
  5. Beyond Supply Chains Empowering Responsible Value Chains http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEFUSA_BeyondSupplyChains_Report2015.pdf
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Tearing Up the Rulebook: How Millennials are Changing Concepts of Forecasting

… In the past, software was not powerful enough to provide a reliable forecast, but now we have tools and resources that provide insight like never before.

The question is, are you getting the most out of them?

Everyone knows that the present and future is changeable, so why then are we still using the same forecasting structures and assumptions? Why don’t we leverage technology to model different scenarios and build adaptive forecasts?

During my session, I stressed the importance of avoiding complacency when it comes to our forecasting capabilities, and how we should never regard our strategy as the “right” strategy.

We should never regard our strategy as the “right” strategy …

If you’re achieving forecast accuracy now, then you temporarily have a good strategy that must evolve with changing market conditions.

In my session at the Amsterdam IBF convention, I invited everyone to start thinking about how we can plan for all eventualities and base our analysis and conclusions on Forecast Accuracy Simulation, specifically in terms of what-if scenarios, hierarchy, and product segmentation.

What’s more, we discussed how to set up a separate business unit for Disruptive Innovation to develop the resources and processes needed to deliver improvements in forecast accuracy and greater operational efficiency.

Some of the Key Takeaways were:

  • The importance of leveraging software to build adaptive forecasts and develop a continually evolving approach
  • How to start adding real value to your forecast through demand driven models
  • How to organize for innovation and embrace different perspectives on forecasting

My deepest gratituted to all the IBF institute team.

The Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning (IBF) is a membership organization recognized worldwide as the premier full-service provider of demand planning, forecasting, business analytics and S&OP education. Having some of the world’s most well-known global companies as its members, the IBF is constantly finding and disseminating better ways to manage demand, improve organizational efficiency, and company performance. It has been said that no other organization on the globe has as much depth in its educational content for Demand Planning & Forecasting as the IBF.