Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Case Study

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Simplify and transform your healthcare or pharmaceutical supply chain and drive value with One Network’s global drug fulfillment service on the Real Time Value Network.

“After intensive research and evaluation, Sinopharm Logistics came to the conclusion that One Network is one of the very few solutions which provides on-line, real time supply chain optimization.” Madam Cheng, General Manager of Sinopharm Logistics

One Network’s cloud platform provides an end-to-end operating backbone that supports some of the world’s most complex supply chains in pharmaceutical and healthcare. By connecting to One Network’s “many-to-many” network environment, organizations can manage planning, execution, and transactions across tens of thousands of their trading partners, hospitals, and pharmacies, while gaining the ability to see and respond to the needs of their customers and patients in real time.

This service leverages One Network’s powerful cloud platform, the Real Time Value Network™, to manage all aspects of the replenishment, chain of custody, and global distribution processes related to medical shipments. All organizations involved, including manufacturers, NGOs, government agencies, and hospitals, can track and manage demand, orders, inventory, and shipments in real time as products flow through the network and across international borders.

For the first time, pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations can manage demand, supply, and logistics processes as a community of trading partners focused on serving the end patient, delivering improved service and maximizing patient outcomes.

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This research evaluates reconfiguration opportunities in Pharmaceutical Supply Chains (PSC) resulting from technology interventions in manufacturing, and new, more patient-centric delivery models. A critical synthesis of the academic and practice literature is used to identify, conceptualise, analyse and categorise PSC models. From a theoretical perspective, a systems view of operations research is adopted to provide insights on a broader range of OR activities, from conceptual to mathematical modelling and model solving, up to implementation.

The research demonstrates that: 1) current definitions of the PSC are largely production-centric and fail to capture patient consumption, and hence healthcare outcomes; 2) most PSC mathematical models lack adequate conceptualisation of the structure and behaviour of the supply chain, and the boundary conditions that need to be considered for a given problem; 3) models do not adequately specify current unit operations or future production technology options, and are therefore unable to address the critical questions around alternative product or process technologies; 4) economic evaluations are limited to direct costing, rather than systemic approaches such as supply chain costing and total cost of ownership.

While current models of the PSC may help with the optimisation of specific unit operations, their theoretical benefits could be offset by the dynamics of complex upstream (supply) and downstream (distribution and healthcare delivery) systems. To overcome these limitations, this research provides initial directions towards an integrated systems approach to PSC modelling. This perspective involves problem conceptualisation and boundary definition; design, formulation and solution of mathematical models, through to practical implementation of identified solutions. For both academics and practitioners, research findings suggest a systems approach to PSC modelling can provide improved conceptualisation and evaluation of alternative technologies, and supply network configuration options.

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