What is ERP in Pharmaceutical industries ?
Many businesses are now adapting ERP softwares or smart Enterprise Resource Planning to meet their needs. While each industry has its own specific reasons for implementing a suitable and reliable ERP software, the pharmaceutical industry has some unique requirements.
The changing market conditions have now encouraged lots of businesses to adapt robust ERP softwares that automate and integrate all the key functions. An ERP system in pharma industries not only enables the integration of pharmaceutical processes across multiple units, but also helps businesses to keep track on their sensitive operations across the organization, such as quality, expiry date management, compliance, costing, yield and many more.
When used correctly, every department will be positively affected by having an ERP solution that can put all their processes together. In the long run, this can lead to improve productivity, increased efficiency, decrease production costs and streamline workflows.
Benefits of ERP in Pharma
When the ERP system aligns with the organization’s strategic goals and fully adopted by the workforce, it will deliver lots of transformative benefits.
- Meeting the Regulatory Requirements
An ERP system can facilitate the business growth in global markets and provides your business with a competitive edge by ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements (e.g. FDA 21 CFR, quality assurance as per GMP norms and quality management and validation protocols).
- Quality Management (Lot tracking or Batch)
Another practical feature of pharma ERP is the batch and lot tracking module. It helps in monitoring batches from the material requisition stage to the in-progress quality check (IPQC) stage. It also allows manufacturers to remotely monitor a batch or lot work-in-progress and delivery status.
- Recipe Management
Another key process in any manufacturing industry, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. Due to the high competition in this industry drug manufacturers try to undercut the price. Creating the formula of ingredients is very critical to control the price and effectiveness of the drug. An ERP system helps keep costs in check.
- Document Control & Management
Document management is critical due to the compliance needs and the statutory vigilance of the pharma industry. Recording all the historical data of every single process and related documentation is mandatory for auditory checks and future analysis. Laboratory information can be recorded in one place and accessed from any place or time using an ERP system.
- Track and Trace (Serialization)
It allows tracking and controlling the traceability of the pharmaceutical products.
Track and trace systems are used for following the movement of pharmaceutical products in the supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor to the dispenser.
Serialization is to set a unique serial number to individual items or to saleable units, it helps regulators and pharmaceutical companies to identify the location of specific drug product or retrospectively identify/verify the path traveled by a drug product to determine its authenticity.
The main aim of pharma track/trace and serialization regulations is to combat drug counterfeiting and improve public health and to ensure safety.
Data serialization is used to bridge information and process silos in the pharma supply chain, thus enhancing cross-functional transparency and fostering collaboration.
Other benefits include:
- Cost-effective production processes
- ERP Dashboards make it easier to review and report data
- Less manual errors
- Better customer experience
- Increased profitability
As the ERP role in the pharma industry continues to become more common, successful business leaders are those who are willing to embrace the new tools and conduct business process re-engineering to align their processes with new technologies.
Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, telematics and 3D printing are some technologies a pharma business will engage with at some point. These are technologies that are going to shape the future in manufacturing businesses, with pharma manufacturing business being included.
The Blockchain technology, is a widespread application in the pharma industry. Manufacturers can digitally document every movement of the product in the supply chain, and enjoy many other benefits such as real-time tracking of the products, decrease fraud, costs, reduce time delays, and other human errors. This also improves security of the information and provides transparency.
The 3D printing technology, allows making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. This technology has been known as one of the biggest game changers in pharma manufacturing, with its scope covering drug dosage forms.