With any business, it is a supply chain that is one of the most important aspects when it comes to order fulfilment. But how does the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain differ from a regular supply chain for your average business? In this article, we will be providing you with this information whilst showcasing each step to help you understand the processes within this sector.
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How Does The Pharmaceutical Distribution Supply Chain Work?
An Order Is Placed With The Distribution Company
When starting the process of the distribution supply chain it begins with an order being placed through the order system. This system is completely automated with the information being sent straight to the companies’ distribution company for the orders to be placed.
The Distributor Then Gets The Order And Sends It The Distribution Centre
When the order has been given to the distribution service, it is then divvied up to a distribution centre that is able to fulfil the order on time. With many pharma distributors up and down the country, this will mean that the items arrive in their destination significantly quicker than it would should your order be fulfilled at a distribution plant miles away. When the order arrives here, it will then be sorted through a computer system. This will enable the order to be put together and sent through the relevant processes ready to be sent off to the customer.
Warehouse Management Systems Are Used To Make Sure It Runs Smoothly
When at the distribution centre, the use of WMS systems is in place to make sure that every aspect of the order is accounted for. This automated system makes it easier to not only track stock but also make sure that all the packaging, labels and other elements are compliant and are not damaged before sending out the parcel.
Orders Are Then Split Up Based On Handling Requirements
Throughout this process, there are several handling requirements that will need to be met. This means that some of the parcels may be sent to different distribution centres as some use automated technology and others are packed by hand. Those that need to be handled with care will likely be sent to a distribution centre that packs all their items by hand as this will prevent any disruption or risk at the packing stage.
Orders Are Then Picked Up And Distributed
When the orders have been packaged, it is then time for them to be pout in the back of trucks and sent to their final destination. This is all logged through an automated system with the information being sent to the company, allowing them to track their new orders that are in transit, this streamlines the process. From there, the parcel then arrives at its location, completing the supply chain.
With this in mind, there are several ways that this supply chain is continuing to evolve as the pandemic and other variables lead to this having to be streamlined to keep up with the supply and demand.