Why Pharmaceutical Companies Might Want to Change From Vehicle Tracking to Package Tracking for Increased Efficiency.
The Following Will Cover Details on Package Level Tracking vs Vehicle Tracking Systems
Many companies find that when investigating logistics options for tracking their products, most find that vehicle tracking systems seem to stand out. It seems that tracking at the package level sometimes takes a back seat to vehicle tracking.
However, tracking at the package level is extremely important regarding pharmaceutical companies and their ability to visually track their sensitive shipments in real time. There are many reasons why this is and the following are some examples how this can be accomplished.
Vehicle Tracking – The key element when tracking goods at the vehicle level is the use of GPS systems, normally used in mobile phones and SIM cards that use a local GSM service for the connections. However, when using this approach where pharmaceutical companies need the visibility in their supply chain in real time, they found that there were gaps in the way these systems work, thus preventing proactive decisions that would reduce problems with transport efficiencies.
There are other downsides when using vehicle tracking systems, for example, most all vehicle tracking systems are dependent on the owner of the fleet of vehicles being used and in most cases the pharmaceutical companies would have to request this service and possibly even have to pay extra for it, while still not having total transparency in real time.
Another key example would be the fact that when using tracking systems at only the vehicle level lacks the ability to verify the real time confirmation of the product delivery. Not being able to ensure that pharmaceutical goods, critical to end customers, were delivered and received when promised at the correct location.
Package Level Tracking – In order to bridge these gaps mentioned above when using the alternative package level tracking systems, these start with advanced systems such as hybrid IoT technologies working on GPS/GSM/BLE/Wi-Fi and similar sensor tracking systems that are designed specifically for the pharma supply and cold chain environments.
This enables you to have the ability to maintain real time parcel level monitoring. You now have complete control over this without having to deal with fleet management systems, or vehicle level tracking. All the information you need to track your products from your warehouse, to your end customer is right at your fingertips with complete transparent visibility.
For example, when instantly being alerted to, in real time, where and when your customer’s order was delivered allows you to confirm this was the correct location. And also the correct customer and if not can be corrected in seconds, reducing the time and expense of having to re-ship, and reducing frustrations with your end customers.
Another very key example would be the environmental conditions of your pharmaceutical shipments that are susceptible to temperature fluctuations and damage during the supply and also the cold chain delivery system.
Using package level tracking systems that utilize embedded sensors and are not tied or dependent on the vehicle or driver, you can be alerted in real time, instantly, when the temperature levels and other environmental conditions are not within the product’s thresholds.
Another example would be product security and theft. In today’s pharmaceutical market place there are many examples of how theft and counterfeiting can completely ruin a company’s reputation. In the case of high value pharma products, package-level monitoring becomes a must have to save the loss and related insurance costs.
Also, using hybrid solutions based on GSM/BLE/Wi-Fi systems at the package level, will allow you to keep on top of your product delivery from your warehouse to your end customer with the transparency and visibility you need to maintain and improve efficiencies in your supply chain.
Recommendations For Package Level Tracking
You would need to ensure that you investigate the use of portable GSM/Wi-Fi devices that can be attached to each of your packages and what system will work best for your requirements. These would include tags or sensors that can be reused as well to lower costs.
It would also be beneficial to learn how a GSM/BLE/Wi-Fi system is more advanced than RFID or NFC systems. And also third party companies that can provide a complete system, from the tracking tags to the cloud monitoring, centralized software etc. And of course ease of use and implementation.
Obtaining a complete system also has its benefits when tracking cold chain distribution where, as noted above, these systems can include temperature, humidity and other sensors on each shipment to ensure the strict environmental conditions on pharmaceutical products are maintained throughout the entire supply chain.
Summary & Conclusion
After putting some valuable time into investigating if tracking shipments at the package level is what you believe will pay off and benefit your overall pharma supply chain delivery system, then the first step would be to have your team check into the solutions that are available.
We would suggest checking solutions that offer one complete system so this transition would be less complicated and easily implemented.
Systems should be based on the GPS/GSM/BLE/Wi-Fi systems and include in-transit and warehouse package-level monitoring solutions.
Most importantly providing complete transparency and real time visibility where you can be more proactive and allow you to improve your company’s efficiency in your pharma supply and cold chain management, keeping your end customers informed and happy.