How to overcome inventory management challenges of the Pharmaceutical industry
How to overcome inventory management challenges of the Pharmaceutical industry

How to overcome inventory management challenges of the Pharmaceutical industry

Every supply chain is dependent on effective warehouse management, but for the pharmaceutical industry, there are additionally complex challenges to be overcome. No one can deny that the Covid 19 pandemic has shown the general public how important logistical processes around pharmaceutical goods are. It is important to understand that the requirements for a warehouse management system in the pharmaceutical industry are extremely complex because hardly any other industry has to meet such high safety requirements as the pharmaceutical industry. On the whole, inventory management remains a top challenge in the pharmaceutical industry…

Inventory management challenges of the pharmaceutical industry

Temperature control

Factors such as environmental conditions, particularly temperature could greatly affect drug potency. Hence, failure to provide the right temperature during storage and shipment of pharmaceutical products may result in major product wastage. Refrigerated containers or storage rooms might be available in the warehouses. However, there are chances of gaps in ensuring and monitoring temperature level. This makes the cold chain difficult to maintain.

Order management

Demand information or data about the availability of raw materials in the different levels of the supply chain are the primary decision-making factors in order management. For manufacturing pharmaceutical companies, a key issue is production integration. This involves supplying production with raw materials and transferring the finished products from production to the warehouse.

This translates to the fact that lack of accurate information would make order management to solely rely on assumptions and experience. Consequently, orders may arrive incomplete, inaccurate or delayed, which can negatively affect product availability and overall inventory management of pharmaceutical supplies.


Accurate labeling is another challenge for pharma warehouse managers. Regulations on labeling of pharmaceuticals are reflected in Circular 01/2018/TT-BYT of the Ministry of Health promulgating regulations on labeling of drugs, medicinal ingredients and instruction sheets, effective circulars The implementation force is effective from June 1st, 2018.

Dependency on human resources

The lack of qualified individuals to fill the logistics-related positions in pharmaceutical companies is being recognized as a threat that results in heavy workload and ineffective role performance. Aside from this, it also leaves key responsibilities that include making supply chain calculations and decisions unattended. 

Multiple item footprint (UOM)

Inventory management includes the management of product specifications. For manual management, workers will not know the specifications of the goods, so they will not be able to calculate the loading methods, the appropriate type of shelf/rack as well as the means of handling equipment that is effective. For example: The number of boxes on a pallet would be even to put in the appropriate rack/storage positions.

Shipment visibility

Once the manufacturer sends out the product for delivery, it becomes difficult to track its status at different levels of the supply chain. Besides, the exact date when the products will arrive becomes unknown to both the manufacturer and the recipient.

Overcoming pharmaceutical inventory management challenges

Fortunately, many of the unique issues that handling drugs and medical equipment present may be benefitted by the implementation of warehouse management software (WMS). We support you in adapting your warehouse processes to the specific needs of your industry and in making your operational processes more efficient, transparent and cost-saving. Below, we’ll take you through just some of the ways that WMS can benefit your pharmaceutical warehouse.

Time sensitivity

One of the most important elements of pharmaceutical supply is tracking drug expiry dates. WMS can keep dates and product locations to hand, along with other important digital information, to help optimize your first expired, first-out (FEFO) system of inventory management. Not only will this further ensure the goods you store and move are safer, but it can drastically decrease what slips through the cracks and needs to be thrown away once expired. This can help you keep to waste output targets and saves your clients money too, and fewer resources are wasted. It also helps ensure that stock spends as little time in transit and storage as possible, so efficiency is further improved.

Real-time visibility and tracking

Warehouse management system gives a company the ability to track the location and usage of inventory throughout the warehouse operation, at multiple warehouse locations, in multiple distribution centers and stores. Benefits also include kiting control, as well as ingredient and finished goods tracking.

WMS function will allow you to make better use of block space. It also maintains a solid audit trail of every bin/warehouse location and items that have been stored from receipt through shipping by sales, returns, adjustments, etc.

Labor management

Labor accounts for 70% of the total fulfillment costs for each order, when all costs are considered excluding overseas shipping. There is no space to list the many labor functions that will become computer-aided and eliminate manual operations. Warehouse management system keeps track of all the work done, who completed the work and how long it took.

Labor management module also helps managers monitor and evaluate employee performance. Tables of performance measurement indicators (KPIs) help managers to help managers easily assess the work performance of employees who are performing above or below the standard.

Integration with hardware devices

The WMS & barcode system to control the amount of goods in the warehouse helps to give warehouse status reports not only in the amount of inventory but also in the amount of goods exported and imported. With each system used in the warehouse, it is connected through the common wifi system of the warehouse to ensure control of the quantity of goods. The status of goods in the warehouse is managed through the server system of the logistics system, updated via the server system, tablets and smartphones are accessed into the software system through customization with each account. assigned by function.

Customizable solutions

WMS is designed to be customizable to suit all kinds of projects, so no matter what your needs are, you’ll likely find the technology or be able to personalize your software to better streamline your processes. For example, if you need tailored traceability and storage monitoring, or personalized picking and packing systems, don’t make do — research the options that are available to you. If you can’t find a solution for a particularly complex warehousing requirement, speak to your WMS provider about what packages, add-ons, and personalized services they can provide.

These are just some of the ways WMS is elevating the pharmaceutical supply chain. As a partner of Blue Yonder in the Vietnamese market, TSL is helping many businesses transform their supply chains.



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