Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Companies
Protect product integrity to keep your medicine supply chain safe and secure.
Ensuring patient safety, complying with regulations and keeping your brand strong as a trusted supplier of key medicines means keeping your supply chain strong, as well. There are risks to product integrity throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain, however, from raw ingredient to finished medicines.
Savi solutions help you protect your most valuable, delicate shipments from damage, theft and diversion. With real-time tracking, you can know the location and condition of your shipments in transit, protecting your products and in turn the patients who depend on your medicines. Reduce the risk of pharmaceutical supply chain disruption with real-time, in-transit visibility.
Case Study: Biotech Saves $1m in 1 Hour with Real-Time Info
How a Top Biotechnology Company Saved $1 Million in an Hour with Live Streaming Visibility
A top biotechnology firm manufactures medications for neurological disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or dementia. The company must carefully monitor shipments of finished goods to maintain patient safety, comply with regulations and ensure brand integrity.
Damage, theft, diversion, fraud and counterfeiting of high-value medicines are all significant issues for the pharmaceutical industry today. To protect patients and revenue, this biotech firm needed visibility to in-transit inventory from their plant to the customer distribution center. They also wanted to identify any areas that posed a potential risk for supply chain disruptions.
To comply with the need to understand exactly where the biotech company’s finished goods were in transit, in real time, Savi provided sensors that tracked the location of the truck using GPS satellite pings and an electronic tamper detection that sent a signal if the sensor cable was cut.
A sensor was placed on every truck. The route the driver was to follow and the Points of Interest (PoI) for origination, stops and destinations were defined and geofenced in the Savi Visibility™ software. Alerts were configured to alert the company’s Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) to out-of-band conditions such as defined early or late pick up, early or late arrival, and excessive dwell time.
One shipment of cold-packed finished goods raised an alert due to excessive dwell time greater than 30 minutes for an unplanned stop. The GSOC checked Savi Visibility and saw that the truck was stopped in a church parking lot along the planned route.
GSOC operators called their carrier to ask if the truck had broken down. The carrier was unaware that there was any problem, but once they contacted the driver, found that the truck had in fact broken down. Without consulting the company, the carrier dispatched another truck to pick up the load.
Once the new truck was dispatched, the carrier called the biotech company to let them know the truck was on its way and would arrive in a few hours to pick up the load and take it to the destination.
However, the goods were cold-packed and the packaging would only hold the medicines at the required temperature for a limited time. The GSOC operators used the Savi Visibility ETA from the original truck’s current location to determine that the new truck could not get the goods to the destination before the cold pack would expire.
Expiration meant that the goods could spoil if the temperature was out of compliance. Worse, it was Friday and the distribution center closed early and would not reopen until Monday. Missing the operational time for the distribution center meant the temperature-controlled goods would have to sit over the weekend and would definitely spoil.
The GSOC operator realized that the new truck could return the goods to the origination where there was refrigerated storage before the cold-packing expired. The GSOC instructed the carrier to route the new truck back to the origination point which saved the shipment. From the time the excessive dwell time alert was sent to the time the new truck was rerouted back to the origination was less than one hour, keeping the cold packaging well within the mandated expiration window. This decision saved the company $500,000 in profits.
Cost of solution/shipment = $25
Cost of testing cargo safety = $1,000,000
Cost of cargo = $15,000,000
Profit on cargo = $1,500,000
In this case, one shipment more than recouped the entire annual cost of the visibility solution, much less the cost at a per shipment level.
If the cold pack time window had expired, the company would have been required to test the medications to see if they were out of the temperature range and therefore spoiled. The cost of the testing is $1 million.
If the temperature was out of range and the shipment spoiled, the profit and the cost of the goods would be lost as well as the $1 million spent on testing. Instead, the new truck arrived at the destination before the cold package expired—saving $1 million testing cost, as well as the cost and profit on the shipment itself.
The shipment was safely stored over the weekend and the shipment went out the following Monday without incident to the destination.
Additional Case Studies
Challenge: A Global 50 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company averaged 25,000 North American truck shipments per month. Because there was no system in place for real-time monitoring of inventory in-transit, operation team members were unaware of real-time disruptions, rendering them unable to avoid or mitigate late or non-delivery for their customers. A new strategic cross-docking […]
A Global 50 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company averaged 25,000 North American truck shipments per month. Because there was no system in place for real-time monitoring of inventory in-transit, operation team members were unaware of real-time disruptions, rendering them unable to avoid or mitigate late or non-delivery for their customers. A new strategic cross-docking network was unable to realize high-efficiency targets because the inbound Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs) were inaccurate ─ reducing the number of goods that could be cross-docked. The Transportation Management System (TMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems did not receive real-time information and rarely received shipment plan updates. As a result, this CPG company employed hundreds of people to make check calls to carriers, drivers, and customers to update ETAs manually. This manual process was time-consuming, error-prone, and latent. Often, disruption reports were received well after they occurred, leaving logistics teams unable to mitigate late delivery impacts.
Savi worked with this customer to implement Savi Visibility™, our live streaming in-transit tracking and ETA solution. The CPG company asked their truck carriers to send Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and telematics feeds to Savi, while Savi set up an automated feed from and to the CPG’s Transportation Management System (TMS) to log planned shipments.
After ingesting the data from the carriers and the TMS, Savi’s massively scalable machine learning platform began to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build algorithms to much more accurately predict both inbound and outbound ETAs. The Savi Visibility user interface provides map, list, and reporting views of the real-time status of all shipments. Predictive alerts, such as “Trending Late” and “Trending Early,” were determined using customer-specific thresholds of time, distance, and amount predicted late. Predictive ETAs and alerts were sent to users and the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, enabling synchronization between TMS, Warehouse Management System (WMS), and yard management operations.
With a continuous live streaming view of all shipments in transit and real-time alerts for the 5-10% of shipments that required attention, the burden on operations diminished dramatically, making far fewer check calls necessary. Planners were able to focus on mitigating or avoiding disruptions of shipments that would otherwise have arrived late.
The substantially improved inbound ETA accuracy enabled more inbound loads to be synchronized with outbound shipments, increasing the percentage of loads to be cross-docked and reaching the original efficiency target of regional cross-docking centers.
In addition, the feed from Savi’s big data platform allowed the TMS to be continuously updated with accurate ETAs, rather than a static planned ETA or late and inaccurate EDI messages, keeping both the planning, operations, and customer teams up to date in real-time.
After the new system was implemented, the CPG was able to achieve:
- 22% improvement in cross-docking efficiency and orchestration
- 17x increase in ETA accuracy
- 350+ hours/week productivity gained per transportation lane
Historical and predictive analytics helped bring about additional transportation improvements. With a robust historical ETA data by lane, carrier and distribution center, and the Savi Insight platform, our customer was able to easily view aggregated performance and benchmark those areas to investigate possible improvements holistically.
Knowing the actual average ETAs and the likely variability gives the CPG company actionable insights about in-transit inventory levels, helping them to reduce safety stock or avoid stock-outs.
Finally, early outreach and collaboration with their customers when an unavoidable disruption occurs, as well as more accurate shipment ETAs overall, has brought improved customer satisfaction.
A globally recognized chemical manufacturing leader, this innovative company delivers a portfolio of over 5,000 technology-based products and solutions, including specialty chemical, advanced materials and plastics, to customers in over 160 countries. The Company’s products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 companies around the world.
GPS tracking of trucks is old news. But for many industries, accurate location information about trucks isn’t nearly enough to ensure that customer commitments and environmental requirements are being met.
In the chemical industry, for example, trucks operated by independent carriers frequently carry sensitive, caustic, volatile or hazardous materials that must be monitored constantly throughout their journey for safety, cargo integrity, and security.
In these cases, the risk of failure is simply too great. There are financial, environmental and possible human costs at stake.
One global chemical company turned to Savi to gain access to the real-time sensor data that they needed to monitor gain tighter control of their business.
For accurate, continuous display of asset location information, combined with asset cargo condition, integrity and security status, Savi deployed its in-transit visibility solution to collect and process data collected from GPS and in real-time.
Savi also delivered seamless integration of the asset tracking data stream with the customer’s existing enterprise software infrastructure. Savi was able to integrate GPS information from each shipment with environmental data and security/integrity monitoring, combining this information into a map-based real-time information display.
In addition, Savi’s solution helped this chemical manufacturing client to easily implement geofencing — defining journey corridors and anticipated journey timeframes for its shipments. Now, when a shipment is off the planned route or delayed, decision-makers receive real-time alerts and can quickly take action.
Since the deployment of the Savi platform, the chemical company has reported improved customer service, faster identification, and resolution of in-transit problems and reduced fulfillment lead time.
In addition, the manufacturer now has more accurate and timely auditing of demurrage bills and has been able to eliminate manual, error-prone ad hoc processes to capture and enter data.
As a direct result of access to real-time supply chain data, the customer has improved its bottom line, enhanced security and maximized customer satisfaction.