7 Ways Pharmaceutical Companies are Becoming More Efficient
According to Georgetown University, approximately 66 percent of all American adults are using some type of prescription drug. Prescription medication costs are nearly 16 percent of all medical expenditures. Making sure pharmaceutical companies are efficient and productive is critical to the future success of the healthcare industry and individual health.
Pharmaceutical companies are finding innovative ways to adjust to the constant changes in business, medicine, and technology in order to stay competitive while still effectively treating patients. The following are seven ways they’re becoming more efficient.
The manufacturing processes in pharmaceutical plants are complex. A few of the many systems include buildings, equipment, and the actual production process. Even the temperature controlled environment is crucial to the success of manufacturing medications. MXO Tech states that integrating technology can dramatically improve efficiency. The following are a couple of ways pharmaceutical companies are learning to integrate technology effectively:
- Cloud-based collaboration tools, regular video conferencing, and integrating business applications such as CRM and ERP help organizations easily connect employees and make sure the right people have access to the right information at the right time – in real time.
- Comprehensive software platforms that can both automate and integrate the technology in each system, speeding up the manufacturing process while still keeping products safe and errors low.
Increasing Big Data
Efficiency in nearly every type of organization depends on making better use of data. Large amounts of data are necessary to provide the scientific insight into new drugs and their potential uses. The effective use of big data affects everything from the discovery of new drugs and maintaining quality to improving customer relations and increasing sales. A few important ways pharmaceutical companies are effectively managing and organizing the data they collect include:
Effective Use of Software
Pharmaceutical companies use Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) to effectively harness and use data. This includes tracking interactions between pharmaceutical reps and potential clients to help companies prioritize their efforts.
Effective Research Methods
Companies now research medical forums and social media sites to find both doctor and patient feedback regarding specific drugs. Data analysis can pinpoint which patients experience side-effects and which experience the greatest success with any particular medication. This enables a company to more effectively make changes and re-develop drugs.
The pharmaceutical industry uses data to more efficiently interact with hospitals and other healthcare providers. According to Healthcare Finance, working together remotely is one way a pharmaceutical company can increase efficiency.
Promoting Quality Control
Quality control is making sure drugs are safe and comply with all standards and regulations. Consultancy.edu states that pharmaceutical companies have more stringent quality controls than almost any other industry. There are several ways pharmaceutical companies are increasing efficiency without sacrificing quality control, such as:
Improving Data Collection
Using mobile devices to collect, analyze, and store data means employees have immediate access to data regarding product quality at all times.
Implementing Cloud Data
When all data is in the cloud, each employee with clearance has access from virtually any location.
Recording Automatic Data
Recording electronic production data helps reduce errors. If the recorded data is outside of the normal range, the quality control team will receive an instant alert.
Few things can derail efficiency like data breaches and cyberattacks. Improving and maintaining high levels of security is a priority for every pharmaceutical company. Security is important not only for protecting data, but for meeting all compliance standards and reducing operational costs. There are a couple different steps pharmaceutical companies are taking to make security a priority, such as:
Using Blockchain Security
Blockchain is part of a system that can store patient data securely and safely. This can also help authenticate drugs and stop counterfeits from ever reaching the market.
Focusing on Insider Threats
Whether malicious or unintentional, employees are often one of the biggest threats to any company’s security. Companies are reducing these threats by limiting access to critical information only to those employees who need to know. They’re also improving security on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.
Human error is one of the major obstacles to keeping a company running as efficiently as possible. Training is more than simply checking off a to-do list. Targeted training that meets the specific needs of your employees is the most effective. Your Training Edge explains several steps that can increase the efficiency and success of your training programs. These steps are:
- Assess the needs of your organization and make specific goals regarding ongoing education and training.
- Save time and money by implementing online training as much as possible.
- Continually observe and track progress in order to make sure training was successful.
Improving the Supply Chain
After making the company more efficient, it’s time to improve your supply chain. There are so many problems that can occur throughout the supply chain that can disrupt and severely limit your efficiency. Pharmaceutical companies are improving traceability, monitoring transportation, and using multi-sourcing strategies to increase productivity. For instance:
You need to keep track of all shipping operations from the time products leave the facility until they arrive at the correct destination. This means collaborating with suppliers, implementing tracking software, and creating an alerts system when incidents occur.
According to BIC Magazine, even something as simple as analyzing and then rerouting transportation routes can improve efficiency.
Adopt Multi-Sourcing Strategies
Especially in the age of Covid, it’s necessary to have strategies in place in case of disruptions in the supply chain. It’s important to have alternate channels and distribution methods available.
It’s important to know what to outsource and what to keep on site when maintaining high levels of efficiency. Specific departments and areas to outsource often include R&D and the clinical trial process. When it comes to outsourcing, it’s important to maintain a balance between cutting costs and keeping product quality high.
Outsourcing security is one way a company can improve efficiency. Pharmaceutical companies are experts regarding science, research, and medication. But even large companies will likely not have the technical expertise to provide adequate security or keep up with all the latest technology trends.
Pharmaceutical companies are constantly improving their approach to efficiency that will both boost the bottom line and improve patient outcomes. Reaching these goals includes seamlessly integrating technology, correctly using big data, promoting quality control, upgrading security, and making sure employees are well-trained. Finally, improving the supply chain and wisely outsourcing when necessary will enable a pharmaceutical company to operate as efficiently as possible.