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Cloud-based system is said to take only days to set up and run
Supply chain management (SCM) automation appears to be about to take a next-level jump through the efforts of companies like FusionOps (Mountain View, CA), a general SCM software vendor that has just announced an applications suite, FusionOps Pharma, tailored to pharma manufacturing and distribution needs. Allan Jacques, VP of pharma analytics at the firm, says that FusionOps Pharma takes a host of traditional SCM measures—inventory, cycle time, stock-on-hand, etc.—and visualizes them quickly and effectively in infographics, charts and similar business-intelligence tools. The company is a certified SAP partner, and also works with Oracle, J.D. Edwards and other widely used enterprise-resource planning vendors.Merck and H.D. Smith are among its life sciences customers.
“A typical problem in pharma SCM is getting products released from QA and into the supply chain,” says Jacques, who managed global supply chains at Pfizer previously. “If a QA test takes 28 days, but it takes 2-3 months to get the product released, you can see your problems very quickly.”
Although FusionOps claims “end-to-end” supply-chain visibility, it is stronger at upstream SCM management than downstream: Jacques says that the company is “not yet” accommodating the data-transfer requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, which specifies data required to be transmitted to downstream trading partners. But in an era where the overall process of starting with raw materials and ending with packaged products still takes more than a year for most of pharma, getting a better handle on the upstream supply chain is still an opportunity.