This is the first post in a multi-part series:
To manage the risk of outsourcing, pharmaceutical companies have to have faith in their partners, with not only clear communication but also end-to-end supply-chain visibility. Technology is fueling that visibility. As the pharmaceutical supply chain comes into compliance with federally mandated track-and-trace regulations, new IT infrastructures will facilitate more insight into where products are in the system.
With variable floor space, equipment, and processes and a trained workforce that can handle a variety of packaging requirements, CPOs can provide capabilities and capacity not available in-house to a pharmaceutical company.
Trust, however, is the most important component in developing a relationship with a partner. You can figure out if a CPO has the right equipment and timeframes just from their pricing which will demonstrate competitiveness and efficiency, but what you really need to judge carefully is the pre-production project management and the post-production speed-to-market. It will be based on a CPOs culture and personality that you will gain the most trusting relationship that ultimately leads to supply chain efficiencies.
To help you choose a contract packager, ask the questions below to make sure you can build your trust in their ability to meet your needs.
Here are a few questions to ask: Who is on the project-management team, and what is their level of experience? Are regularly scheduled meetings part of their process?
And here are some of the answers you will want to hear: You want a team with years of experience, but with diversity. You are looking not only for operations experience, but also regulatory, purchasing and IT expertise. You want creative people who can help you with innovative approaches to your supply chain challenges. You want a contact list and a schedule of brief meeting updates so you can make sure communication lines are open at all times.
More coming soon.