Sales Channel Data Access the Key to Better Supply Chain Management

AMR analyst Hussain Mooraj wrote about the need for better insight into distributor data in our May issue. Novartis, AstraZeneca and other suppliers are utilizing this data to reshape their supply chain management programs.  But AMR recently completed a survey of drug manufacturers for the SCM software company, Edge Dynamics, which found that access to this data may become the most important criteria for product supply success by 2012. 56 percent of 45 pharma respondents from 30 companies believe this capability will improve new product launches and 76 percent see an opportunity for better forecast accuracy. Nearly 75% of all resondents say it takes their organizations "at least a week" to sense changes in demand. Most pharmaceutical manufacturers have purchased access to detailed channel sales, inventory and activity data, accessible via EDI, but some of those who could benefit most from the data may not use it.  Benefits of increased access to this information would include the following.  Items 2 and 5 are especially important to manufacturing (the rest to marketing and sales):
  • More successful product launches
  • Improved product availability - fewer stock-outs and expedites, fewer returns
  • Faster read on uplift resulting from marketing campaigns
  • Insight into sales ranking and trending of downstream customers
  • Detection of potential diversion
For more, read on.  (For more on the marketing implications of better channel data use, and an interview with Edge Dynamics' CEO Henry Olson by PharmaMarketing News publisher and blogger John Mack, click here for a podcast). -AMS