The pharmaceuticals industry is at crossroads, where it requires to operate keeping tabs on a multitude of factors. Keeping a close watch on the regulatory environment and business risks associated with non-adherence along with the need to constantly re-innovate and come up with blockbuster research and drug compositions. There is a split between the business aspect and the humanitarian causes as well. Technology is acting as a great enabler in solving the challenges and fulfilling the heightened expectations weighing on their shoulders.
One such technology practice is an efficient use of data at their disposal to transform traditional pharmaceutical processes into automated and much more streamlined activities like clinical research, raw material sourcing and distribution, demand forecasting, and production planning along with innovative sales and marketing strategies.
Let’s map down some of these departmental practices into specific data Business Intelligence (BI) use cases:
Real-time and Strategic Visibility into Supply & Distribution:
The ongoing COVID19 pandemic has certainly given some major headaches and revealed some major drawbacks in complex supply chain and distribution setups. Essentials like basic medicines and healthcare dissemination were hindered, leaving nations and their habitats in distress.
It resulted in an accelerated push for digitization and technological transformation of prevalent traditional practices in pharmaceutical companies. These companies have now realized the gold dust i.e. data, they were sitting on. It has led to some smart practices like:
- Better vendor and supplier network collaboration with regular updates of the inventory and automated replenishment requests
- Demand forecasting and trends identification to optimize yield and avoid excessive or alarmingly low levels of inventory
- Vendor scorecard and raw materials mapping with the finished products to formulate a true understanding of raw material quality
- Unified consumption data be it from retail or online stores leading to clarity on business bottom lines
Sales Incentivization and Territory Planning for Expansion:
The sales or field force faces stiff competition from other brands. The competition comes in multiple shapes – be it the presence of another brand claiming the displays and top shelves or a strong generic drug market leading to lower margins. The pharma field force team requires to be equipped with the demography and the competitive landscape of the territory along with a fair and rewarding sales incentivization.
A robust data analytics solution links the salesperson’s quotas with their daily activities. Giving them a constant view into the attained goals and the efforts they need to make to unlock the next benefits. It also equips the sales area managers to objectively view their performance and offers support and guidance to the lagging behind team members.
Apart from this, an experienced field force representative acts as the eye and ear for companies, retaining and supporting them leads to some crucial business insights.
Operational and Financial Business Decision-making:
The pharma and life science enterprises generate a great deal of information be it production or supply related or day-to-day workforce activities. Capturing all this data and presenting it in a way that fosters a culture of objectivity and eases the decision-making process is of paramount importance today. A business intelligence solution for pharma companies can help in collating all these fragmented pieces of information. Doing it can assist the business stakeholders to oversee operational parameters like workforce productivity, spot inconsistencies and bottlenecks and quickly course correct.
One other key aspect of any business is its financial health. With so many hidden and indirect costs associated, it can become overwhelming for the teams managing financial planning and business consolidation. Bookkeeping requires extra caution and adherence to regulatory norms in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. A robust business intelligence solution would capture the financial data of the pharma companies and not just make adherence to regulatory requirements easier but also saves tons of manual efforts and eliminates the possibilities of human error. Further, it can help financial decision-makers realize the liquidity requirements well in advance and plan accordingly. After all, solid commercial backing forms the most basic foundation for the success and growth of any enterprise.
Preparedness for Regulatory Adherence and Quality Standards:
The medical profession and related industries are the ones that operate in a very-risk sensitive environment and hence require adherence to very stringent regulatory and compliance requirements. Business intelligence solutions offer a great deal of support to the pharma and life science industries in this regard as well. Some of the use cases of BI for statutory preparedness include:
- Keeping a watch on documentation and data entries for mandatory compliances
- Maintaining quality standards for drug storage and transportation
- Defining and adhering to a minimum number of trials before a drug launch
Looking at the benefits the pharmaceuticals and life sciences companies can unlock with a well thought out BI and data analytics solution, we expect the investment into the technologies like cloud, data warehousing, and data lake will continue to rise. With these in place, such players can take the next leap with advanced analytics use cases across drug discovery, clinical trials, patient health monitoring, and target identification, and much more. At Polestar Solutions, our in-house pharmaceuticals industry experts help you build your business-specific BI use cases and guide you with the best technologies stack basis your existing setup.