At the end of the day, all pharmaceutical manufacturers are looking to make product for less money. By integrating systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), material requirements planning (MRP), supply chain management (SCM), quality management system (QMS), learning management system (LMS), laboratory information management system (LIMS) and the like, a company can reduce errors and human touch all the way through a product’s lifecycle. In addition, people resources can then be used for more crucial roles. All of this decreases costs and propels time-to-market.
Absolutely every time I meet with a pharmaceutical manufacturing customer or prospective customer they always bring up IT integration and data exchange: how do I stop the re-work? How do I get my data from here to there? I’m tired of printing it out here, walking it over there, and rewriting it, entering part of it into this other system.
The answer to many of these woes is better integration and collaboration between data systems and processes — this is vital because it allows processes to work faster and be more reliable and robust. Each software system should serve as an authoritative source for a specific type of info. In other words, each piece of data should have a single, official source and then these specific bits of information can flow into all the systems. For instance, the Customer Relationship Management tool would be the single source of customer demographics and contacts — all other systems would connect to it for current addresses and customer information. This way people can look up the correct, updated data at all times.