Best Practices for Business Resiliency Within Biopharma Supply Chain Operations


Pharmaceutical and Medical Device companies have significantly increased their resources to ensure that their products continuously meet quality standards and regulations. In light of recent major disasters (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and partial nuclear meltdowns in Japan that have occurred in the past decade), leading companies have moved quickly to ensure that they are effectively managing their global supply chains and manufacturing operations in order to survive catastrophic events.

In order for supply chain organizations to operate effectively, create value for the business units or operating companies they support, and to avoid disastrous events, leaders must determine what the most effective means of communication are for success. Key tactics that leading companies must focus their communication efforts on include:

  • Risk Assessment, Audits & Prevention: Develop a risk prevention mindset to avoid a crisis. Communicate often with vendors to spotlight supply chain weaknesses.
  • Centralization / Response Rates: Make sure that everyone is on-board and knows how to respond to a crisis in a pinch. Disruptions often occur in the field & operations – develop fast response capabilities throughout your enterprise to encourage success.
  • Employ Special Teams & Cross-Training: The majority of respondents from one our benchmarking reports employ in-sourced special emergency response teams that are cross-trained across operations and sales. 25% of companies even create redundant operations to permit rapid changeover in emergency situations.

To make the most of your supply chain operations, it is important to remember “the Planning Paradox.” This states that plans are useless and planning is priceless. Crisis management planning, monitoring, and training are the most highly-rated programs for building business continuity readiness. From this training, teams eventually develop fast response capabilities that are more important than the plans themselves.

How your organization handles planning & preparing for a supply chain emergency plays a huge role on how you respond to and ultimately prevent threats to your operations. Understanding crisis management will help to keep employees safe and ensure continued production & long-term viability.

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