Finsights Blog

Beyond the Bits and Bytes: Extracting Business Value from Product Serialization

We will eventually live in a product serialized world within our industry – but getting there may not be pretty:

–The potential exists that anyone can halt this through use of legal injunction

–Getting data from downstream customers will be difficult given willingness and capabilities

–There are business opportunities, but we need to begin strategic preparation now so the opportunities become reality ~ and investments can be leveraged

We can debate the timing, the technology, the standards and a myriad of compliance requirements (unit level vs. lot and batch as but two examples) but we must prepare for the eventuality of unit level serialization on every product shipped from a manufacturer down through the forward supply chain to physician administration or patient consumption.

  • As an industry are we ready? ~ No!
  • Do we hope our state and federal constituents are aligning the best of industry thinking! ~ Yes!

But ‘hope’, as first used in recent times by Benjamin Ola Akande, an economist, scholar, and Dean of the Business School at Webster University in Saint Louis, is not a strategy…

As state and federal legislation are forcing companies to consider how to implement technologies for serialized traceability ~~~ the industry is now making significant investments in infrastructure, packaging lines and data capture technologies. For most large pharmaceutical manufacturers, the planning, design and piloting began a number of years ago.

Looking forward, product serialization is a potential enabler to a transparent supply chain and represents the ultimate supply chain visibility vision: end-to-end visibility from finished goods packaging to point of sale/use.

Beyond the technologies, though, are opportunities for creating new business value in areas such as:

  • Brand Protection
  • Supply Chain Event Management
  • Contract Operations
  • Demand Planning
  • Inventory Control
  • Expired Returns Management
  • Business Intelligence and Commercial Effectiveness

The business opportunity is to understand how a serialized supply chain can inform the commercial enterprise and transform data into information via a transparent end-to-end supply chain.

Blue Fin Group will be discussing this evolving topic at three upcoming industry meetings and invite you to participate in the discussion and contribute to the dialogue:



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