Why is Power BI a great relief for pharmaceutical organizations in their supply chain disruptions?

The impact of the pandemic on the global supply chains has been significant and undeniable. The supply chain systems seemed unpredictable, making it difficult to rely on them totally. Previously, they worked seamlessly, and deliveries were prompt and cost-effective. However, in the current scenario, it is evident that supply chains need more attention and cannot be taken for granted.

Did you know people were talking about supply chains on Reddit and Twitter a lot more in 2021 compared to 2019? In 2019, the supply chain was only mentioned 1,908 times, but by 2021, that number skyrocketed to 25,636 mentions! Moreover, there is a forecast for the pharmaceutical logistics market to reach USD 446.61 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 8.8%.

The pharmaceutical supply chain must be maintained without errors or disruptions, particularly for life-saving medications. It is alarming to consider that we are currently experiencing a worldwide shortage of essential drugs, including the challenges we encountered with COVID vaccines and the cold chain. It is necessary to acknowledge that any scarcity of medicine significantly impacts patient care. If the supply chain is not managed precisely, then it can impact manufacturers. Not just their revenue and reputation, but it could even lead to loss of life for patients. Scary stuff, right?

But there is an effective way to make your business more visible and traceable. You guessed it – with the help of some innovative technology! The industry has already started exploring some innovative stuff, and this is the way of the future.

Disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help solve big problems in the healthcare industry. For instance, if there is only one supplier for a particular medicine, AI can help find alternatives. Plus, with decentralized clinical trials becoming more popular, AI can help manage inventory and ensure everything gets to the right place at the right time. And with more biologics being used in treatments, AI can help track them from start to finish to ensure they are adequate and get to the right patient. Pretty cool, right?

The Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Challenges

Have you heard about the supply chain challenges faced by pharmaceutical companies lately?

Without real-time visibility and tech hurdles, orders can go haywire, inventory can get out of order, and compliance can go out the window. And let us not forget about the overly complex global pharmaceutical supply chain, it has more challenges than you can shake a stick at.

The identification of potential disruptions – A crucial aspect of pharmaceutical logistics.

A highly efficient cold storage and distribution chain must be established to avoid the wastage of temperature-sensitive biologicals. Failure to maintain critically regulated temperatures can result in

shipment failures and significant financial losses. Furthermore, unforeseen disruptive events, such as congestion delays, container malfunctions, and human handling errors, can have disastrous consequences. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that all potential disruptions are identified and addressed promptly. The inadequacy in predicting potential disruptions and adopting inappropriate risk management methodologies can hinder the supply chain, leading to an escalated loss ratio.

Inventory Management

The production and storage of medications and biologicals entail significant expenses. These drugs are highly perishable, and their efficacy and consumer value may suffer if not stored and transported under optimal conditions. Hence, any disruptions or delays in the shipment and distribution processes may prove detrimental to the quality of the drug.


The pharmaceutical industry has rigorous global regulations that must be followed concerning trade, public health, product safety, and industry standards. These guidelines cover managing temperature and humidity during transportation, proper labelling, packaging, and handling procedures, and various other factors. To obtain regulatory approval and certification, shippers provide the procure-to-pay status, which demands internal regulation and compliance within the supply chains.

How can the pharmaceutical supply chain and logistics be more resilient?

To meet customer demands and avoid incurring losses as to products and finances, pharmaceutical supply chains must prioritize resilience by implementing various strategies.

Crisis Management

To effectively manage crises, it is crucial to have complete transparency and live tracking of shipments during transit, helping to predict and prepare for potential disruptions. Implementing advanced analytics and modern technology can facilitate a data-based crisis management system that can deal with unforeseen problems.

Cold Chain Supply Robustness

Ensure the stability of temperature-sensitive medications during transportation and distribution with internationally approved medical-grade cold chain devices. These devices include medical refrigerators, freezers, ultra-low temperature freezers (ULTs), and transport boxes, and they are indispensable for maintaining the correct storage temperature and other necessary conditions.

The Tech Solution

Continuous technology advancement plays a significant role in enhancing communication among various pharmaceutical supply chain stakeholders, including manufacturers, warehouses, and wholesalers. Accurate prediction of weather, delivery delays, risks, and regulatory restrictions facilitates route optimization and minimizes disruptions. The pharmaceutical industry can also watch for counterfeit drugs and ensure the safe delivery of pharmaceutical products by employing RFID tags to remotely track logistic shipments.

How does Power BI empower pharmaceutical companies in their supply chain requirements?

Microsoft’s Power BI is a business analytics tool that enables users to visualize data and make it available to their organization. You can embed insights in apps, portals, and websites, collaborate on Teams, and integrate with ERP or CRM applications. You can easily share data across platforms. The tool simplifies data aggregation from multiple sources, allowing users to streamline analytics onto a single dashboard, act based on new insights, and improve visibility for other teams within the organization.

Quick steps to leverage Power BI reports:

Step 1: Onboard

  • Access Power BI either from powerbi.com or any of the Microsoft ERP/ CRM applications.
  • Connect your data to Power BI.
  • Get interactive visuals of your data.

Step 2: Collaborate & Share

  • Publish reports and dashboards.
  • Collaborate with your team.
  • Share insights inside and outside of your organization.

Step 3: Access insights from anywhere

Easily access data insights from your home or office without any interruptions. You can also view Power BI visual reports on the go, which are created quickly.

Book a demo to check how Power BI can help in your pharmaceutical supply chain.

Get In Touch

Usage of Power BI in Pharma supply chain

The biggest lesson the pandemic outbreak taught is although the global supply chain is flexible, it is unreliable.

The instability in the pharma supply chain came into the picture only during the pandemic when PPE shortages, vaccine supplies, and the shutting of clinical trials reached unprecedented levels. Before that, the supply chain proved efficient and resilient, with on-time delivery and low cost.

But, after pharmaceutical globalization, the pharmaceutical supply chain became increasingly complex. As a result, the industry faces quality distribution challenges, affecting the efficacy and safety of the products delivered.

This was due to increased complexity, reduced visibility, poor innovation, and inaccurate forecasts. Consequently, they deal with-

  • Resource wastage
  • Drug stockouts
  • Cold chain supply
  • Regulatory Perspectives and Policies
  • Inventory management
  • Shipment and quality distribution
  • Manufacturing-based issues
  • Technology disruptions

These challenges harm the company’s reputation, customer satisfaction, and profits.

Enters Power BI!

Pharma companies and healthcare organizations can improve their supply chain and logistics efficiency and productivity by using Power BI visualizations.

The pharma companies can:

  • Find the products under-stock or out-of-stock.
  • Find distributors and suppliers at risk of not having the necessary inventory.
  • Collaborate, communicate, and check real-time data to achieve operational excellence.
  • Empower supply chain managers to make more informed decisions and assessments throughout their supply chain.
  • Lower the overall cost of logistics and shipping.
  • Improve demand forecasting.
  • Simplify risk management and loss prevention strategies.
  • Improve supply chain responsiveness.
  • Interactive reports and dashboards
  • End-to-end data traceability

The Benefits of Power BI in the Pharma Supply Chain

Real-time Analytics

For Pharmaceutical companies to be agile, having access to real-time analytics that provide an overview of their operations is imperative. This allows them to make prompt adjustments and handle any potential risks proactively. An overview of the progress of manufacturing execution and pharmaceutical inventory management helps production supervisors manage batch production processes more efficiently and make necessary on-the-spot changes. Displaying real-time reports on screens within a production plant offers the necessary visibility to managers and operators, who can be alerted and informed of any issues.

Turning data into immediate impact

Pharmaceutical companies transitioning to agile organizations require complete information for essential business functions like sales productivity, financial management, manufacturing execution, quality control, quality assurance, and procurement of approved raw materials. In today’s world, pharmaceutical organizations rely on live data for collaboration, monitoring, and communication to attain operational excellence. With the help of pharmaceutical business intelligence, these organizations can monitor real-time data from numerous sources and integrate them into a single pharmaceutical dashboard. This dashboard allows organizations to identify issues by drilling down into the report as needed.

KPI Reporting

In the pharmaceutical industry, effective decision-making relies on comprehensive reporting that clearly presents both positive and negative data points relating to critical KPIs. By utilizing business analytics, companies can gain immediate access to valuable insights and track crucial performance indicators such as:

  • Device utilization
  • Operational efficiency
  • Sales
  • Multiple layers of inventory
  • Finance
  • Quality standards of a product line
  • Customer engagement, experience, retention

Interactive Reports

Power BI is a highly advanced analytics tool that specializes in providing comprehensive BI analytics solutions to leading pharmaceutical companies. Its key features include generating efficiency reports on lot production, analyzing quality control data trends, offering recommendations based on clinical trial reports, providing financial analysis for each product batch, and conducting product go-to-market assessments, which involve measuring the expected and actual results of various spend and activity types.

Other benefits of Power BI:

  • Real-time analytics allows the modification of procedures based on the effectiveness of resources to enhance the efficiency and performance of each batch of products in the market. This can lead to improved productivity and better outcomes.
  • Instantaneous notifications through the Power BI mobile application can enhance the efficiency of your operations, enabling you to attain greater organizational flexibility and reduce response durations.
  • The capability to oversee your complete supply chain will allow you to detect issues and obstructions beforehand to prevent them from impacting crucial operations.
  • Monitor all inputs and outputs meticulously, including customer feedback, for prompt and effective decision-making, resulting in improved quality overall.
  • Ability to distribute your dashboards with your suppliers and partners to improve your operations and enhance efficiency.
  • Microsoft’s comprehensive business intelligence solution, Power BI, provides numerous advantages to various organizations in achieving success. These benefits include global scalability with local speed, streamlined business processes, predictive analytics, machine-to-machine capabilities, and efficient employee onboarding.

Concisely, in today’s business world, it is crucial to enhance visibility across all aspects of operations, including manufacturing execution, sales force productivity, procurement, and financials. Microsoft’s Power BI is a reliable solution for modern pharmaceutical companies that offers comprehensive BI services such as BI strategy, managed services, implementation & support, and more. The benefits of using Power BI for your growing pharmaceutical business become apparent right from the start. It provides a 360-degree view of operations, making it an essential tool for leading pharmaceutical companies. And who would be better than a Microsoft Gold Partner to help you implement Power BI and leverage its potential for your pharma company? To know more, contact us at (+1) 206 792 9930 or write to us at info@waferwire.com.

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