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Pharma industry needs to adopt IoT to improve supply chain efficiency: GoComet

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian pharmaceutical industry, one of the largest exporters of pharmaceuticals in the world, needs to adopt technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) to get improved supply chain visibility, theft protection, cold chain monitoring and real time inventory management, said Chitransh Sahai, GoComet, director for corporate relations.

GoComet aims at bridging the international logistics industry online by connecting multiple modes (air, ocean and road) via a centralized system. The company’s mission is to create a platform connecting businesses and freight forwarders to facilitate effortless movement of cargo with the help of technology.

Though the pharma sector is one of the leading adopters of IT in the country with customers expecting increased use of technology in enhancing customer engagement and multichannel interactions as revealed by Veeva 2016 Digital in Indian Pharma Survey, there are still certain gaps that it needs to close especially in adopting technologies like the Internet of Things in giving real time visibility to their cold chains, said Sahai.

Pharma supply chain costs are higher than best-in-class firms. The value chain becomes highly complicated owing to the largely international nature of the business. As a result, the logistics cost for pharma companies is speculated to be more than 25 per cent as per a report published by McKinsey.

Many pharmaceutical products are temperature controlled and a small fluctuation in temperature/ventilation due to irregular electricity supply can result in the damage of cargo. This is becoming a concern for pharma companies as cold chain movement is estimated to cost them $17 billion by 2020, he said.

Adoption of technology can potentially help Indian pharmaceutical industry mitigate supply chain lead time, reduce cost and track cargo movement thereby bringing overall efficiency in supply chain, he added.

Most pharma shipments are time constrained and are transported globally via airlines. Given the scenario, a minor mishap in coordination can lead to the consignment missing the scheduled flight. Such situations may also compel the company to book the next flight at a very high expense, and/or high demurrage/detention costs.

Besides this, a large chunk of industry players including importers and exporters still faces issues with negotiating on the right price and ensuring transparency while selecting freight services. Complication of international logistics business is said to be the reason behind this.  

GoComet with a network of large number of freight forwarders and customs house agents (CHAs) helps create value for exporters and importers by ensuring that they get access to the best rates of the market and choose from a wide variety of services too. As a result customers can move cargo internationally at significantly lower costs and better reliability as compared to their competitors.


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