5 Challenges Facing Pharmaceutical Warehousing : Pharmaguideline

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5 Challenges Facing Pharmaceutical Warehousing

Warehouse management is a critical part of pharmaceutical manufacturing. Top 5 challenges of warehouse management are discussed here.
The pharmaceutical industry is instrumental in the health and well-being of the global population. In the intricate web of this field lies the need for superb warehousing. It's an essential component of the supply chain that ensures efficient medication supply storage and distribution. This critical link experiences a fair share of hurdles but with solutions. Here are five challenges that every pharmaceutical warehouse needs to overcome to maintain the integrity of its operations.


1. High Workplace Safety Standards

Strict rules and regulatory requirements from the FDA and other major international health organizations characterize the warehouse environment. Such efforts ensure that every facility sticks to the recommended high standards for quality and safety in their functions. This makes it necessary for you to keep looking for ways of remaining compliant through better streamlining of operations.

Keep training the employees on the safety standards and best practices. Ensure you also invest in workers' safety supplies such as helmets, gloves, and protective gear while in their operations. Such efforts prevent spinal injury and other bodily harm in case of accidents. This minimizes the chances of work interruptions linked to such injury-causing incidences. The safety measures make you adherent and boost employees' confidence while at the warehouse.

2. Temperature and Environmental Control

The chemical composition of drugs is susceptible to temperatures, meaning you need to take care of the temperature fluctuations as a warehouse. Despite the weather or season, the indoor temperatures should be optimal for vaccines, medications, and biological products.

Any inadequacy of temperature control systems during storage causes the degradation of the active components in the drugs, leading to inefficiency or damage to the drugs. This applies even when the products are in transit, requiring specialized trucks. Establish temperature-controlled areas with monitoring systems that give real-time alerts whenever there are disparities.

3. Inventory Management

Warehousing faces the challenge of preventing stockouts and timely delivery of medications. This is significant when a facility expands, and the demand could be more stable. Since many pharmaceutical products have a specific shelf life, keeping an eye on the expiry dates is fundamental. It necessitates keeping accurate records on the flow of commodities in and out.

To prevent miscalculations, use inventory management systems that offer actual visibility of the stock levels and batch numbers. Such tools also help with traceability, a major concern for most warehouses. This regulatory requirement demands a facility to have the capacity to track the path of every product from the manufacturing phase to the distribution phase. It allows sound authentication of the drugs through the supply chain.

4. Security and Counterfeiting

Due to the high value of pharmaceutical products, they're often great attractions for counterfeiting and theft. A warehouse needs to think of effective ways of curbing insecurity issues, which can give way to loot. Put solid security measures such as access controls and surveillance cameras at strategic points in place.

You also need to have anti-counterfeiting approaches through serializing and using tamper-evident packaging. These efforts help protect your supply chain's efficiency while ensuring public health safety. Most fake drugs are altered such that they tend to have harmful or incorrect ingredients.

5. Technology Integration

The great transformation in the industry is calling for warehouses to keep up with the pace to remain competitive. New technologies such as warehouse management systems (WMS) systems and robotics are beneficial for smoothly running operations.

Adopting such advancements also requires skills and knowledge for the integration to be efficient. You want to have a smooth transition as you upgrade the systems and avoid interfering with the integrity of the products. With time, find the right balance between automated and manual processes as the two complement each other.

Life-saving medications need sound storage and distribution, and warehouses have a significant role. As a facility, you need to have excellent measures to ensure the quality of the products stays the same. This is where investing in modern tools and having skillful workers comes in.

Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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