Going Mobile - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Going Mobile
Seven Reasons Why Pharmaceutical Makers Are Adopting Mobile Technology


Pharmaceutical Technology



Figure 2
Pharmaceutical firms are also tapping mobile technologies to help their sales force focus on selling and to place products into customers' hands. Most sales professionals use automation systems to make sure they have relevant, accurate, and timely information, wherever they are. Pharmaceutical firms also strictly adhere to all 21 CFR Part 11 and PDMA guidelines for electronic record management, sample distribution, signature capture, and inventory management. For example, each professional's eligibility to receive samples based on state license validation status should be clearly indicated and enforced by the mobile software throughout the sales process. Overall, mobile technology makes efficiency and success possible in many operations within the pharmaceutical organization.

Seven reasons pharmaceutical enterprises are going mobile

1. Extending efficiency. Pharmaceutical companies turn to mobile technology to automate routine but critical facilities functions such as safety checks, security rounds, and information technology asset management. An employee equipped with a handheld device featuring the latest mobile technology can instantly report the operating status of an asset after a visual inspection. Should the equipment require repair or replacement, the worker can create a work ticket on the spot and immediately file it in a data back-end system for quick retrieval by management. Many pharmaceutical companies believe that they can increase the exchange of better-quality data between workers on the plant floor, warehouse, or other locations with mobile technologies. Employees receive timely and more accurate data feeds into their system and provide critical information to technicians and other workers using handheld computers at the point of performance, thus improving productivity through an accurate, timely exchange that is not always possible via cell phones or other modes of communication.

Mobile technology deployments also eliminate the need for technicians to spend valuable time on end-of-shift data entry, which translates into more time for asset repair and preventive maintenance programs.

2. Staying on top of all processes. Mobile technology helps companies ensure that laboratories, cleanrooms, and other production facilities are up to par. Cleanroom and laboratory inspections, live animal checks, and other monitoring functions required by FDA can be completed expediently and effectively when scientists and technicians instantly capture vital condition data with mobile technology. In addition, hours saved on such inspections result in more time for technical employees to devote to research, product development, and production processes or other important responsibilities that are directly related to production and compliance.

3. Supplying real-time information. A key reason pharmaceutical companies consider adopting mobile technology is the technology's ability to organize disparate functions into a unified process. For example, the supply chain operation at a typical pharmaceutical company has many steps that mobile technology can optimize and streamline by processing key data in real time.

The supply-chain operation involves receiving items such as raw materials or regulated chemicals, warehousing them, and eventually using them in production or another activity. In a paper-based system, a written record must be collected at each step of this process. A mobile system, however, enables managers to track goods received at their facilities with more accuracy and speed, without requiring them to review a paper trail to stay on top of shipments. Mobile technology also improves tracking during the course of the life cycle of materials, from the time they are ordered through the time they are received. Better tracking leads to more effective consignment stock and trunk inventory management, better compliance reporting, and enhanced safety measures.

Other areas of the organization benefit from real-time data collection, including customer service and satisfaction monitoring, partner and vendor support, cooperation among business units from production to distribution, sales, and service.

4. Improving sales, distribution, and customer service. Mobile technology allows pharmaceutical companies to streamline supplier–vendor contract management, and enable efficient and accurate stock management from the dock to the storage bins. This streamlined workflow, in turn, improves distribution, order fulfillment, and tracking. For example, with a mobile technology-enabled process, a firm can keep track of the drug samples its sales representatives distribute, which provides vital information for sales, marketing, and compliance-reporting purposes.


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