It’s safe to say the UK cold-chain logistics – and the pharma sector in particular – is facing one of the most challenging times in its history, but also one of the biggest opportunities.
COVID-19 might have put yet another spanner in the works on top of existing uncertainties over Brexit; however, the extraordinary circumstances we face have also accelerated the need for cold-chain logistics to adopt temperature monitoring solutions across the board to avoid loss of stock, minimise the risk of fraudulent claims, and provide end-to-end proof of compliance. All of which can – and often times does – lead to an immediate increase in ROI.
We’ve explored the top 3 challenges we believe the industry faces right now.
1. Customisable temperature monitoring solutions
Most Pharma products are temperature-critical and need to be stored at a set temperature throughout the distribution cycle (from origin to destination). In our 25+ years’ experience in the industry, we have seen that companies failing to deploy, or deploying basic temperature monitoring solutions have faced losses of up to a million pounds per load due to undetected temperature deviations during transport.
Effective preventative measures require deploying real-time monitoring and alerting, as well as cloud-based live vehicle tracking. Fleet operators should receive alerts via SMS or email, and drivers should also be notified via in-cab notifications to make sure they can intervene in time and prevent delivery spoilage.
Additionally, your temperature monitoring system should ideally be equipped to support a multi-compartment solution, with the ability to set different temperatures, thresholds, and alerts to be monitored simultaneously. For this to be possible, you should be looking at an EN:12830-1999 approved system that provides the flexibility of up to 8 channels of temperature measurement and 8 status or ON/OFF inputs (such as door open, door close, defrost and fridge power, to name a few), as well as probe calibration certificates upon installation (with accuracy to 0.25 degrees).
Lastly, if you are involved in the distribution of environmentally sensitive products, we would recommend that you use a humidity sensor to ensure the safety of your cargo.
If you’d like to see how all the above works together in one comprehensive solution, request a demo of our market-leading temperature monitoring solution Transcan (ex Seven Telematics).
2. End-to-end proof of compliance
The pharma industry has already been under scrutiny by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which, in the past few months, has increased the number of inspections across the supply chain.
Recommended best practices detailed in the Green Guide are now being treated as must-haves, and we’ve seen an almost overnight increase in demand as a result of this mandatory enforcement, which not surprisingly, is also happening at the same time across the EU, with Spain leading the charge.
To avoid hefty fines and disruptions to your service, we recommend putting yourself in a situation where you’re able to provide full audit trails and temperature logs from point of collection to point of delivery.
Specifically, you should be looking for journey and temperature reports that can be either emailed to your customer’s inbox at the end of the journey, or that can be printed out on-site from the vehicle’s data logger.
Finally, the solution you choose should be compliant for:
3. Total headcount & support from other logistics key workers
Looking perhaps unrelated at first, these two aspects are interconnected. Not only pharma logistics has less drivers on the road working to fulfil increased demand; there are also less workers along the supply chain involved in making sure you keep your assets in perfect working order in this moment of need.
As far as the Connexas Group is concerned, our priorities were to ensure employee and customer safety, as well as continuity of service. Our field-based engineers remain operational and, for all of them, we have adopted Government guidance and enhanced our own Safe Systems Of Work. We foresee little or no disruptions to the services and products we currently provide, and have plans as well as the infrastructure in place to accommodate an uptake in demand.
For more details on our updated Health & Safety policy, and how it’s going to affect present and future jobs, get in touch or call 0330 1112636.