Evolving technologies, growing markets, stressed economics and increasing supply chain
complexity are just the tip of the iceberg of problems facing the pharmaceutical industry. The
dominoes are lining up awaiting the first fall that would initiate the cascading effect with new
business models and new technologies that will alter the industry’s landscape forever.
The complexity of the pharma industry initially created a barrier to disruption, but with headways
into the digital revolution, pressure has mounted on all stakeholders to make changes from both
inside and outside the industry.
So, what is the business case for digital?
The digitization of interactions across the pharma supply chain can provide new insights that could
never have been otherwise achieved.
Pharma supply chains have traditionally been characterized by long lead times, manual ordering, lack
of visibility of inventories and absence of any real-time data. Majority of pharma channel partners in
India for instance, still follow the age-old method of placing orders – retailers maintain a short-book
and update it every hour as stocks deplete; stockist’s salesmen visit their respective
retailers, take down orders manually, go back and check inventory, and fulfil the required orders. A
few stockists have begun using mobile apps for order placement, the coverage however, still remains
fairly miniscule. Over 95% of the orders placed by the stockists with the CFAs still go through emails or
scanned copies through messaging tools. All this stems from Varying ordering formats, incorrect
product masters used by the stockists and lack of technology availability at ground level.
The Opportunities for Major Gains
By connecting the supply chain end to end through digital networks and integrating real-time insights
from various sources, supply chain executives can generate greater visibility and improve
performance. Ultimately, digitizing the supply chain creates a strategic competitive advantage that
boosts the supply chain organization from an execution focused function to a center of business
Pharmarack, a technology start-up, has created India’s largest integrated B2B Healthcare platform –
combining Technology, Analytics, Logistics and Supply Chain. Poised to transform the highly
fragmented Indian Pharmaceutical Market, Pharmarack’s revolutionary platform automates order
tracking at various levels in the pharma supply chain - between CFA and stockists and between
stockists and retailers.
Pharmarack’s digital supply chain levers
Connecting the Supply Chain at all levels:
The app-based ordering tool
benefits all stakeholders
alike. Retailers get access to distributor inventory, schemes, prices 24x7; making short-book
redundant. Stockists and distributors stand to gain by empowering their sales teams to take down
orders via a platform that has complete visibility of information like inventory in the warehouse,
outstanding payments, credit etc. They also get unparalleled access to unmapped
retailers/distributors in the area increasing their reach and revenue.
Optimizing the supply chain through digital networks: Automatic updates
of the master data
with AI-based optimization tools leads to dramatic improvement in planning accuracy.
Connecting the data sources to increase visibility and improve decision
Linking the entire supply chain end to end gives business owners access to real-time
performance information, leveraging data from various sources (ERP, SAP, MIS etc.). Increased transparency
boosts crossfunctional collaboration—for example, through automated workflows and digitizing the sales and
operations planning process
Better predicting demand and supply risks: Companies that leverage big
data and machine
learning algorithms can more accurately forecast demand, as well as automatically scan and
mitigate supply risks.
Pharmarack transforms the traditional supply chain systems in the pharma industry into a
supply chain 4.0 that enables companies to address the requirements, challenges, and
efficiency expectations across the board. Using Pharmarack’s comprehensive solutions
pharmaceutical companies will be able to turn the buzzword of Big Data into very real and
Pharmarack’s mission is to cover 5000+ stockists and 120,000+ retailers by end of 2020. It will
have access to over 40% of the pharma retail market through this platform. Pharmarack is
headquartered in Pune, India and is led by a team of industry veterans who help drive
Pharmarack’s mission to disrupt the healthcare space by leveraging big data.