Pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and transportation providers all face unique pain points within their supply chain operations. Product worth US$30 billion is damaged each year, and companies in the pharmaceutical space are concerned about how to control their spending on product, packaging, assets, and overhead costs, while also leveraging serialization and traceability throughout the broader supply chain.
These enterprises are looking at asset visibility as a way not only to mitigate costs but to use it as a competitive advantage and to generate higher-quality supply chain data both at an item level and at a network level.
ABI Research says these factors are creating an asset visibility market opportunity in the pharmaceutical industry worth US$2.7 billion by 2026.
“Supply chain visibility is increasingly becoming a priority for enterprises, and particularly so for those operating in the pharmaceutical industry who face a vast range of challenges, from meeting serialization and transport regulations to reducing product waste and damage,” explains Tancred Taylor, IoT markets research analyst at ABI Research.
He opined that enterprises need to adopt several different technologies to address these challenges, and technology suppliers specializing in one technology need to understand how to work with the rest of the ecosystem to become leaders in this market.
“IoT asset tracking will work alongside digital ID and telematics aggregation technologies to transform supply chain operations,” he added.
Companies are approaching the challenge from many different directions. From an IoT perspective, Wiliot, Controlant, OnAsset Intelligence, Roambee, and Cloudleaf are examining how to digitize different types of assets to provide real-time tracking and monitoring capabilities.
FourKites, Overhaul, Shippeo, TransVoyant, and numerous other fast-growing data aggregators are creating software-only approaches to bring visibility and analytics to shipment lanes and networks.
Digital ID providers like Tracelink, rfxcel, or Kezzler are a third breed of technology suppliers enabling serialization and asset visibility in a complex supply chain that requires aggregation and disaggregation of products at multiple stages.
Finally, packaging suppliers and pallet poolers are among those looking to capitalize on the greater perceived value of in-transit visibility data.
“The opportunity for asset visibility in the pharmaceutical supply chain is enormous. The ecosystem enabling this visibility and providing value-generating software on top is starting to work out how each tier of the value chain can collaborate with the others in what has up to now been a highly fragmented market. Technology suppliers need to adapt their strategies accordingly to ensure they can get a large share of the pie,” Taylor concluded.