Artificial Intelligence is transforming the way manufactured drugs and medical devices are tracked, stored, and distributed.
In our last blog, we discussed how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can improve overall supply chain management for life sciences organizations. In this post, we’re going to delve a little deeper into the warehousing aspect of drug and device manufacturing.
Warehouse management poses challenges for most organizations that keep products on hand for shipment to customers. Managing inventory levels, tracking expiration dates, controlling warehouse temperatures, fulfilling orders accurately, and optimizing warehouse space requires a great deal of high-level coordination. For pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, and medical device manufacturers, these issues are compounded by complex compliance requirements and the increasing need for more highly controlled warehouse environments.
Modern life sciences organizations are using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to streamline and automate warehouse processes. By acting as a centralized source of data, ERP systems can dramatically improve operations and identify new areas for efficiency and cost savings.
Many life sciences organizations are using outdated ERP systems.
Talk to AXP Pharma about digitalizing your company today for
greater efficiency and cost savings.
Thanks to advanced ERP systems, for example, forward-thinking life sciences companies have been able to benefit from digital twins. These virtual, data-driven replicas of physical objects and systems (such as warehouse environments) provide visibility and insights that managers can use to optimize processes, address potential problems, and improve efficiency.
When applied to the warehouse, digital twins let warehouse managers monitor equipment performance, track inventory levels, and anticipate future needs. Digital twins can also be used to simulate the effects of changes in the warehouse environment—such as temperature, humidity, and lighting—to ensure optimal performance.
While digital twins have already transformed the way life sciences companies manage complex systems, adding AI capabilities expands the benefits even further. AI can not only identify trends and patterns in data and predict future outcomes, it can also automatically maintain exact environmental controls and deliver equipment maintenance alerts.
With AI continuously monitoring the complexity that drives value loss and risks in the warehouse, warehouse management becomes far less passive and reactive. By understanding areas of vulnerability and uncertainty in real time, with recommendations from AI, managers can work to mitigate risks instead of managing crises.
The good news for life sciences companies, especially those working on Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP), is that AI capabilities are more accessible than ever. In the spring of 2023, Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 Copilot, a powerful new AI assistant that connects your ERP system to machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision technologies. When applied to the warehouse, these technologies can significantly improve your inventory management, storage configurations, and order fulfilment activities:
1. Optimize order fulfilment with instant inventory insights.
Through root-cause analysis and recommendations, Microsoft 365 Copilot can help you reduce stockouts and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Simply ask your queries—about anything from products nearing expiration to the availability of limited-edition items across various regions—in natural language for instant insights. Gone are the days of navigating through cumbersome menus and remembering product IDs or location details.
2. Streamline Data Mining and Table Joining
AI technology streamlines this labour-intensive process and quickly summarizes your inventory status in dashboard and text reports. Liberate your analysts from mundane tasks such as data cleansing and report writing, so they can focus on strategic initiatives that drive success.
3. Shorten Inventory Cycle Times
As demand for different items ebbs and flows, it’s difficult to predict which items should consume forward picking locations. With AI analyzing incoming orders, product dimensions, and the storage capacity of bin locations, re-slotting recommendations give warehouse managers everything they need to improve accessibility and minimize picking and packing time. AI-powered robots can even automate the repetitive tasks of picking, sorting, and packaging to improve speed and accuracy and reduce waste, minimize stockouts, and improve operational efficiency.
To start taking advantage of these powerful benefits, all you need is an ERP system designed to accommodate the specific needs of life sciences organizations, especially when it comes to compliance.
As a Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner, AX for Pharma has a suite of native solutions that quickly make Microsoft’s ERP ecosystem the perfect choice for pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, and medical device manufacturers. We also work with Contract Development Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) that service the life sciences industry.
AX for Pharma 365™ Is the Most Complete ERP Solution for Life Sciences
Convenient, configurable modules are purpose-built for life sciences organizations. These modules
can be added as needed, making it easy to scale the solution so it grows with your specific needs.
Our plug-and-play modules are specifically designed for life sciences organizations, so you can collect and manage the exact data you need while conforming to standards and regulations such as GMP, GAMP5, FDA 21 CFR Part 11, and EU Annex 11. From core ERP functions and supply chain management to warehouse management, quality management, weighing and dispensing, and more, we deliver the most comprehensive and complete ERP solution for the life sciences industry.
We’re excited to help our clients in the U.S., Europe, and Australia begin and continue their AI journeys and embrace the innovations that will define the future of drug and medical device manufacturing. If the advances delivered by Microsoft 365 Copilot are any indication, AI is poised to revolutionize the industry in the very near future. Contact us today to learn more about applying AI in your warehouse and throughout your manufacturing organization.