Drug wholesale company, AmerisourceBergen, digitises its supply chain to support global serialisation regulations and simultaneously accelerates its business process innovation to become an intelligent enterprise with support from SAP.
AmerisourceBergen’s journey to transforming its supply chain and fully becoming an intelligent enterprise was spurred by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) implemented in November 2013. The global serialisation act expanded regulations around the tracking and tracing of serialised pharmaceuticals in the United States supply chain. The new track-and-trace regulations sparked a wave of disruption and uncertainty, as well as exposed significant gaps in the life sciences and technology industries.
At the time, there were no solutions available in the market to meet the new regulations. Adding to this new challenge was the fact that regulations across different countries varied widely, which meant the solution needed to be adaptable and provide country-specific functionalities and content.
As an organisation that strives to create a healthier future by being the backbone of the global healthcare supply chain, AmerisourceBergen took the challenge head-on by partnering with SAP to create an innovative solution to meet all track-and-trace requirements of the DSCSA. This co-innovation between the two expanded to include other industry players in an ongoing consortium to support the greater good of the healthcare supply chain, and resulted in the SAP Advanced Track and Trace for Pharmaceuticals (SAP ATTP).
Becoming an SAP Intelligent Health Science Enterprise
The new track-and-trace requirements of the DSCSA necessitated the move from a lot-based tracing to an individual unit serialisation which meant that every shipping unit in the U.S. had to have a unique serialised number identifying that bottle. Previously, AmerisourceBergen tracked and traced products at a batch level with the SAP Oject Event Repository (OER).
With the new SAP ATTP solution, AmerisourceBergen was able to comply with the drug serialisation and reporting requirements. The track and trace software integrates serialisation with business processes, validates products, and provides country-ready reporting packages. Moreover, the innovative solution minimises the costs of maintaining compliance and supports a more secure supply chain by fighting counterfeiting and illicit trade.
More importantly, with SAP ATTP, the company successfully turned the disruption into a competitive advantage that will enable the company to better support patient outcomes for years to come. It has transformed its supply chain with end-to-end integration into its core business processes, and helped accelerate the company’s journey to becoming an intelligent enterprise.
Looking ahead, AmerisourceBergen hopes to leverage predictive analytics and blockchain technology with SAP to further harness business value from the data collected in SAP ATTP. These data include manufacturers’ and customers’ purchase orders, shipping records, and product returns.
AmerisourceBergen is a leading wholesale distributor in the life sciences industry and a major player in the U.S., with an average annual revenue of $175B. The company ships more than 3 million products to over 150 locations across more than 50 countries worldwide. The organisation’s business activities encompass a diverse set of services—from supplying hundreds of thousands of caresite with life-saving drugs and supplies to offering innovative solutions for health systems, physician practices, pharmacies, and manufacturers. The company is also involved in both the human health and animal health sectors.