A few weeks ago during one of our regular meet up sessions, a plant manager expressed his excitement over his company implementing the first phase of its digital transformation – and that they were now moving to phase two.
My immediate response, after offering my congratulations, was to find out what business issue he had addressed. This surprised him momentarily before he replied “I don’t know.”
Far from being a one-off, I see this more often than you think. Companies in the pharmaceutical industry know that a data-driven transformation is the way forward. They invest in the latest hardware and software solutions, but what they don’t always consider is the individual issues that a transformation is supposed to address.
There is so much hype around technology, with Industry 4.0 driving a lot of what we see today. But I have even heard talk of Industry 5.0 and even 6.0… where does it stop?
Investing in technology is only a small part of the overall picture. Companies need to take a holistic approach and examine every facet of their operations and then examine the solutions that are available and determine which ones best fit their overall objectives.
It’s pointless having a Ferrari if you can’t drive. Sure, it looks good outside your house, but you are not realizing the value of what it can deliver. And this is what you are missing out.
What we are seeing, especially in the software realm, is more of our pharmaceutical customers looking to find solutions that will allow them to personalise products, reduce costs, become leaner while being able to launch products to the market quicker.
But the pharmaceutical industry has additional realities too, especially when it comes to regulations and compliance. These realities mean that a lot of work is going into their data capabilities and integration, not only in terms of gathering data, but also working with the right data and using it as a basis to make decisions.
The most evocative question to then ask in this instance is: do they trust their data and the resulting reports?
Customers are telling us that they want help getting more insight into all the data they have around their supply chain and then get this data into a useful form. When we discuss this challenge, more often than not, the first response is “give me the use case.”