One day you’ll select your CDMO based more on its communication and AI capabilities than on the humans who work there. Once selected, your machines and systems will connect directly to those at your partner’s, interact directly with your ERP (enterprise resource planning)-approved needs, and bypass the human interaction needed today to manage drug supply chains.
No, that day may not occur in 2019, but the next 12 months will continue to build a bridge to that future. Already, advanced machines designed and implemented for serialization reside at service providers to relay information to systems at drug sponsors. Biopharma companies have built “smart” facilities. Blockchain technologies for supply chain integration and management are being laid out. Still, to get to a full digital dialogue, drug sponsors and CDMOs alike will need to muster their resources and usher in what the rest of the world already calls Industry 4.0.