To understand the key challenges life sciences professionals experience in building and managing a cold chain in this new landscape, Accenture recently conducted a survey of 200 industry executives from Europe and North America. These insights shed light on how life sciences companies can work with partners to incorporate a patient-centric cold chain into their overarching supply chain operating model.
1. The challenge of fragmented infrastructure networks and evolving requirements
- The infrastructure involves physical and logistics capabilities, such as automated, high-density storage warehouses and thermal shippers for ultra-low and cryogenic temperatures to no more than 2-8˚C.
- The infrastructure is supported by Internet of Things solutions that collect and transmit environmental monitoring data in real time.
- The cold chain infrastructure landscape, however, is in flux and demand is increasing.
2. Lack of end-to-end insights
- Approximately 90% of companies are using multiple disconnected solutions to collect data across the cold chain.
- The lack of coherent real-time environmental monitoring makes it difficult to gain visibility into the product while in transit, risking ETA management, security & document compliance, and continuous temperature monitoring across multiple logistics legs.
- The lack of insight exacerbates functional organizational siloes.
- 56% of survey respondents are using visibility tools in the cold chain but find them unsatisfactory.
3. Capability gap
- About two-thirds of life sciences companies report a significant workforce capability gap.
- Facilitating cold chain requires skills in artificial intelligence (AI), IT automation, analytical skills, engineering, and geopolitical awareness.
Pressure is mounting on cold chain participants to deliver on this potential at scale. Accenture research, however, revealed that life sciences companies, particularly those who didn’t take part in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, are acutely aware that their operating models may become uncompetitive in the evolving biopharma landscape.