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IT tools,services relevant for COVID-19 situation in Life Sciences

The scale, size of the pandemic is huge and efforts in our Life Science industry will need to address collaboration across value chain business partners outside the enterprise and even across industry. In the past, we had natural calamities, disaster, epidemics but no one could have anticipated the nature of supply chain implications from this pandemic and how to put the right measures in place, dealing with such a catastrophe. The impact of COVID-19 is significant in the life sciences industry, as discussed in this podcast with relevance to Life sciences helping patients obtain lifesaving drugs and devices.

With current pandemic situation, the industry has realized larger gaps in their supply chain strategy.  The struggle is evident with the inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, gowns, gloves, disinfectants. Pharma and medical device companies are seeing a surge in demands for consumable products and diagnostic testing kits.  Biologics and vaccines companies are working with the regulatory agencies during various clinical trial stages to provide real world evidence data that can offer milestones during the approval processes to help deliver medicines soon for curing the patients and saving lives.

Life Sciences companies want to learn from this pandemic, to capture necessary supply chain data that can help them understand the pulse of the market and take the remedial actions. That means it is important to target the right data collection surveys, to the right set of users that can help capture good insights to steer the strategy in the right direction.  Focus is to collaborate with contract research organizations to identify right active ingredients for medicine, collecting cured patient antibodies that can be researched in the hopes to identify the right vaccines. SAP Qualtrics has the tools to help capture experience data, whether it is from the suppliers or contract manufacturers, or which can come from customers like hospitals, physicians, or even patients.

As the customers in life sciences evaluate their production capacities or workforce constraints, they really need to prepare themselves for meeting this growing demand in the market. SAP can help companies to monitor the near real time demand. From the manufacturers view, it’s important to have better visibility of the inventory of these ingredients and raw materials that go into the manufacturing and logistics of cold chain vaccines. They need to have an alternate supplier strategy with sourcing and procurement like SAP Ariba business network in place to adjust the plan so that they monitor the supply chain models, whether they’re using some forecasting inputs or they’re trying to balance the supply and demand across their supply chain with SAP Integrated Business Planning tools. The governments are putting certain guidelines in place to monitor the distribution of PPE rationalizing the right criteria to help the patients across the country and SAP Analytics cloud can add value for traceability and transparency of stock across the health sciences value chain.

Few positive observations from COVID-19 is seeing competitors in the bio-pharma industry segment come together to collaborate in R&D, and also investigate available manufacturing capacity that can help to produce the drug dosage at scale. And just like on the pharma side, we have similar collaboration happening on the medical device side, where the design collaboration for ventilator technology is being shared with other suppliers from automotive industry. Open collaboration IT platform tools are being discussed with predictive algorithms where scientists and designers are also collaborating with bigger pharma and medical devices to investigate how they can help meet patient needs. B2B commerce with SAP Hybris has a potential to improve global distribution of vacciness.

As it relates to COVID-19, SAP is looking at this whole process from three stages. We already are thru the first phase respond.  The responding stage assess the use of the right IT tools, whether it is relates to getting the workforce the tools to work remotely and to ensure employees are healthy.  The second step, recover is the stage when life science companies are assessing the risk level of the supplier network, validating business continuity and recovery plans, and following up with their sub-contractors. In the “new” normal or the reimagine phase it is the time for life science companies to prepare the workforce, prepare manufacturing to quickly shift and optimize during a crisis and enable transparency across the entire supply chain.

Right now, more than ever, SAP is leading with purpose. We are uniquely positioned to have a significant impact on businesses at a time where supply chain and business travel disruption is very real.  SAP remains focused on our employees, customers and communities.  And we remain committed to our long-team strategy and prospects and is continuing to invest in innovation.  SAP expects to emerge from COVID-19 crisis even stronger than before. Our SAP customers are doing amazing things to support their employees, customers and the world to fight this pandemic.  SAP is always there to help with the right tools and collaboration. For more information, refer link – https://news.sap.com/covid-19/

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