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Best ERP Software for Pharmaceutical Companies in India

Manufacture cost-effective medical equipment using ERP software.

Features of Pharmaceutical ERP software

Production management

Tracking the real-time location of finished products is essential for each industry, including the pharmaceutical industry. A Pharma ERP solution will allow you to set project completion dates. You can also create product formulas that track which raw materials were used to manufacture finished product batches during the batch production process. The best part is that you can also follow when a particular batch was created, which helps track the expiry date and manage the shelf life efficiently.

Production management

Compliance Management

Compliance management is an essential module of ERP software for pharma enterprises as it allows you to meet the guidelines set by government agencies and regulatory bodies like the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). It provides you a competitive edge by allowing you to adhere to validation protocols and quality management practices. The Pharmaceutical ERP software also integrates formula management practices with productive business models that meet all regulatory requirements and industry norms.

Compliance Management

Formula tracking

Creating a robust formula is the fundamental step for developing an effective medicine. It would be best if you also revised the formula to increase the drug efficacy constantly. ERP solution for pharmaceutical enterprises has a formula tracking software that provides three significant benefits:

  • It has a formula tracking ability that helps revise formulas quickly.
  • It can manufacture enormous quantities of drugs in a single run.
  • You can track the lot number of each raw ingredient and the final manufactured products.

Formula tracking

Purchasing and Procurement

The success of a pharmaceutical company depends significantly on having robust purchase controls. If you purchase ingredients at a higher price, you will have to sell the final drug in the market at a higher rate than your competitors that can negatively impact your sales. On the other hand, the pharmaceutical ERP system allows you to track vendors and their pricing variations and lead times. It also tracks the lot number of each ingredient you receive from the vendor that helps to eliminate costs associated with product recalls.

Purchasing and Procurement

Inventory control and warehouse management

Inventory management is critical across all pharmaceutical enterprises because it helps pick, pack, and deliver finished goods to the end-user. Most pharmaceutical manufacturing companies use First-In, First-Out (FIFO), or Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) based inventory picking systems that aren't very efficient. On the other hand, the inventory management module of the pharma ERP system operates on the principle of First-Expiring, First-Out (FEFO). This approach reduces the products that expire before the sale. You can further integrate them with technologies such as barcode and RFID to optimize the efficiency of your inventory department.

Inventory control and warehouse management

Product scheduling & MRP

Manufacturing delays can cost you dearly because it leads to dissatisfied customers, lost sales opportunities, and wastage due to the expiry of raw ingredients. The Material Requirement Planning (MRP) module of the pharma ERP system allows setting a production schedule in advance. It considers predicted demand, lead times on ingredients, and machine and human capacities to ensure that you manufacture finished products within the set deadlines. The most significant benefit of the production scheduling module is that it ensures finished goods aren't lying on the shelves for long periods.

Product scheduling & MRP

Accounting

Pharma enterprises must have automatic software systems to manage their back-office accounting functionality. Pharmaceutical ERP solutions have features such as financial reporting, accounts payable and receivables management, and budgeting. These features are required for convenient handling of everyday business functions and become critical during R&D projects as they help track project costs.

Accounting

Quality Control

A pharma company needs to have an efficient quality control mechanism to monitor the manufacturing process. The good news is that pharmaceutical manufacturing software has a quality control module that ensures the production of the same quality product each time. This module can also conduct quality assurance tests, track test results, and take corrective actions whenever needed. The pharmaceutical ERP software has a checkpoint tracking facility that identifies samples for quality control tests.

Quality Control

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Challenges in the Pharmaceutical industry

The number of diseases, older adults, and pandemics are rising rapidly. WHO predicts that people above the age of 60 will expand by 10% from 2015 to 2025. It means that pharma manufacturers will need to create more medicines for more people in the future. Let’s discuss the challenges that the pharma industry is currently going through and face in the future.

It’s challenging to lower the degree of variation that impacts the consistency and quality of finished products.

The absence of a formula-based production system inhibits the production of a drug/medicine in substantial quantities.

Pharmaceutical enterprises find it challenging to introduce product variations according to customer specifications and keep up with the evolving trends.

Restrictions on importing and exporting raw materials required for developing medicines is another challenge that has found no solution.

Supply chain challenges have been lo limits the movement of goods across borders.

Pharmaceutical enterprises find it challenging to introduce product variations according to customer specifications and keep up with the evolving trends.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers find it challenging to track varying units of measures.

The lack of digital methods makes it challenging to develop drugs and increase management efficiency.  

The absence of virtual alternatives to physical conferences makes it increasingly challenging for medical practitioners to exchange new ideas.

The need to meet national and international pharmaceutical regulatory standards and compliance requirements is getting harder by the day, especially for small manufacturing enterprises. 

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The background of the Pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in India.

The Pharmaceutical industry in India is growing by leaps and bounds. One would wonder that in 1969, Indian pharmaceuticals controlled a mere 5% market share, but fast forward to today, they control a staggering 85% of the global pharmaceutical industry. As per the report published by McKinsey, the Indian Pharmaceuticals market will swell to USD 55 billion by 2020. Tier-1 and metro cities will make expeditious developments in this field owing to rapid urbanization and investments. And rural areas will see the highest penetration of medical facilities. To convert these projections into realities, investment in automation and technology penetration has to grow swiftly. The new ERP solution for pharmaceutical manufacturing is the way forward. 

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Future of the Indian Pharmaceutical industry.

Deloitte defines the Indian pharmaceutical industry as the “pharmacy of the world.” It’s rightly so because the Indian pharma companies ramped up their production to manufacture cost-effective and high-quality generic medicines for more than 133 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, do you know that Indian pharma companies supply 20% of the world’s generics and 62% of its vaccines?  The future seems bright for Indian pharmaceutical businesses. A 2019 report by the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) says that a moderate growth rate of 7%-8% will increase the annual revenues from USD 38 billion in 2019 to USD 90 billion by 2030.

Here are a few quick points that tell about the opportunities that this sector has in the future:

Domestic consumption will substantially increase: Several factors like the increasing rate of chronic diseases, the aging population, and a push for universal healthcare by the government of India will significantly increase the number of medicine stores to provide cheaper drugs in the coming times. According to Indian companies.in, domestic pharma spending will grow by 8%-11% between 2019 and 2023 and will swell to USD 28-32 billion.

Branded medicines will see a decline: The global medicine spending and usage trends report suggest that branded medicines, with the worth of a cumulative sale of USD 139 billion, will lose exclusivity in the developed markets between 2020 and 2024. This will allow Indian generic and biosimilar makers to gain a firm footing in the global Pharmaceutical market.

India is on its way to becoming the world’s most reliable drug supplier: According to Strategic Investment Research Unit, the government of India is planning to develop three mega bulk drug parks with an investment of USD 1.3 billion. The government has also announced that it will soon roll out a scheme to manufacture 53 critical bulk drugs to allow the pharma manufacturing industry to become self-reliant in the next 5-8 years.

How Pharmaceutical ERP software will help you run your business?

IBEF reports that the Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow to USD 100 billion by 2025. The SME industry, which forms an essential part of the Indian pharma sector, will benefit immensely by implementing software solutions. The following points explain why ERP for pharmaceutical businesses is the best solution for improving business productivity:

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Quality Management

ERP software for Pharmaceutical enterprises is designed specifically to prevent the manufacturing of defective products and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and customer demands.

Improved Cost Savings

ERP for Pharmaceutical manufacturing efficiently manages labor information such as shift timings, skill improvement, assigned tasks, and effectively deploys the organization's resources resulting in higher productivity.

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Inventory Management

ERP software allows companies to get API on time. It provides real-time information about item status to the store purchasing system. Moreover, it also generates real-time reports showing prices, historical data, and quotes for better decision-making.

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Reduced Machine Downtime

ERP software solutions follow a routine schedule for checking crucial devices and equipment that reduce machine downtime and substantially increase the system's longevity. Further, it also tracks external maintenance schedules. 

Benefits of ERP for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Firms

Sage X3 is the right software for your business as it helps handle critical processes, allows you to stay compliant with drug administration laws, improves sales functions, maintain excellent relations with each business partner, react quickly to changing market conditions, and stay competitive in times of disruptive changes like the recent Covid-19 pandemic. The following points explain how Sage X3 allows you to perform better business analysis and prevents issues concerning your Pharmaceutical business.

Why do you need a Pharmaceutical ERP software?

Significant variations in the product manufacturing process affect the consistency and quality of the manufactured drugs. ERP solution cut down the variability quotient by managing a multitude of company-specific and industry-specific parameters such as pH, expiry date, temperature, pressure, moisture content, etc. The variability process begins with purchasing raw materials that are checked against a predetermined set of tolerances. Those that fall within the set are accepted, while others are rejected. The ERP system assigns lot/batch numbers to the raw materials that the system has accepted to track them throughout the manufacturing process. Pharmaceutical enterprises have to manufacture products according to customer requirements carefully. The following example illustrates why. The accepted needle size for an infant is 0.625″, whereas it’s 1.5″ for a healthy adult. ERP software takes care of such nitty-gritty and ensures that customer specifications are given the highest importance. It does this by adopting a formula-based approach that allows it to maintain a high level of predictability and repeatability in manufacturing ingredients, creating packing materials, and managing an array of finished goods. The formula-based approach allows an ERP solution to streamline production levels, routing and costing processes, and other variable characteristics such as pH, temperature, pressure, etc.

One of the merits of a formula-based production process is that it produces one or more finished products in huge quantities. To be precise, lot/batch runs produce a predetermined amount of finished goods within a planned range and amount of time. 

This is because of two reasons: 

  • ERP systems can scale the batch size up or down 
  • ERP systems possess the ability to run production times in a step function rather than a linear function

The Pharmaceutical manufacturing industry must adhere to product variations suggested by the customer to prevent issues that may arrive at a later stage. For example, Paracetamol is used to treat pain and fever. It’s available in various forms like capsule, liquid suspension, intramuscular, effervescent, tablet, and intravenous forms. Also, the packaging may differ. Large containers are used when vast quantities are required to be shifted to army cantonments or hospitals. However, small sealed bottles are used while delivering them to pharmacies. ERP applications adopt a formula-based approach to manage such situations. They link packaging material with product specifications to produce different goods that are packaged in the same style. It also helps track intermediates before they are distributed into smaller units.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing businesses face challenges in tracking operational and material costs, which affects brainstorming product pricing strategies.  On the other hand, ERP systems measure the final cost of manufactured products by considering R&D costs, price of raw materials, customer incentives, and insurance costs that help determine profitability. It’s because they have multiple valuation methods that electronically gather costs pertaining to labor, work in progress, overheads, and ingredients. Additionally, ERP systems also capture costs related to by-products.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprises purchase raw materials in one unit of measure, fill their inventories in another, produce finished products using the third unit of measurement, and sell them in another. ERP systems select the appropriate weighing system and then convert values instantly. It helps to assess cost in terms of weight, potency, size, solid percentage, etc.  ERP software also takes product variations into account. During a manufacturing process, when solid converts into liquid or vice versa, its size, volume, area, potency, and other characteristics change. ERP systems map different Units of Measure (UOM) with reasonable costs across the entire manufacturing schema and make measurements convenient.

Traceability is a crucial function in the pharma industry. Government norms make it mandatory, and it also smoothens the manufacturing process. ERP applications keep track of everything that is purchased, processed, and moved out of the system – from units that appear in bulk to units that occur in small quantities – to the final customer. They simplify the audit trail process and allow the company to respond to product recalls in a short time – within a few minutes rather than days.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing entails a high degree of variability. And this calls for excellent quality management skills. ERP applications collect and analyze data, set them according to customer specifications, and execute the manufacturing process properly. They also conduct quality checks on raw materials and manufactured products and alert the quality check manager in case of any discrepancies. Manufacturing high-quality goods is a tough nut to crack. It requires keeping an eye on the process from the very beginning to the final stage. ERP systems manage this quite intuitively. They obtain real-time data from plant operators on parameters such as – equipment effectiveness, expected yield, raw-material utilization, the time needed to complete the process, etc., to eliminate redundancies and speed up the process, and deliver top-notch finished products.

Pharmaceutical companies have to follow some of the most rigorous government rules and regulations, such as the Pharmacy Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act, Indian Patent Act, Drug Price Control Act, to name a few. The caveat is that sometimes adhering to mandatory regulatory compliances is an expensive affair. This is where the ERP solution comes as a savior. It monitors whether all aspects of the production process and the material flow inside the manufacturing facility are done according to mandatory government norms. Also, it automates record keeping. It stores essential documents and signatures in both digital and paper formats. Apart from this, it provides digital security through password protection applications and network security protocols. Moreover, ERP applications also provide an ePedigree feature. An ePedigree is a document that assures that drugs are uncontaminated and won’t have any adverse effect on the consumer’s health. It provides a detailed description of the expiration date, lot/batch number, distributor, manufacturer, etc. It helps to identify the unit and keep track of it. ERP systems have built-in packages that validate the manufacturing process. They provide a high degree of assurance that the final product will adhere to set specifications and quality standards. This increases team productivity and saves the employees’ time by allowing them to focus on other vital functions. 

Pharmaceutical manufactyuring businesses are bracing themselves for the cut-throat competitive market. High R&D costs for initiating new product development seem to be the only solution to remain ahead. But a small mistake can have enormous consequences – drop in sales, loss of consumer trust, lengthy court cases, to name a few. These challenges create hurdles in developing a new product. ERP systems provide practical solutions to such obstacles. They store essential records, reduce operational costs, cement strong relations with stakeholders – vendors, suppliers, distributors, and customers. Thus, pharma businesses can launch new products in the market in a cost-effective way. 

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