Picture this – it’s early in the year 2023 and you’re a wholesale distributor in the pharmaceutical industry. In preparation for the November 2023 DSCSA compliance requirements around tracking serialized inventory and managing EPCIS files, you have already implemented a Pharma Serialization Software such as Blue Link ERP. You’re confident in your system to help track, manage and share EPCIS, DTR and other important information with your customers, in addition to all the other features it offers for inventory management and accounting. But, since the deadline to send EPCIS file information to your customers isn’t until November, you don't need to reach out to your suppliers yet to start receiving those files...right?
While it’s true that the DSCSA does not require you to send EPCIS file information to your customers until November 2023, if you wait until then to start RECEIVING files from your suppliers, you run the risk of seriously messing up your shipping processes.
If you try to ship inventory that you received now to your customers in November, you won’t have any of the associated file information for it. If you’re receiving inventory from your suppliers today that will sit in your warehouse for the next couple of months and might only get shipped to your customers after the November deadline, you won’t have any of the necessary information to send along with that shipped order. And, if a large percentage of the inventory you receive ships in case or inner pack quantities, then when you do go to ship it later, your employees will have no choice but to open every case, open every inner pack and manually scan every individual unit to collect the data you will need to send. This is obviously a lot of unnecessary work that can hurt your shipping operations, so you want to consider the following:
- What percentage of your orders ship in case or inner pack quantities?
- If you had to open and manually scan every individual saleable unit, how much longer would it take your warehouse employees to open each one of those cases, and inner packs to scan every barcode on every bottle?
- Would you be able to handle your current order volume with the same number of employees? How many more employees and computer workstations would you have to add to your warehouse to be able to ship the same number of orders? What if your order volume increases?
To avoid the situation above, and instead of waiting until November to collect EPCIS file information from your suppliers, make sure you have the processes in place to start collecting that data now.
The Bottom Line:
The sooner you start to receive and store EPCIS data, the more likely you will be to have data in your system that will allow for efficient shipping operations later on. Even if you are in the process of implementing a new Pharma Serialization Software to help manage all your inventory, there are still potential ways that you can collect the appropriate EPCIS information in the meantime.