We at Aurobindo evaluate LSPs based on their expertise: GM – Warehouse, Aurobindo Pharma

In Conversation With Dasaradha Reddy

Aurobindo Pharma Limited is a pharmaceutical manufacturing company headquartered in Hyderabad, India. The company manufactures generic pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Dasaradha Reddy, General Manager, Warehouse, Aurobindo Pharma, in an interview with Logistics Insider, talks about how they ensure that their cold chain remains unbroken at every stage and reveals their criteria for choosing their LSPs. Excerpts:

Pharma products are temperature sensitive and can easily get spoilt if the cold chain breaks down while transportation. What measures does Aurobindo Pharma take to avoid such situations?

Any pharma product should reach customer/patient without any damage or compromise in quality, especially during storage and transportation. To maintain its quality, temperature is one of the most important parameters to monitor and control throughout the supply chain. At Aurobindo Pharma, products are shipped across the globe by sea and air mode and all environmental conditions are monitored by using data loggers. Critical products are tracked for its location and environmental conditions by using GPRS gateway connected with data logger tag and these provide live alerts for a drop in temperature etc.

What steps does Aurobindo Pharma take for efficiently managing its warehousing activities?

Our warehouse system runs on ERP, integrated with Barcode identification. All the materials handled in our warehouses are with the help of Robotics controlled ASRS. Good distribution practices are in place, as well as raw materials and packing materials are dispensed to production for batch manufacturing. By updating the materials accounting online with integration of weighing balances to ERP system, we streamline our processes. We also ensure that barcode tags are printed for every issued material to production.

How the warehousing of pharma products has evolved over the years? What major changes in the supply chain activities have you noticed since the time you stepped into this field?

In the last 30 years in the Indian pharma industry, quality systems have improved at par with global standards. Environmental conditions maintained those days were only for sensitive materials but presently all the materials storage and distribution are being controlled for environmental conditions end to end throughout the supply chain.

How do you ensure co-ordination between all departments of your supply chain while dealing with the logistics of sensitive pharmaceutical goods?

In the pharma supply chain, coordination between R&D, packaging development, production, QA and logistics are very important to create awareness on product stability, storage and its handling conditions and patient safety.

On what specific parameters does Aurobindo Pharma judge the performance of its Logistics Service Providing (LSP) companies?

We at Aurobindo evaluate LSPs based on their expertise, especially their experience in pharma products handling, their technical and financial status etc. Such vendors are approved and reevaluated annually. We also use Transport Management portals to select the best LSPs online. We conduct interactive sessions with all LSPs, Air Liners, Shipping Lines and Transport agencies periodically for mutual understanding of the business requirements and sharing experiences on Good Distribution Practices(GDP).

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