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Revolutionizing the supply chain through digital product profiles

By Franck Goron, Microsoft Digital Advisor on June 2, 2017

Filed under IT Leader

We’ve all heard of counterfeit products: fashion accessories, electronic products, car replacement parts, and even food items – all of which are illegal if not dangerous. Grey and black markets swallow up jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue across industries. Counterfeit products can however have an even greater repercussion on consumers since 10% of medicines in circulation are counterfeit.

Image of Franck GoronI am Franck Goron, a Microsoft Digital Advisor. Microsoft Digital Advisory Services is a team within Microsoft Services. Digital Advisors bring their expertise, as well as Microsoft’s resources, experience and innovation, to empower organizations to reach their digital aspirations. Learn how we partner to drive a program of change to build our customers’ digital business, by visiting our website here: Microsoft Digital Advisory Services.

Adents is a worldwide leader in product serialization solutions. When Adents chose to partner with Microsoft, their digital aspiration was to create a traceable digital profile of each product, whether it be prescribed medicine or medical devices. This way, manufacturers and especially life sciences companies could fight counterfeiters, protect their patients and their brand reputation, and optimize their supply chain using data.

Image of doctor and nurseWhen pharmaceutical companies use Adents’ solutions to serialize and trace medicines, patients and doctors can use the intended medicine with the certainty that they are not using counterfeit products. At the same time, the pharmaceutical companies ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and have near-real time visibility as their products move through the supply chain. The insight provided by the solution gives manufacturers an unprecedented ability to optimize their operations and put data at the heart of their business decisions.

Adents and Microsoft built a platform for the digital supply chain that benefits customers, as well as organizations working to bring products to market. Adents Prodigi creates and maintains product digital profiles to ensure goods and medicines are built efficiently and transparently for a better and safer consumer experience.

Christophe Devins, founder and CEO of Adents, has this to say about the project- “Indeed, this will give industrial-sized companies the means to create and animate the digital profile of their products, a real source of information for all stakeholders in the product lifecycle.”

Going further: Q&A with Franck

Franck, can you tell us more about the genesis of the Adents solution? Counterfeit medicine has become a plague. To address the problem, many countries have passed pharmaceutical regulations requiring laboratories to trace a medicinal product’s lifecycle across the supply chain – from packers to transporters to distribution centers. Eventually, the requirements will also include this level of control within pharmacies.

The Adents solution aggregates the vast amount of serialization information from all laboratories’ suppliers, creates digital profiles for each medicine / product, allows supply chain participants to update those profiles for near real-time traceability, provides strategic business insight from reporting on the data, and automatically reports as required to the different regulatory authorities.

What makes you most excited about the solution? This solution is a perfect example of the disruption that can take place when you combine Microsoft’s innovation and intelligent Cloud platform with the deep industry expertise of a partner like Adents.

Image of a female doctor talking to a patientWhat does the digital profile imply for manufacturing? Creating product digital profile requires the aggregation of vast amount of product serialization information from all suppliers. That information then needs to be made securely accessible to supply chain participants so they can update product profiles for near-real-time traceability. Finally, powerful information management tools are required to provide strategic business insight and automatically report to the different regulatory authorities on behalf of each stakeholders when required.

What are the implications for the patient experience? For example, will each medicine bottle need to have a chip on it? All it takes for a physical product to have a digital profile is a unique identification- typically a number printed on the label of the product or in an RFID tag, a chip or anything (connected or not) which will record that unique ID. As soon as the product is identified, the solution digitally associates the product information with the unique ID to create the initial product profile. The profile information gets updated as the product goes through the process of packaging, shipping, storing, etc. If the product is connected through the Internet of Things, its profile updates itself with information such as location, temperature, etc. Actually, you could think of Adents Prodigi as a social network for products.

Image of two women looking at a computer screen with health test resultsIn what ways would a Chief Marketing Officer find this data interesting? Tracking a product from conception to consumption provides an unprecedented ability for brands and manufacturers to connect with their customers. I can scan the QR code or Datamatrix of a product, find out its origin, authenticity, connect to the brand, potentially ask a question, and receive advice and incentives before purchasing!

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