Before You Sign Up For GDSN, Get Your Data In Order With A Data Quality Program

Last week I published an essay that gave GS1 some advice on how to trigger interest in adoption of their Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).  Those of you who read that essay in the first two days read my snarky comments about GS1 seemingly attempting to commandeer the term “Data Quality” to include the need for GDSN.  That was based on a mis-interpretation of their marketing materials for their “Data Quality Framework” and as soon as I discovered my mistake I removed that part of the essay, leaving the core point of the essay intact (see “An Open Letter to GS1, RE: GDSN Marketing”).

In fact, GS1 is saying exactly the opposite of what I originally thought regarding Data Quality and GDSN.  That is, before you start publishing your supply chain master data (SCMD) through GDSN you should ensure that the quality of your data is high.  As GS1 points out, “Good quality data is foundational to collaborative commerce and global data synchronisation.”  I couldn’t agree more.

The GS1 Data Quality program is centered on the “Data Quality Framework”, which is Continue reading Before You Sign Up For GDSN, Get Your Data In Order With A Data Quality Program

An Open Letter to GS1, RE: GDSN Marketing

Dear GS1,

How have you been?  I’ve been fine, done a bit of writing since we last met and gotten a little greyer.  How are the kids?  My two kids are doing great but I have to admit, after raising two I don’t know how you do it with 125 kids, or whatever the number of M.O.s there are today.

The reason I’m writing to you today is to offer you my thoughts on your Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) Marketing campaign.  That campaign would be more effective if it focused on demonstrating the distinction between internal master data (and programs associated with improving its quality), and externally shared master data (and the significantly different kinds of programs needed to improve its quality).  And especially to show that many (most?) of company master data is, in reality, externally shared master data, either incoming or outgoing.  That’s the step that I see missing from your campaign.

Companies who are already familiar with the kind of programs that are designed to improve their internal master data need to be taught to see the special characteristics of Continue reading An Open Letter to GS1, RE: GDSN Marketing

James “Jim” Dowden (1955? – 2012)

I received word last night that our friend Jim Dowden passed away unexpectedly on Saturday.  I know many RxTrace readers knew him in one capacity or another.  See his obituary here.  Most recently Jim was Head of Logistics Management, North America for Genentech.  When I first met him back in the mid-2000’s he worked for Hoffman-La Roche and represented them at various industry ePedigree and track & trace meetings.  For a period of time I ran into Jim fairly often and we had some great conversations.

As I knew him, Jim was a very open and expressive person who was always ready for a good laugh.  He was razor-sharp, quick witted and not afraid to get to the point of the matter.  To me, he was fearless and a fun guy to be around.  I remember listening in on the webcast of the FDA Track and Trace Workshop last year when Jim’s unmistakable voice came through my speakers during one of the input periods.  “When would you like that by?”, he asked rhetorically.  The room erupted.  Jim had already made the point that many in the room were still trying to formulate in their minds.  Classic. Continue reading James “Jim” Dowden (1955? – 2012)

The Built-in Protections Of The U.S. Pharma Supply Chain

Last week we learned that 11 people were charged with the record-breaking $75 Million drug heist from the Eli Lilly warehouse in Enfield, Connecticut back in March of 2010 (see the excellent article by Jay Weaver in the Miami Herald, including a copy of one of the multiple indictments).  Importantly, all of the stolen drugs from the Lilly warehouse were apparently recovered before they could be re-introduced into the legitimate supply chain.  But this investigation and the charges go well beyond the infamous Lilly warehouse theft.  They include other pharmaceutical, liquor, cigarette and cell phone cargo thefts around the country, allegedly perpetrated by members of the same criminal organization.  Cracking this organization could end up disrupting the most prolific source of cargo theft in the United States over the last five years.

Congratulations are due to the law enforcement organizations who contributed to the investigation and to bringing the charges.  They include DEA, ATF, FBI, U.S. Attorney of Florida, Miami-Dade Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, U.S. Attorney of Illinois and U.S. Attorney of New Jersey.

This episode highlights one of the things I call the built-in protections of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain—the things that, combined, result in the U.S. having the safest supply chain in the world.  In this case, it is strong and cooperative law enforcement organizations.  While far from perfect, would you trade our system of justice, including law enforcement, with that of any other country in the world?  I don’t think you would (unless you’re one of the Villa brothers or their associates!).

But what are the other components that result in the safest drug supply chain in the world?  It’s certainly doesn’t occur by accident, so what are the built-in protections? Continue reading The Built-in Protections Of The U.S. Pharma Supply Chain