Walgreens, Automation, And Erasing Disabilities

Randy Lewis, Sr. VP, Walgreens, retired
Randy Lewis, Sr. VP, Walgreens

Amid news of our disfunctional Congress, more mass gun violence and negative economic news last week, I received the links to the following uplifting videos about Walgreen’s Anderson, South Carolina distribution center.  After watching them, I have determined that you must see them.

Click the link to watch what I think should have been called, “Walgreens, Automation, and Erasing Disabilities, Part 1” (but instead is called “The Coolest DC in the World…Part 1”):

http://www.moveitshow.com/clips/2057658540001/

and, “The Coolest DC in the World…Part 2”:

http://www.moveitshow.com/clips/2057658530001/

My original interest in watching these videos was to see all the automation they have added to this particular distribution center.  (“What?  They’re running pharmaceuticals down a tilt-tray sorter?  How unique!  I’ve got to see that.”)  but after the first minute or so Continue reading Walgreens, Automation, And Erasing Disabilities

Data Ownership In The Track & Trace Cloud

Cloud over IllinoisImportant Notice To Readers of This Essay On November 27, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 into law. That act has many provisions, but one is to pre-empt all existing and future state serialization and pedigree laws like those that previously existed in California and Florida. Some or all of the information contained in this essay is about some aspect of one or more of those state laws and so that information is now obsolete. It is left here only for historical purposes for those wishing to understand those old laws and the industry’s response to them.Who will own the data that supply chain trading partners store in some future cloud-based, semi-centralized Network Centric ePedigree (NCeP) data repository?  I met one potential future repository service provider who seemed to think that they would own that data.  Imagine their excitement.  All the data about where drugs go throughout the supply chain!  Think of the value they could mine from that.

Well, that’s never going to happen because companies in the supply chain won’t sign up for handing over all of their supply chain data to some third-party just so they can comply with regulations, especially when there exists an alternative approach that would allow them to avoid using a third-party and still comply (by using DPMS).  And regulatory agencies are Continue reading Data Ownership In The Track & Trace Cloud

“The Shadows Of Things That MAY BE, Only” : EPCIS and California Compliance

Magoo_christmas_futureImportant Notice To Readers of This Essay On November 27, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 into law. That act has many provisions, but one is to pre-empt all existing and future state serialization and pedigree laws like those that previously existed in California and Florida. Some or all of the information contained in this essay is about some aspect of one or more of those state laws and so that information is now obsolete. It is left here only for historical purposes for those wishing to understand those old laws and the industry’s response to them.Currently, we know that companies can use GS1’s Drug Pedigree Messaging Standard (DPMS) to comply with the California pedigree law.  That’s been known for a long time now.  But many companies have been hoping to use GS1’s more general purpose Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard instead for almost as long.  For just as long, it has been known that a number of problems arise when you try to figure out exactly how to apply EPCIS to California compliance.

The problem is, EPCIS was originally envisioned by its creators to share supply chain “visibility” data.  That is, event data that was to be collected automatically based on Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) reads picked up by readers that were to be spread around the supply chain by each of its members.  The collection of RFID readers were to form a kind of “visibility” of each RFID tag applied to the products in the supply chain.  From this visibility would come benefits.  One of those benefits was to be Continue reading “The Shadows Of Things That MAY BE, Only” : EPCIS and California Compliance