Tag Archives: WMS

The Serial Number Handling In Your WMS Probably Isn’t Sufficient For Pharma Serialization

Important 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.Most Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) available on the market today do a fine job of allowing their users to manage inventories in the warehouses of drug manufacturers, distributors and chain drug stores.  A WMS is a software system that may be a part of a larger Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, or it may be a third-party application that is interfaced with the owner’s ERP system.

All WMS systems that I am aware of are intended to be sold into multiple industries, not just in pharma.  That’s so that the WMS vendor can maximize their sales.  The more industries, the more sales and the more profitable it is.  Because some industries have long had serial numbers on some of their products (computers and peripheral equipment, cell phones, electronics, medical equipment, appliances, etc.) WMS vendors have included serial number handling in their software for decades.  In fact, I would bet that a serial number handling feature was included in WMS systems since the very beginning of that category of software.

However, buyers of WMS systems in the pharma supply chain should be very careful not to confuse a “serial number handling” or even “serialization” checkbox on the WMS vendor’s spec sheets with the kind of “serialization” they will need for compliance with modern pharma serialization regulations.  I include Continue reading The Serial Number Handling In Your WMS Probably Isn’t Sufficient For Pharma Serialization

The Future of Traceability Repositories and Inventory Management Systems

Figure 1.

I think there is a significant difference between the traceability repositories we see on the market today and those that I think we are likely to see in the future.  Today, traceability repositories are typically implemented by software suppliers as standalone applications or modules that we end users refer to as “an EPCIS”.  We call it that because the most defining characteristic of these modules is that they implement GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard.  Today, traceability repository vendors expect customers to buy their traceability module and integrate it with existing applications.  For a long time now I have felt that this approach was less than optimal and I think we will eventually see a switch occur in the software market toward existing application vendors adding traceability repositories and EPCIS interfaces as new features added to their existing functionality.  Let me explain. Continue reading The Future of Traceability Repositories and Inventory Management Systems