The pharmaceutical sector has very specific characteristics with which all players need to fall in line. Manufacturing relies mainly on machines with stringent hygienic standards across all stages of production. The industry not only requires traceability and strict shelf-life management but also extremely high accuracy. All in all, it is the perfect industry to benefit from digitalisation throughout production and management alike, putting consumers’ minds at ease about the safety and reliability of the medicine and freeing them from the need to spend time to collect information.
The governance boards of pharmaceuticals are coming across an ever-growing number of distinct challenges. External issues can come from competitors, drug manufacturers, and health organisations while internal difficulties come with the optimisation of expenses, research and development of new products, production management, or comprehensive quality assurance. However, the biggest challenges stem from the strict standards that require absolute compliance in the pharmaceutical industry: GMP, GSP, GLP, GDP, USFDA 21 CFR, or GAMP 5, just to name a few.
|Traphaco breaks path for Pharma 4.0 for Vietnam
Modern pharmaceutical tech
Deploying a sustainable development strategy for 2017-2020 in order to acquire the world’s leading production technology, Traphaco has invested in the latest technologies available to build a “smart” Western pharmaceutical factory, including three workshops and five production lines. With the application of IT to the management and operation, the plant is synchronised with a fully automated production line. It boasts the most modern sealed eye-nose line in the pharmaceuticals industry and a tablet line with automatic technology equipment system complete with a European-standard robot arm. The large-capacity production lines for solutions and syrups are completely synchronised and connected automatically. Based on the principle of “No touch, no dust” in production (No human impact, therefore no dust generation), the whole line minimises human intervention in production, improving quality.
In the coming years, Traphaco will acquire and utilise smart manufacturing technology through technology transfer (and exclusive import) from major pharmaceutical corporations from across the world, expanding its product portfolio with high technology content.
In addition to investing in production technologies, Traphaco has been focusing on upgrading its corporate governance system by integrating an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform since 2017. The platform allows the company to manage the overall operating process (from planning and procurement to manufacturing and distribution) and to connect the distinct parts of its overall system. In the near future, the ERP project will allow Traphaco to track and digitise most tasks to address common challenges in the pharmaceutical industry such as managing products’ expiration dates, tracing the flow of products along the supply chain, updating prices for different sales channels, and forecasting demand, among others. The ERP offers tremendous benefits by synchronising disparate functions previously scattered across discrete management software, increasing efficiency and ease of planning.
In addition to the values being developed in the 2017-2019 period, Traphaco will intensify the application of technology. In 2020, the company has implemented Business Intelligence software for data analysis, understanding, and personalising products and services to improve customer experience.
In 2014, Traphaco became the first pharmaceutical company in Vietnam to apply a document management system (DMS) to enhance distribution management. By improving efficiency, DMS allows the scaling up of operations in many aspects, including expanding the number of points of sale, monitoring customers’ selling situation (sell-out), tracking inventory at each point of sale across the entire supply chain, and monitoring orders and deliveries at agencies. The DMS also facilitates the excecution of trade support programmes such as showcases and reward points.
Traphaco’s DMS has generated value for customers through optimising product access and user experience, while enhancing the performance of its distribution network. Currently, Traphaco is using DMS to manage more than 28,000 pharmacy customers as a distribution partner for many international corporations and pharmaceutical companies such as Kobayashi Pharmaceutical (Japan), Natural Factors Group (Canada), and PURE Sports Nutrition (New Zealand).
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Traphaco has quickly set up online consultancy departments, launched its e-commerce website Traphacoshop.com, while providing 24/7 online support, offering consultancy and transactions on digital platforms, as well as supporting customers with door-to-door delivery.
Traphaco is in the lead in the market of hepatobiliary drugs with popular products like Boganic, Cebraton, Hoat Huyet Duong Nao, and Tottri. The company is developing modern medicine products by investing in smart factories with good performance and showing positive prospects for growth. In the long term, the strong development of modern medicine will help Traphaco maintain the growth of revenue and profit. Once the smart factories are put into operation and upgraded to EU-GMP standards, Traphaco can participate in bidding packages of Group 1 and 2 in the ETC channel with better revenue scale and profit margin.