Mitigating Cyberattack Fallout

How Trust Your Supplier Could Safeguard Pharmacy Operations

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

In the wake of the recent cyberattack disrupting US pharmacies’ prescription filling processes, it’s evident that the healthcare sector remains vulnerable to digital threats. The incident, as reported by major news agencies, underscores the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive patient data and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.

The cyberattack, which targeted a major supplier, has caused significant delays in prescription filling across numerous pharmacies nationwide. Such disruptions not only inconvenience patients but also pose serious risks to their health, particularly for those dependent on timely medication refills.

Amidst this tumultuous landscape, Trust Your Supplier (TYS) emerges as a beacon of hope for pharmacies striving to fortify their supply chain resilience and security protocols. TYS, a blockchain-based platform designed to enhance supplier qualification processes, offers several key advantages in mitigating the aftermath of cyberattacks:

1. Verified Supplier Networks: Trust Your Supplier leverages blockchain technology to establish a trusted network of suppliers vetted through stringent qualification processes. By onboarding verified suppliers, pharmacies can minimize the risk of engaging with potentially compromised entities, thereby safeguarding their supply chain integrity.

2. Enhanced Transparency and Traceability: With Trust Your Supplier, pharmacies gain unprecedented visibility into their supplier ecosystem. The platform facilitates transparent communication channels and real-time tracking of transactions, allowing pharmacies to identify and address vulnerabilities promptly. By fostering transparency and traceability, TYS empowers pharmacies to proactively mitigate cyber threats and respond effectively to disruptions.

3. Immutable Data Integrity: The immutable nature of blockchain ensures the integrity and immutability of critical data stored on the Trust Your Supplier platform. By leveraging blockchain’s tamper-resistant architecture, pharmacies can trust the accuracy and reliability of supplier information, mitigating the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.

4. Streamlined Compliance Management: Trust Your Supplier simplifies compliance management by standardizing supplier qualification processes and documentation. Pharmacies can effortlessly verify suppliers’ compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards, thereby reducing the likelihood of regulatory violations and associated penalties.

5. Resilient Supply Chain Operations: In the face of cyberattacks and other disruptions, Trust Your Supplier enables pharmacies to maintain continuity in their supply chain operations. By leveraging blockchain’s decentralized architecture, TYS mitigates the single point of failure inherent in traditional supply chain systems, ensuring uninterrupted access to critical medications and healthcare supplies.

In conclusion, the recent cyberattack targeting US pharmacies underscores the urgent need for proactive cybersecurity measures and resilient supply chain solutions. Trust Your Supplier offers pharmacies a comprehensive framework for enhancing supply chain security, fostering trust among stakeholders, and safeguarding patient well-being in an increasingly digital healthcare landscape. By embracing innovative technologies like blockchain, pharmacies can navigate the challenges of cyber threats with confidence and resilience, ensuring the uninterrupted delivery of essential healthcare services to those who depend on them most.

Discover how Trust Your Supplier can revolutionize your supply chain security. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a demo. 

Revolutionizing FMCG Procurement and Compliance

A New Era of Efficiency, Transparency, and Sustainability

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

Unlock Efficiency, Transparency, and Trust
In the fast-paced world of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), procurement and compliance teams face unique challenges. From ensuring a steady flow of quality supplies to adhering to stringent regulatory standards, the demands are relentless. That’s where Trust Your Supplier (TYS) comes into play, offering an innovative solution that transforms the way FMCG companies manage their supplier relationships. 

Why Trust Your Supplier? 

  1. Enhanced Transparency and Trust
    Trust Your Supplier provides a comprehensive digital passport for suppliers, offering real-time insights into their operations, compliance status, and more. This transparency fosters trust between FMCG companies and their suppliers, ensuring that procurement decisions are based on accurate and up-to-date information. 
  1. Streamlined Supplier Onboarding and Management
    Gone are the days of cumbersome onboarding processes. TYS simplifies and accelerates supplier integration, allowing FMCG companies to quickly benefit from their services. With TYS, managing supplier information becomes effortless, enabling procurement teams to focus on strategic decision-making rather than administrative tasks. 
  1. Risk Management and Compliance Assurance
    In the FMCG sector, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards is paramount. Trust Your Supplier not only facilitates easy access to supplier compliance documentation but also provides tools for monitoring and managing risk. This proactive approach to compliance helps FMCG companies avoid costly penalties and reputational damage. 
  1. Improved Operational Efficiency
    By automating key procurement processes, TYS significantly reduces manual workload, leading to improved efficiency and cost savings. Procurement and compliance teams can allocate their resources more effectively, optimizing their supply chain operations. 
  1. Building Sustainable Supply Chains
    Sustainability is a pressing concern in the FMCG industry. Trust Your Supplier supports the development of sustainable supply chains by enabling companies to identify and collaborate with suppliers that adhere to environmental and social standards. This alignment with corporate sustainability goals not only benefits the planet but also enhances brand reputation. 

The Future of FMCG Procurement and Compliance
In an industry where speed, quality, and compliance cannot be compromised, Trust Your Supplier stands out as a beacon of innovation. By leveraging blockchain technology and a network of trusted information, TYS is redefining what’s possible in FMCG procurement and compliance. 

Join the Revolution
For FMCG procurement and compliance teams looking to enhance their operations, reduce risk, and build stronger, more sustainable supplier relationships, the choice is clear. Trust Your Supplier is not just a platform; it’s a strategic partner in your supply chain transformation journey. 

Discover how Trust Your Supplier can revolutionize your procurement and compliance strategies. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a demo. 

Navigating the Global Chessboard

Essential Insights for Senior Leaders Ensuring Organizational Success Amidst Geopolitical Turmoil, Regulatory Shifts, and Ethical Challenges

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

In our rapidly changing, interconnected world, the unique blend of empathy and strategic insight has become indispensable for senior leaders. Confronted with challenges ranging from geopolitical upheaval to rapid technological changes and pressing ethical dilemmas, leaders must look beyond traditional management tactics. This blog highlights the crucial role of empathy, not only as a soft skill but as a strategic imperative, in guiding decisions and actions that navigate these complex issues effectively. It’s a call for leaders to become empathetic visionaries, adept at steering organizations through the intricate realities of our global landscape.

Key points that senior leaders need to understand for continued success in their organizations without impacting their supply chain, relationships, and corporate responsibility:

  1. Navigating a Conflict-Ridden Global Landscape: With political violence at its highest since WWII, understanding geopolitical dynamics is crucial. Organizations must be vigilant about how conflicts, especially in regions like Gaza, Ukraine, and others, can disrupt supply chains and create regulatory challenges. Leaders must develop strategies to mitigate these risks, including diversifying suppliers and investing in robust risk management systems.
  2. Adapting to Regulatory Changes in AI and Technology: The explosion of AI and the impending regulations, particularly in the European Union, necessitate a thorough understanding of how these changes affect business operations. Companies should prepare for compliance with AI regulations and explore how advancements in technology can optimize supply chain efficiency and data management.
  3. Addressing Economic Instability and Debt Sustainability: The economic fallout from recent crises, including high inflation and interest rate hikes, will impact global markets. Leaders need to be proactive in managing financial risks, understanding the implications for their supply chain financing, and adjusting their strategies accordingly.
  4. Understanding the Dynamics of the Global South: The evolving geopolitical influence of countries in the Global South, like those in the BRICS bloc, will have significant implications for global trade and politics. Companies need to be aware of these shifts and consider their impact on international business relations and supply chain decisions.
  5. Balancing Security and Rights in Business Operations: The tension between security needs and fundamental rights is becoming more pronounced. Businesses must navigate this landscape carefully, ensuring that their operations and supply chain practices respect human rights while maintaining security and compliance with local regulations.
  6. Engaging with a Disconnected Society: With a trend toward news avoidance and increased reliance on social media, businesses need to rethink their communication and engagement strategies. This includes understanding the shift in how people consume information and the growing role of influencers.
  7. Responding to Backsliding International Commitments: The weakening of international cooperation and commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires businesses to take a more active role in promoting sustainability and ethical practices, both in their operations and in their supply chain.
  8. Mitigating Risks from Environmental and Humanitarian Crises: Increased displacement and humanitarian crises, driven by conflict and climate change, can impact supply chains and corporate responsibility. Businesses should develop strategies to address these challenges, including sustainable practices and humanitarian aid initiatives.

In conclusion, senior leaders must prioritize a comprehensive understanding of these complex global issues. They should integrate this understanding into strategic planning and operations to ensure resilience, compliance, and responsible practices in their supply chains and broader business activities. This approach will not only safeguard their operations but also contribute positively to global stability and progress.

Revolutionizing Pharma Supply Chains: Navigating Risks and Embracing Digitalization for a Resilient Future

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

Abstract 

The pharmaceutical supply chain is grappling with significant issues of medicine shortages. This study adopts a risk management approach to identify key risk factors affecting the pharmaceutical supply chain, using the Malaysian pharmaceutical industry as a case study.

The research utilizes Fuzzy Failure Mode and Effect Analysis and Data Envelopment Analysis for risk assessment. The study finds the pharmacy node as the riskiest, with unexpected demand and scarcity of specialty drugs as major risk factors. To mitigate these risks, the study advocates the use of digital technologies like big data analytics and blockchain. 

Introduction
Medicine shortages in the pharmaceutical industry pose serious challenges, impacting health outcomes and the broader healthcare system. These shortages lead to increased healthcare costs due to the use of alternative medications and managing patient health complications. The study aims to understand the root causes of these shortages and how digital technology can address them, ushering in the Pharma 4.0 era. 

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain and Risk Factors
The pharmaceutical supply chain (PSC) is intricate, involving multiple stakeholders and extending across countries. It’s segmented into three levels: sourcing, distribution, and consumption. The supply chain’s complexity and unpredictability often lead to inefficiencies and disruptions. 

 Key risk factors include: 

  • Disconnections and lack of accountability among supply chain partners. 
  • Long lead times and the “bullwhip effect,” where demand changes cause supply fluctuations. 
  • High operating costs due to maintaining optimum inventory levels. 
  • Transportation-related risks like delays and damage to goods. 
  • Impact of natural disasters, political instability, and pandemics on the supply chain. 
  • Regulatory challenges include documentation, changes in standards, and drug recalls.

Methodology
The study adopts a risk management approach using Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). FMEA helps identify potential failure modes in the supply chain, while DEA is used to calculate risk-based efficiency. The methodology involves fuzzification of risk factors, risk assessment metric development, and the use of Fuzzy Inference System (FIS) and DEA for evaluating failure modes. 

Results and Analysis
The study’s application to the Malaysian pharmaceutical supply chain reveals: 

  • High-risk factors at the manufacturing node include delays in raw material supply due to overseas suppliers. 
  • The distributor node faces moderate risks due to transportation and inventory management challenges. 
  • The pharmacy node shows the highest risk, particularly due to unexpected demand surges and lack of substitute drugs. 
  • The DEA cross-efficiency method highlights the varying risk levels across different nodes of the supply chain, emphasizing the need for targeted risk mitigation strategies.  

Managerial Implications
The study suggests a framework for incorporating digitalization into the pharmaceutical supply chain to mitigate risks. Key recommendations include: 

  • Collaborative technologies for information sharing to manage inventory and reduce the bullwhip effect. 
  • Blockchain technology for drug sharing networks, improving data transparency and trust. 
  • Utilization of data analytics and AI in manufacturing to address supply delays and enable more effective forecasting. 

Conclusion
The study concludes that medicine shortages are a pressing issue in the pharmaceutical supply chain, exacerbated by complex risk factors. Digital technologies, especially big data analytics and blockchain, are crucial for addressing these challenges. The proposed framework for digitalization aims to enhance the efficiency and resilience of pharmaceutical supply chains.  

Resolute Resolutions: Steering the Supply Chain with Year-Long Focus

by Michelle Armstrong, TYS Global VP of Value Solutions Consultant

As we embark on a new year, the omnipresence of New Year’s resolutions is undeniable, whether it be on social media, in conversations, or in the news. For many of us, the commitment to these resolutions begins fervently in January but tends to wane as quickly as the holiday decorations are put away. In the supply chain realm, these resolutions take on a strategic and operational significance.

Plan and Play Smart
A key resolution in supply chain management is the adoption of real-time visibility for both supply and demand, enabling effective scenario planning and inventory optimization strategies. This visibility is critical for adapting to changes and making timely, resolute decisions. Integrated Business Solutions are essential in this regard, enhancing the synchronization of supply chain risk and real-time planning. The economic fluctuations affecting sales, operations planning (S&OP), forecasting, demand response, supply, and inventory planning emphasize the need for an agile approach with high visibility. 

Taking Out the Garbage: Data Hygiene
Another crucial resolution involves tackling ‘garbage data’ – data that is inaccurate, unusable, or untrustworthy. Cleaning up and ensuring data reliability is fundamental. The steps to improve data hygiene include: 

  • Audit: Assessing the current data situation and identifying issues in data collection processes. 
  • Standardize: Creating consistent reporting processes aligned with organizational goals. 
  • Deduplicate: Utilizing automation to reduce duplication and human error. 
  • Verify: Testing the reliability and accuracy of the data post-clean-up. 

Strengthen Your Business Networks
The cost of disruption in the supply chain extends beyond finances to brand perception and customer satisfaction. Achieving 360-degree, real-time visibility across the entire end-to-end supply chain is vital. Integrated platforms that allow instant information sharing with suppliers, partners, and third-party providers are essential for transparency, fast decision-making, and enhanced customer satisfaction. 

Closer Scrutiny of Materials Suppliers
Materials suppliers, often less scrutinized than contractors, now face increasing scrutiny due to economic and regulatory pressures. Ensuring compliance with health, safety, quality assurance, environmental protection, and ethical practices is paramount. Supporting suppliers in demonstrating their compliance with supply chain risk management practices is crucial in navigating the complex maze of global and regional regulations. 

Embracing Technology and Innovation
Incorporating technology and innovation is pivotal. Digital transformation can significantly streamline operations. Integrating advanced analytics, AI, and IoT technologies can revolutionize supply chain management. 

Fostering a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Encouraging a culture of continuous improvement is essential. This involves open communication, regular training, and celebrating milestones to align the team with organizational goals. 

Adapting to Change and Overcoming Challenges
The supply chain industry faces numerous challenges, including market fluctuations and global disruptions. Balancing steadfast commitment to resolutions with the flexibility to adapt is key to resilience. 

Conclusion
As we progress through the year, let’s focus on these resolutions with strategic planning, data management, strengthened business networks, and rigorous supplier scrutiny. Let’s make this year count by staying focused, resilient, and committed to our goals in the ever-evolving landscape of supply chain management. 

Hyperledger in Action – TYS

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How does improving supplier relationships through greater supply chain visibility help the battle against inflation/shrinkflation?

Inflation is a hot topic, and of course, outside of my personal wallet, my procurement background means that I usually view inflation/shrinkflation through a supply chain lens – more specifically, relationships and visibility.

For example, Dawn Tiura’s recent article on the introduction of a “grocery conduct code” was worthwhile reading for several reasons.

To start, citing the inflation battle between a large grocery retailer and Frito-Lay explains why price hikes are happening and why the manufacturer pulled some of my favorite snacks from the grocer’s shelves. By the way, some consumers have benefited from the situation because they discovered that alternative boutique brands were tastier and easier on the budget—more savings in their wallets.

That said, according to reports, by “providing clarity for business practices and establishing guiding principles” to “improve industry relationships” across supply chains, this new code will “ultimately benefit consumers as well.”

Of course, the code alone will not improve supply chain visibility resulting in a mutually positive buyer-supplier result. Companies will have to leverage real-time digital capabilities to assess market conditions and potential price hikes to allow them to collaborate on a solution with suppliers before it gets to the point of a loggerhead.

A State of Ready Visibility

The conduct code, or any legislative intervention, can be positive, especially when it “motivates” organizations to examine the state of their extended supply chains. I emphasize the words “extended supply chains.”

Not surprisingly, there is usually a greater familiarity and a much better understanding of the relationship with tier-one suppliers. These relationships can still be challenging, e.g., the retail grocer and Frito-Lay example from Dawn’s article.

What stood out to me from that example was the grocer’s ability to quickly tap into their second and possibly third-tier network to fill their empty shelves with quality product alternatives when their primary supplier stopped shipping their product.

It is clear that the retailer’s ability to engage their extended supply chain partners occurred long before the impasse with their leading supplier came to a head.

Here is the question: If you were to find yourself in the same position as the grocer, how quickly would you be able to identify and engage your next-tier suppliers? What is your state of ready visibility?

Extended Visibility by the Numbers

According to McKinsey, many organizations wouldn’t be able to respond to disruption by inflation or otherwise as quickly as they would need to or would want. Only 21 percent of companies have “visibility beyond their tier-one suppliers,” with only 2 percent having sufficient insight to engage their tier-three suppliers on short notice effectively.

Regardless of whether you are contending with inflation or geopolitical instability, or any other possible or probable supply chain challenge having complete line-of-site visibility throughout all tiers of your extended supply network is a state of readiness you should always want to achieve.

Nick Picone
Trust Your Supplier VP of Advisory Practice