In a conversation with Mr. Andrew Meyers, Director at Cold Chain Consultants Limited

March 13, 2016

Can you talk us through the services you provide – to assist the pharmaceutical and life-science industries’ demand and so on?

We are specialist in GDP at the operational level of pharmaceutical temperature supply chains. Our core work is end to end GDP compliance of global temperature supply chains. We provide all the services required to implement a GDP compliant supply chain. We don’t just teach the theory we have over 15 year’s practical experience as we spend 95% of our time in the field in the operations. A large percentage of our time is investigating continuous excursions and redesigning qualified transport systems to ensure excursion and failure risks are reduced to minimal levels. We are one of the few Global experts and we work across all countries so we have the advantage of a global experience across the hottest and coldest countries. We see every type of problem and understand solutions which work. Our work includes qualifying Thermal packaging, storage facilities, GDP Gap Audits throughout the supply chain, designing end to end temperature supply chain solutions and investigating and solving continuous excursions.

We hear a lot in the cold chain industry about Cold chain management training specifically focusing on the temperature, risk and qualification requirements of sensitive supply chain for GDP compliance? What training and safety guidance do you provide?

Our training is very different and based on operational experience. Everyone can read the theory or attend training to explain the theory, but we specialize in how to implement GDP qualified temperature supply chains. Our training is directed at the people who are working every day to implement or improve their supply chain or new people entering into the Pharmaceutical supply chain industry.

What do you think will be the biggest opportunity areas for Cold Chain Service providers in the coming years?

I see both advantages and disadvantages in the next years for service providers. Those who are focused on becoming fully GDP compliant to world’s best practices will have the advantage in securing new business. The pharmaceutical companies are frustrated with the current level of compliance and always ask me who we can recommend who is fully compliant. They are all looking for the best providers and will change suppliers if there is a superior alternative. They will not change just on price if the quality and compliance is not world’s best practice. They are more focused on quality and reduced risk than price at the moment.Many of our clients are securing contracts at higher prices than the competitors because they are offering higher level of qualification and GDP compliance and lower risk

Do you think we’ll see an increase in consolidation across the cold chain and temperature sensitive logistics?

In general I would say yes there will be more consolidation, however the consolidation will be the demise of companies who aren’t fully GDP compliant and cannot provide the required supporting documentation. We are seeing more smaller/medium companies with exceptional compliance being awarded contracts in some locations as they offer a superior GDP qualified service. The companies both small independent and large global who have invested the time and money in full GDP compliance to the highest standard benefitting from there investment.

How does that translate to benefit the wholesaler, 3PL Provider, Freight Forwarder or Manufacturer?

The companies who are prepared to invest in world’s best practice and are fully GDP compliant and can demonstrate full compliance with supporting multilevel documentation will be the winners. The supply chain decisions are now being driven first by quality and then by price.

How much are you involved in seeing that the company achieves the best possible standards of supply chain to increase their business efficiency?  

Our whole business focusses at the operational level and our consultants work daily on compliance, and gaining end to end efficiencies within the pharma and medical supply chain. Some of our customers report they have not had virtually no excursions since our involvement in redesigning and requalifying there supply chain.

Have you launched any temperature controlled supply chain report that could provide the industry with a global perspective on the previous year’s observations from your global activities?

We release a global report annually on our website for the industry which summarizes our finding for the past year. Unfortunately we have been too busy this year to release our report in January.

Finally-What are the major trends and developments in Cold Chain Sector?

The major trends are end to end compliance for the lifecycle of the product and this is a real focus for the industry as it’s a part of the EU GDP guideline requirements. The manufactures are now accountable to ensure their products are not adversely impacted through their entire supply chain to the patient. This involves assessing their risk throughout their entire global supply chain. Properly conducted and documented Risk Assessments are a major requirements now as a part of Audits by regulators and Quality Department audits of suppliers.

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