Roche seeking to overhaul inventory management in pharmaceutical sector

Published: 29-May-2024

Global pharma giant partners with Wazoku to tap into the expertise of its 700,000-strong crowd

Multinational pharmaceutical company Roche has begun collaborations with the innovation scale-up brand Wazoku to launch a crowdsourcing campaign to overhaul pharmaceutical inventory management and supply tracking by deploying more innovative automated methods.

The desired tracking system should be fully automated, with just a few operators needed to control it at the central storage facility.


Inventory management can be highly complex and covers different supply phases — including ordering, delivery, storage and usage. It has become so important for pharma firms that many new research facility buildings are now constructed with embedded automation systems of the supply chain.

However, introducing such advanced systems in existing buildings is complicated due to the potentially massive and costly infrastructure changes required.

“The goal of inventory management is to have the right amounts of materials in the right place at the right time, which is crucial in modern R&D,” said a spokesperson for Roche. “Even the automated systems currently in use require extensive human input, making them susceptible to errors."


The challenges of inventory management

Performing inventory management requires large companies' R&D departments to track multiple items along their supply chain closely. This can deliver significant savings in areas such as tail spend management, as well as storage and waste management.

The ideal tracking system will track ordered supplies and diverse material types from the point they enter the central storage facility to their utilisation by end users in individual units. The system should operate at R&D labs of various sizes, starting with 100 m2, and should be ‘plug-in’ in terms of integration with existing systems.

Photo credit: Wazoku Crowd

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