Clinical trials are getting more global, complex, larger and focused, with CROs facing added pressure to complete them faster. Dynamic market changes demonstrate a need for more collaborative IT solutions that can address new risks across the clinical trials supply chain. The control tower can be leveraged to make these clinical supply chains more responsive, beyond time zone, geography and language barriers.
The clinical trial supplies (CTS) value chain is subjected to the pulls and pressures of the operating environment that comprises elements such as internal trial objectives, operating laws, regulations and competitive forces. The CTS value chain and the ecosystem needs a foundation for end-to-end visibility to secure a tighter alignment of supply and demand planning while enabling faster decision making and execution.
The supply chain control tower, also referred to as operations center, is a location or central hub that provides visibility into the inbound and outbound material and information flows, and serves as an extended means for end-to-end visibility. The control tower is a technology driven concept. To be effective, all functions, organizations, and processes need to be combined with technology to provide strategic, tactical and operational level control for the clinical trial supplies value chain. Effective program governance, trading partner or ecosystem partner connectivity, strong analysis capabilities, and quick decision-making mechanism are the foundational elements of a reliable control tower design.
Process of Building a Clinical Trial Supplies Control Tower
Creating an effective control tower requires consolidating information from several sources. This helps build a holistic two-tiered system that consists of the control tower, as well as unit towers for planning, tracking and decision making.
- Integration of Information: The clinical trial control tower is realized by integrating information residing in several systems within the extended ecosystem.
- Vision for the Control Tower: The vision for the control tower is envisaged as a two tier structure with the top tier providing a complete view of the clinical supplies organization, and the second tier comprising unit control towers for each of the key functions within the clinical supplies.
CTS control tower provides a strong digital strategy for clinical operations, and can be easily extended to the entire clinical trial operations environment. It comprises digital elements including event signals, pervasive computing,data velocity, seamless collaboration, cloud platform, enhanced security and analytics that enable digital re-imagination for better business results.
Tata Consultancy Services is the Platinum Sponsor at HNC’s World Drug Safety Europe Congress being held on the 8-9th September 2015, in Berlin