Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: To Automate or Not?

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We can all agree that across industries, the key to growth is innovation - and the pharmaceutical space is no exception. Did you know the pharmaceutical industry is expected to increase to $1.5 trillion by 2023? With this growth, we’re seeing a rapid increase in drug development and manufacturing, as well as with IoT and connected devices in life sciences. This is partly due to the need for lower drug volumes, faster product runs, higher product mixes, and increased digitization. Unfortunately, though, acceleration naturally puts a strain on the companies involved..

So, is the solution automating the manufacturing process? Or is it hiring better talent who can do the job faster? The answer may be both. The looming hurdles ahead make the industry’s top challenge even more urgent - finding the right people to do the job right! Now is the time for pharma companies to adopt new strategies for drug manufacturing and hire talent who understand digitization and modernization.

Automated Manufacturing in a Nutshell

Up until now, the industry has faced a number of common challenges in the process of drug manufacturing. These include the inability to manufacture at scale and efficiently, as well as the need for process optimization, regulatory compliance, and improvements in the supply chain. And, finding the right talent to achieve this has always been (and remains) tricky. When hiring, many pharma companies look for unicorns - aka. those with the right mix of education, experience, and willingness to work odd shifts.

Lately, we’ve seen an influx in the technology that could be used to automate the process and combat production challenges more than ever. Some of the trends in automated drug development include digitizing the paper process, embracing the cloud, implementing continuous manufacturing, utilizing big data for preventative and predictive measures, and more.

While there are still cons to automated drug production, the benefits of increased drug production output, operational efficiency and agility, and collaborative ability (i.e., the ability to visualize and present data across organizations seamlessly) may outweigh those pitfalls for pharma companies. The best part is, finding the right talent to implement automated drug development processes is easier than ever. Specialized staffing and contracting agencies have already found your unicorns and are ready to support your needs.

With all of that in mind, it’s clear that today, organizations have a big decision to make - to automate or maintain the status quo?


Does Automation Make Sense?

When considering if automation in pharmaceutical manufacturing is the right move for the pharma industry (and your organization, specifically), what do you need to consider before making any big decisions?

  • Where does technology start to play a better role in streamlining your production process? And, what parts of the process would benefit most from automation?
  • Is automation necessary to keep up with the market’s demand? Will you get left behind if you don’t automate your manufacturing?
  • What technologies and tools are available to help manufacturers grow the bottom line and improve patient outcomes?
  • What kind of decisions need to be made? And, in what order?
  • And finally, what's the best hiring strategy to adopt that will bring in and retain the best talent?

To me, it’s a no-brainer - Automation is the next critical step that the industry needs to take to advance and elevate. As companies ramp up manufacturing in anticipation of new drugs and vaccines, it’s becoming clear to many that this advancement cannot be done without having the right talent in place. Contract services are now becoming one of the biggest strategies when outsourcing life sciences talent and could be the best option for companies seeking to innovate.

So, what do you think - Does automation make sense? What’s your next move?

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