Alf Goebel, CEO
The pharmaceutical industry has battled the presence of counterfeit products for some time now. It is estimated that some 10 per cent of pharma products worldwide are counterfeit, resulting in up to 1 million deaths per year. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified the issue. Thus, it becomes all the more critical for the industry to adopt a technology that helps to avoid counterfeits in the pharma space, an objective that advanco has devoted itself to.
Advanco offers a serialization platform, ARC, to ensure every product is given a unique barcode to identify it as legit at every step of its supply chain journey and even after it reaches the customer. These unique barcodes play a significant role in tracking and tracing the products and ensuring they are not fake. It serves as the critical middleware that assigns unique product identifiers in both human and machine-readable form. These identifiers are stored with the relevant government authorities and also abide by all government legislation and requirements. “To prevent counterfeiting, it’s crucial to track where a product is coming from. And so, every product in the future, in pharma and even other industries, will need a barcode,” adds Alf Goebel, CEO at advanco.
With more than four decades in product identification and a decade precisely in the pharma industry, advanco is rightly positioned to help the pharma sector eliminate counterfeit products. Having worked with Pfizer as its first client after entering the pharma industry and several others over the years, advanco has come a long way in strengthening supply chains through single item serialization. Over time, the team at advanco has even expanded to more industries, including food & beverages and cosmetics. The company now has customers that are serializing water bottles and baby food products. “A lot of industries are trying to replicate what pharma did 11 years ago to ensure that the customers get the right products, and the only way to do it is through a supply chain that checks the products throughout,” explains Goebel.
Advanco, through this platform, ensures every product is given a unique barcode to indicate that it is legit through every step of its supply chain journey
Advanco’s ARC suite proved significantly beneficial for a client that needed support to track and trace its products through the supply chain. During this engagement, the advanco team interacted with numerous partners and vendors to analyze the various aspects of the client’s requirements. The company then installed different modules of its ARC suite with transatlantic software communication capability between the ARC application in the USA and the packaging lines in Germany. Through these solutions, the client could have a serialization system in place that ensured data and value creation throughout the manufacturing and supply chain.
In the future, the company seeks to expand the usage of its serialization solution and strengthen its presence across the globe. Forging ahead in that direction, advanco has recently opened offices in the US and Mexico and further envisions focusing on North America and Europe. “We see the current supply chain for pharma and food dramatically changing from rigid to a more agile one. For that, businesses will move their supply chain operations to the US and Europe from countries like China,” adds Goebel. The company seeks to empower these markets, in the long run, to make them self-sufficient to facilitate agile supply chains.
Further, as most of the vaccines against COVID-19 must be produced, packaged, stored, and transported at a deep temperature, advanco is coming up with a solution to overcome the challenges of cold chain. Advanco introduces a new technology working in association with a vaccine producer to have a cold chain (a temperature-controlled supply chain) in place. All in all, every step that the team at advanco takes aims to strengthen the supply chains and eliminate counterfeiting across not just pharma but also multiple other industries.