Publication Date
Authored by
Andrew Kerr, Anthony Orr
Advisor(s): Matthias Winkenbach
Topic(s) Covered:
  • Digitization
  • Inventory
  • Strategy

Inventory visibility has been a primary concern for corporate supply chains for decades. Utilizing inventory location and time data is particularly important for pharmaceutical companies, as is the sponsor, that have an ethical and legal responsibility to protect consumers from risky pharmaceutical products in the market. Until recently, pharmaceutical companies have had to rely on archaic, cumbersome methods to track or count inventory units. These processes created inaccuracies and mismanaged inventory, leading to unnecessary product waste, returns, and consumer risk. However, technological advancements have created platforms to track physical goods characteristics using wireless network systems in real-time. This technology, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), provides a potential solution for pharmaceutical companies to manage and protect pharmacy inventory levels, while maintaining consumer protection and brand integrity. This study analyzes the economic and practical implications of implementing an IoT inventory visibility solution within the sponsor’s supply chain to mitigate consumer risk and existing corporate financial waste streams. Through existing technology research, real-world device experimentation, and cross-functional supply chain analyses, the team proposes a Bluetooth technology IoT network infrastructure and business implementation approach for the sponsor’s inventory visibility needs.