BioPhorum’s patient-centric framework for developing the inbound supply chain

4 July 2023
Supply Partner
Bob Brooks
Phorum Director

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted industry-level weaknesses in the inbound supply chain structure and function, and has intensified failures that allow demand to outstrip suppliers’ capacity and capability to support industry’s growth.

If the industry is to adjust to the new normal post-pandemic, it needs to help solve the most important issues over an appropriate period and strengthen and advance inbound supply chain operations to benefit patients globally.

BioPhorum Supply Partner members felt the industry needed a strategy to help develop the inbound supply chain and improve its operational excellence, so, in 2021, we created the Biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry inbound supply chain strategic framework.

Our new paper – the Strategic framework for the development of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry’s inbound supply chain – builds on the original document and explains how it should be used.

It includes a maturity/capability model to help identify how you must develop to increase your maturity/capability level for any of the five strategic objectives. It is based on real-world evidence from members who have shared how they achieve the level they are at with people (organizations), systems (technologies), and processes (operating procedures).

Guido Kremer-van der Kamp, Senior Consultant, Global BioPharma Center of Excellence at Merck, said, “Going through the tough time of COVID-19, we realized that we needed to strengthen our relationships with our suppliers. The Framework will allow us to work on a one-to-one basis in collaboration with our suppliers to enhance our relationships in terms of business continuity, future plans, and digitalization.”

Our ‘One Voice’ approach
The framework should be a constant reference point for industry and help guide your corporate decision-making, whatever the level of your inbound supply chain maturity. The Phorum will also use it to help guide its work program and support its ‘One Voice’ approach when dealing with regulatory agencies.

It can be used by anybody involved in the inbound supply chain and help you think about your work in an industry-wide context. R&D teams can also use it when developing new products.

“Biomanufacturers and suppliers generally work in parallel and do not necessarily share the same goals,” said Benjamin Jequier, Head of Site Supply Chain at Takeda. “COVID-19 has shone a light on this situation and has been a nightmare in the supply chain. As a result, we recognized we needed a common language to understand each other’s challenges and needs. The Framework is patient-centric, responds to regulatory affairs, and will allow us to put all our energy into solving the industry’s most important challenges.”

The framework will help unite biomanufacturers and suppliers. It is the first strategy of its kind to develop the inbound supply chain for the biomanufacturing industry and to show a higher level of commitment to making sector-wide collaborative changes – rather than each company creating its own solutions for addressing shared issues.

In five years, using the framework should mean even greater strides in developing the inbound supply chain. And maybe after ten years, industry will be able to say that it has the best inbound supply chain of any sector in the world.

For more information, download the paper here and contact Bob Brooks, Phorum Director, at

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