Determining supply chain management trends in the pharmaceutical industry
Tsoku, Mokgokong Elizabeth
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For quality service, business management is continually evolving. This also applies to pharmaceutical business management from manufacturing to distribution and retail pharmacies. The main problem being faced is to work on the demand and supply challenges that are being faced by the pharmaceutical businesses and to build and optimize supply chain management in pharmaceutical business in South Africa. The main objective of this study sets to evaluate whether supply chain trends bring any efficiency and effectiveness to supply chain management in South African pharmaceutical businesses. The study also sets to propose an integrated framework that can facilitate and sustain supply chain management in South African pharmaceutical businesses. The study included a literature review on supply chain characteristics, five basic supply chain components, theories and a framework regarding supply chain management and trends. Quantitative research method was undertaken by means of structured questions. The questionnaires were sent to product managers of the manufacturing pharmaceutical industries and to responsible pharmacists of the pharmaceutical distributors and retail pharmacies. The results obtained from the total of 98 respondents who participated in this study indicated that outcomes from majority of respondents were able to answer research questions. Empirical results obtained support the elements of supply chain management stated from the literature review. They also proved that supply chain management practices improve customer service level and level of business performance. However there are some areas of concern that remain to be further researched.