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Reflecting Back on 2023

2023! What a year it has been for us! Challenging, daunting, emotional but transformational…

Reflecting… this all started when our founder was conducting design thinking and ethnography activities with a pharma customer. He was just surprised about the lack of end-to-end visibility in batch review and release…. and that is when OneSC kicked off. We conducted extensive research into the pharmaceutical supply chain industry, established what the core issues were in this industry and set about building a platform to address these challenges. The key issues were poor end-to-end visibility and a lack of real-time data to drive decisions. Both of these severely impair the effectiveness of supply chain networks and cause errors to go unreported, leading to more disruptions in the process.

We came across a number of manually intensive processes that involved wading through stacks of documents and identifying anomalies or confirming the right approach was taken, and this is done for each and every batch within the batch approval process. Picture this nightmare scenario – hundreds of documents flying in through email, faxes, Sharepoint, etc. all needing to be updated and sent out again for final sign-offs from their respective supply chain departments.

We’re talking about each person having to go through 50-100 documents every day, the same documents coming back with comments to be addressed and sent out again in a loop. Think of the burnout happening every day in this industry, non-stop disorganisation and information chaos.

Recognising this challenge, we realised we needed help. The first step was to hold meetings and consult with heads of pharmaceutical supply chains who could give us a coal-face perspective of the problem. The common thing that kept coming back to was the need to automate repetitive tasks to improve efficiency.

The tricky part was that this is a highly regulated environment where pharmaceutical companies face severe consequences for errors or compliance failures, which can lead to pharma companies losing their licences in this industry.

The highly stringent nature of CSV in pharmaceuticals needs serious thought and effort as the exercise extends into data security, traceability and comprehensive audit trails. Being accurate and reliable is the main goal here; one slip-up could cost many precious lives, just the kind of motivation we need to make a difference.

Now that we knew what to solve, we set out to design and build a solution, and so it began. 2023 started with countless internal debates; from selecting the company name to feature prioritisation. Within a few months, the team began the development and launch of the OneSC Product website despite minor hurdles, such as acquiring the new domain name from domain-sitters, making sure our platform could handle many supply chain teams at the same time and pulling all-nighters to avoid downtime. As we fixed one platform challenge, more kept coming our way.

Many late days were involved to iterate around features, concepts and bugs till we got a stable release which our users loved. In doing so, we also used this to our advantage and saw new useful features being implemented such as task management, batch planning and centralised documentation that tremendously helped ease the burden of our users.

Our goal was to design a single source of truth that meticulously adhered to prioritising transparency in pharmaceutical manufacturing procedures. This way both patient safety and product quality could remain at the forefront.

Our many nights of burning the midnight oil was slowly paying off as we held our ground and carried on with exhaustive testing, extensive documentation all while following strict adherence to regulatory standards, such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP). We were thrilled to know that all we had set out to do so far was met without compromises.

A real bonus was being accepted into Mayor-of-Londons Grow.London program. Through their trade mission we were able to understand how to break into the US Market which a goal for us in 2024.

After receiving positive feedback from our pharmaceutical client, we decided to release our first ever case study, detailing the objectives and challenges our client overcame through the help of the OneSC platform. In doing so, we helped them save over 600 hours of valuable time within a six month period which, in turn, lead to 30% reduction in clutter and an estimated cost savings of over £400k.

The year ended with our final release involving Task Management and KPI Reporting. These features were very much driven by our customers to provide them with data-driven-insights to help optimise their operations.

Looking ahead, we’ve got some exciting plans lined up for 2024 and beyond! Our mission is to help our customers reduce cost or batch review and release and ultimately reduce cost of medicines. This year we will see some innovative AI solutions to reduce processing times as well as increase automation in the whole end-to-end process of data collection and batch approval.

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