Top 6 Pharmaceutical Warehouse Management Challenges

Pharmaceutical Warehouse Management
Pharmaceutical Warehouse Management

Nowadays, Pharmaceutical Industries facing some distinctive warehouse management challenges. Many of these challenges can have drastically affect prescriptions, despite the fact that they may not exist in industries such as general retail.

Meta-Pharma, an ERP solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central helps pharmaceutical companies to manage their warehouse by finding out the issues and the challenges facing by the Pharmaceutical Warehouse. Also, Meta-Pharma’s Advanced Warehouse Management System functionality provides the perfect warehouse solution for Pharmaceutical Industries.

Key issues facing warehouse managers are:

  • Keeping some portion of their facilities at the right temperatures to prevent medications from ruining
  • Following federally-mandating good manufacturing process rules
  • Security issues for items and intellectual property
  • Inventory controls

Challenges of Pharmaceutical Warehouse Management:

Following GMP Rules

GMPSOP states that following the GMP rules enables manufacturers to:

  • Protect drugs and raw materials for medicines during storage
  • Prevent finished product debasement
  • Avoid pollution from other materials
  • Prevent harmful or expired products from being shipped

Additionally, warehouse managers also face the challenge of keep the track of three types of products that appear on the BOMs governed by GMP procedures. All of these item types require unique lot numbers:

  • APIs, precursor chemicals, and other starting materials
  • Packaging materials
  • Printed materials

All distribution center administrators or managers face inventory control requirements. Those in the pharma sector likewise deal with the intense government investigation.

Storage and Tracking Inside the Warehouse

Lack of control over material movement in the warehouse can, and has, led to defective products, GMPSOP states.

Requirements of General warehouse practices (GWP) are:

  • Received unused goods and finished products are quarantined until approved for release
  • Each item has corrected status labels (e.g., current, expired, etc.)
  • A unique barcode is clearly visible
  • Items are stored by type when appropriate
  • The raw material is tracked while moving through the Production facility from the Receiving area to Production and then to Shipping
  • If possible, warehouse managers should maintain a separate section to store damaged or returned goods, reusable items, not for sale samples, and when identified, counterfeit stock.


    Accurate labeling is another challenge for pharma warehouse managers. GMP rules require labeling to include a Unique code or Identification number that must be different from the supplier’s lot number. The UIN must record in the lab, on the facility’s computer system, and in production. GMPSOP suggests not referring to the IUN as a batch number.

    Other unique to pharma labeling requirements are:

    • Expiration dates
    • Barcodes
    • Status indications
    • Quarantined products
    • Rejection labels

    Receiving Shipments

    Other GMPs in the pharma industry require receiving of stock from suppliers to be reviewed based on their use. Confirmation of stock includes:

    • Source of approval
    • No damage and defects
    • Labeled with required info
    • Unique Identifier Number (UIN)
    • Registered in the company’s inventory database
    • Quarantined

    Unlike retail goods distribution centers, warehouse managers should likewise save a region for raw materials that have been tested and confirmed to meet all required standards. A similar section should exist for any materials that fail these tests GMPSOP states.

    Security Challenges

    Medicines and other pharmaceutical products are in high demand, making them tempting targets. Warehouses should have secure physical storage areas for raw materials and finished products.

    Solving Challenges

    Successful utilization of warehouse management systems such as the module of warehouse management in Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Supply Chain Management can assist with monitoring inventory management in pharmaceuticals and manage these challenges.

    The module, “has a wide range of features to support the warehouse facility at an ideal level at any time,” Microsoft states.

    Among the warehouse module’s functions are:

    • Workflow support
    • Using mobile devices
    • Full batch and serial item support
    • Label printing and routing

    For more information about the Pharmaceutical ERP solution and a tailored demonstration contact us at MetaPharma.