We are quickly closing in on the November 2023 deadline for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act’s (DSCSA) full interoperability mandate. Most pharmaceutical manufacturers and brand owners have started on their journey to DSCSA compliance. Though, several organizations are now looking at whether to continue with their current solution provider or pursue an alternative. The reason being is unsatisfactory customer service from their serialization solution provider.
DSCSA compliance is a complex and time-consuming process that takes considerable work. The regulation’s phased ten-year implementation highlights just how complicated it is. Compliance requires significant investments in both capital and personnel and a commitment to ongoing collaboration and communication with numerous trading partners and solution providers.
While all software implementation can be challenging, DSCSA’s government-regulated deadlines make it even more stressful. Therefore, a responsive solution provider with the knowledge and experience to provide attention and guidance through this intricate serialization project is imperative.
Here are five areas in which your service provider needs to excel to ensure you are getting exceptional customer service for your DSCSA project.
- Knows You - Every pharmaceutical serialization project has distinctive characteristics and challenges. Your service provider should take the time to know your company, project, and people and where you are in your serialization journey. Engaging with your service provider should not be a new endeavor each time. Your experience with customer service should feel like an encounter with a well-informed member of your extended team.
- Timely Response to Inquiries - All software implementations require support from your service provider at one time or another. When you have a technical question, your vendor must respond promptly. They should manage all support tickets without delay, and you should feel that your serialization provider is catering to your requests. High-level customer service should be encountered throughout your entire project, not just during the initial honeymoon stage with your vendor. Increasingly elongated ETAs to resolve technical issues are a red flag that you are not a priority to your vendor.
- An Experienced Team of In-house Experts - In this insanely competitive labor market, many organizations are experiencing high staff turnover rates. Ensure that your vendor has an in-house team of experienced DSCSA and serialization experts that can help manage your complex DSCSA project. In addition, your project manager and support team should not change constantly. Consistency is vital in receiving quality customer support.
- No Disruptions to Business - While file failures can happen with software, the turnaround time in addressing them should be quick, so business is not disrupted. Situations arrive with every software installation; exceptional service providers quickly manage issues before any disruption to the business. A problem where you cannot ship product because the software is down and there has not been a response from your solution provider is unacceptable customer service.
- Proactive Help vs. Reactive - DSCSA compliance is a collaborative project that includes connections with countless trading partners. Thus, service providers should actively work on behalf of their customers with their supply chain trading partners. Excellent solution providers have a team of subject matter experts that assist in facilitating connections between trading partners. Because they are proactive, they often uncover and address problems before customers even know there is an issue.
Client support is paramount to the success of your serialization journey. Carefully consider whether your service provider is capable of supporting you in this monumental DSCSA compliance project.