Tag: Pharmaceutical Logistics

ASC speaking at 8th Annual Conference Temperature Controlled Logistics in Frankfurt

ASC’s Tom Cochrane to Chair Day 1 and is giving the Keynote speech.

Tom will be sharing his 37 years of experience within the industry by giving the Keynote speech on ‘An Approach to Global Supply Chain Security in Today’s Pharma Industry’.  Tom will cover the following topics:

  • Identifying the risks in the supply chain
  • Designing and implementing a security management system
  • reviewing some examples
  • Sharing best practice

This event will be held at The Steinburger, Frankfurt am Main, Germany on the 17th & 18th May 2018.

Some other topics covered within this conference will be:

  • Explore applications of block chain, temperature monitoring and more. Embrace the globalization of distribution efficiently and safely
  • Building a safe and effective global distribution network
  • Shipping rout verification and cost optimisation
  • Value of smart packaging
  • Digitization of supply chain

We look forward to participating in this event organised by Fleming,  and hearing updates from the industry by an esteemed list of speakers.


Pharma Logistics: Up in the Air or in Deep Water?

Last month our CEO, Amy had a chat with James Strachan from The Medicine Maker on the popular topic of modal shift. Amy expressed her thoughts and opinions why both modes are very relevant, however their future success is dependant upon embracing current demands in innovation and compliance. Please click here to read the complete article.

Pharmaceutical outsourcing, pharma logistics, logistics



On the 26th February our ASC Associate, Tom Cochrane will be presenting on ‘An Approach to Global Supply Chain Security in Today’s Pharma Industry’ at the Pharma Outsourcing & Partnerships 2018 Europe He will be sharing his 35 year industry experience on the following:

●  Identifying the risks in the supply chain

●  Designing and implementing a security management system

●  Reviewing some examples

●  Sharing best practice

The two-day Pharma Outsourcing & Partnership Global Congress 2018 Europe will provide a unique platform for the convergence of stakeholders in the industry to interact, discuss and network with top tier government, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and non-profit organizations as well as regional and local service providers to discuss and share on the outsourcing and partnership strategies, challenges and opportunities, global collaboration and the future of pharma outsourcing and partnership.

Let us know if you are also attending? We hope to see you there.

uni of huddersfield

Exploring Pharmaceutical Logistics with Supply Chain Students at University of Huddersfield

On 7th March, our CEO Amy Shortman will be speaking at a Healthcare Logistics and Supply Chain Management event at the University of Huddersfield. The event has been organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, and is aimed at inspiring local professionals and supply chain students alike.

Amy will be providing the initial Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Logistics Industry Overview, which will be followed by a series of talks covering automated technology, the NHS carbon footprint, and GS1 standards.

The event will also include a networking lunch, something which we at ASC believe is crucial in business. The opportunity to meet professionals from other areas within the industry and share knowledge and insights is invaluable. It was a similar networking event, run by Women in Logistics, which led to Amy becoming involved in this, after discussing with Bethany Fovargue, Operations manager at NOVUS Trust The Chartered Institute of Logistics, how to engage the next generation.

Amy is particularly looking forward to meeting with the supply chain students at the University of Huddersfield, sharing her experiences of working within the industry, and finding out what inspired them to start a career in this area.

You can find out more about the event here.


ASC The Story of our Brand

The Story of Our Brand

From Humble Beginnings

Sitting at my kitchen table on a sunny May morning in 2011, ASC was born. I had a client who wanted me to do a project, and after a break from the corporate world to raise my three children it felt good to be back. But first, I needed to register my business and took all of three seconds to consider a name. My name was Amy Shortman and so Amy Shortman Consulting it would be. My mind was solely on the project, not developing a business or brand.

My haste did not stop there. I knew I needed a logo, but instead of considering my options I simply went with a “friend of a friend”. I had been working with my children’s preschool to raise funds for a vegetable patch, and the logo for that had been designed by the sister of one of the other mums.  I must admit that I lucked out here, as Rosie was actually very good and the ASC pill logo was created. And for many years, it served me well.

ASC Original Logo


An Image Speaks a Thousand Words

However, it didn’t take long before that initial project was followed by a second, and a third, and soon I found myself eager to expand. ASC has grown over the past 6 years in ways I could never have imagined when I first registered my company, and we now have several associates working on a much wider range of services. And as time went on I became increasingly aware of just how ineffective our branding was.

At a conference in 2015, I found myself looking at our logo on the list of presenters and I knew that something had to change. Sitting alongside the likes of Amgen and GSK it looked weak. It was also leading to confusion over what we actually do – people thought we were a logistics company, rather than independent experts who work with all major stakeholders within the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Logistics Industry. This meant that we were missing out on potential contracts, simply because our logo wasn’t right.

This was quite a revelation to me. ASC was established because of my existing reputation within the industry, which had led to that very first project. And for a while that same reputation helped me to build the company into what it is today. However, those who didn’t know me or my associates personally had no idea of our area of expertise, or the highly dedicated service we provide as we become an “extension of the team”.

The Rebranding Process

One of the great things about being a small company is that the decision making process isn’t overly complicated. I decided we needed to venture down the path into the world of “Rebranding”, and so we did. I wanted a brand that immediately reflected what we do, how we do it, and also why we do it. Explaining pharmaceutical logistics, Good Distribution Practice, and supply chain security is never an easy task – we are passionate about our industry but mention the word “compliance” at a party and most people head for the door. Over the years I have developed a way of making it more relevant and relatable to others by explaining the impact poor temperature control or counterfeit drugs can have on the products they have in their own medicine cabinet. And it is that kind of relatability that we wanted our new brand to convey.

So it was an absolute pleasure to work with Stuart and the team at We Launch, who are as passionate about branding as we are about compliance. Our first visit to We Launch took place on a dull January day, where we found ourselves welcomed into a light office that oozed being cool with a hint of hipster. Stuart and his team listened to our vision and assessed our competitors, whilst watching carefully to see how we spoke about our company. They were comparing us to our current brand and then introduced us to a whole new world of “Hero Imagery’ and “Visual Language”. It all seemed exciting and alien to me. Was this too much for my company? Did Stuart truly understand what we do?

A few weeks later we found ourselves back again, where Stuart presented 4 amazing and unique options that nailed precisely who we are and what we do. I was impressed at the skill to see us clearer than we see ourselves. It reminded me that taking time out to reflect and improve is so important. In a small business you often find yourself wearing many hats – finance, sales, book-keeping – and there is little time for the collaborative thinking and strategy that larger companies can afford to spend time and resources on. And it is often tempting to believe that you can do it all, that you don’t need to invest in the finer details of branding and communications. I know I felt that way for a long time.

But at ASC, we are reliant upon companies outsourcing to us, utilising our expertise to improve their business rather than trying to do it all themselves. Sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture and realise that a small investment now will reap much larger rewards further down the line. We took a dose of our own medicine and decided to outsource our branding project to We Launch and couldn’t be happier with the results.  We have a logo and brand that define who we are right now, but that has enough flexibility to grow as we do. And the whole experience has made us look carefully at our services and how we communicate this to the world, providing us with a greater vision for the future.

Revealing the New Look

Once we had the branding materials from We Launch, we started on the mammoth task of integrating it into all of our literature and online presence. We officially launched our new website at the beginning of the new financial year and revealed the entire brand at the PCSC Conference in Newark, USA on 10th April.

Attending the conference with a brand which truly represents who we are and what we do was a wonderful feeling. Everything from our business cards to our PowerPoint presentation and video (see above) expressed the same key message – that we take compliance seriously and we want to help others navigate and succeed in an increasingly compliant industry. And this message was well-received by those at the conference:

“At the 2017 PCSC Educational Conference, ASC Associates Ltd. made a timely and important presentation, as well as publicly launched their new brand – both of which were quite well received. The new brand distinctly reflects the critical importance of supply chain integrity – where the three highlighted topics merge, to form the basis of ASC’s mission statement and commitment to their customer base.”  

Chuck Forsaith | Chairman | PCSC

16th Annual Temperature Controlled Logistics Conference

IQPC Temperature Controlled Logistics Conference 2017

We are delighted to announce that ASC Associates will not only be speaking at the 16th Annual Temperature Controlled Logistics Conference in 2017, our CEO Amy Shortman will also be chairing the conference. Amy is honoured to have been asked to chair the event, which is being organised by the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC), and will run from 30th January to the 2nd February at ExCel in London.

The conference, now in its 16th year, brings together expert speakers and the latest innovations in the pharmaceutical supply chain, to provide excellent opportunities to expand your knowledge and network with others within the industry.

According to the conference’s website, delegates can look forward to:

  • 60 expert speakers
  • 40 ground breaking sessions
  • 6 streams that allow you to personalise your agenda
  • 60 exhibitors, and
  • 24 hours of networking,

As well as chairing the conference, our CEO Amy Shortman will be joined by our COO, Henry Moran, to lead a session on the first day entitled “An Approach to Global Supply Chain Security in the Pharmaceutical Industry“. Supply Chain Security is something that we at ASC are hugely passionate about, and we cannot wait to share our knowledge and expertise in this area at the event.

Amy and Henry hope to meet with as many people as possible throughout the event. If you have been considering attending a conference next year, do check out the website for more details. And if you do decide to attend, please feel free to use the discount code below. We hope to see you there.

Amy Shortman ASC Temperature Controlled Logistics Summit 2017

Counterfeit Drugs

The Importance of Supply Chain Security: Counterfeit Drugs

A large part of what we do at ASC Associates is supporting key stakeholders throughout the supply chain to maximise efficiency and compliance, in order to maintain product integrity and ensure the safety of the consumers. And a major aspect of this is recognising the threat of counterfeit drugs, and developing ways to secure the supply chain against this threat.

The sheer scale of the counterfeit drugs market was demonstrated recently when police in Poland shut down an illegal factory near the city of Bydgoszcz which was capable of producing millions of counterfeit medications. Within the raid, police found 100,000 counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills, alongside 430,000 vials of steroids, worth around $4.4million. However in a statement issued by the Central Bureau of Investigations in Poland (CBSP) it was recorded that the illegal unit was capable of producing much more than this.

The police managed to seize equipment that would create a whole pharma production line, including: mixers, tablet presses, blister packs, and screen printers, making it almost impossible to distinguish the counterfeit drugs from the real ones. A complex supply chain that included shipment to the UK was uncovered within the raid, and it is understood that the majority of these drugs would have been sold over the internet.

It is important to remember that the problem with counterfeit drugs goes beyond the financial implications of illegal reproductions. There are no regulations governing the production of counterfeit drugs, meaning that some may not contain even a trace of the active ingredient. And even when the medications produced do contain the active ingredient, it is often in an insufficient amount, making them ineffective and potentially dangerous as they can contribute to the development of drug-resistant strains of life-threatening diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. People die every single day because of counterfeit drugs, and that is unacceptable.

So what can we do? Well, we need to be proactive in ensuring that we are doing everything we possibly can to ensure the integrity of the supply chain. By reducing the risk of counterfeit drugs entering the supply chain, we reduce the risk to the consumer. This can be done through a combination of a thorough audit of the entire supply chain, robust planning and quality managements systems, and adequate and appropriate training for every member of staff.

We also need to be aware of changes to regulations within the industry, such as the new Delegated Regulation (EU2016/161) published recently by the European Parliament and Council to supplement the Falsified Medicines Directive. This will come into effect by 2019 and aims to introduce two new safety features – a unique identifier that can be scanned at various points along the supply chain, and tamper evident features on the packaging.

Such safety features have already been introduced and trialled, thanks to tech start-ups, and these have shown real promise. However, as this article on the BBC shows, the tech start-ups cannot solve the problem alone – for these safety measures to have any real effect they have to be embraced by us all.

We offer Supply Chain Security Audits and can advise you on the best practices for Logistics and Supply Chain Security. If you would like to know more about our services, please contact us to discuss your requirements. 

Importance of Supply Chain Security

ASC Highlights The Importance of Supply Chain Security in PMPS Magazine

Back in June, Henry Moran, our Chief Operating Officer, wrote about his experience of the FlyPharma Conference. Attending the conference had been a great opportunity for ASC Associates to network with others working in the Pharmaceutical Logistics Industry, and Henry came back full of passion for the work that we do to help manufacturers, third party logistics providers, and airlines to achieve excellence throughout the supply chain.

One of the areas that Henry highlighted in his post was the fact that, whilst there is a great focus on Temperature Management within the supply chain, security is often overlooked. We’re pleased to announce that this observation has been shared in the latest edition of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer Magazine (PMPS), which you can read here. Henry is mentioned on page 50, in the article about the FlyPharma Conference 2016, which you can also see below.

ASC Associates Supply Chain Security PMPS

We’re looking forward to attending the FlyPharma Conference again next year, when it will be held on 6-7th June 2017 in Brussels. Why not head over to their site and register your interest, so that you receive the most up-to-date information straight into your inbox?

And if you’re interested in working with us to review your supply chain security, check out the services we offer or contact us for more information.