If you're trying to part ways with a failing DSCSA provider, you're doing the right thing — and you're not alone

May 17, 2023

No matter where you are in the pharma supply chain — or in any industry, or even in daily life — you've encountered the problem of hiring a provider who can't deliver.

Usually, the question is what to do when it becomes apparent that no amount of waiting will pay off: either the service hasn't materialized to your satisfaction, or you realize that what they sold and what they provided was never meant to match up. And it's common to simply part ways at the end of the contract term.

But when your provider is supposed to be handling DSCSA compliance, and there's a concrete date (say, November 27, 2023) by which your business must comply simply to continue doing business? Waiting it out goes beyond buyer's remorse, straight past the sunk-cost fallacy, and into Ralph-Wiggum-on-the-bus territory.

It's not a coincidence that, as we enter the final six months to full DSCSA enforcement, a slew of companies have sought out LSPedia telling us the same story: Their provider offered a long list of features at a price that somehow undercut every competing service, yet after winning their business, wasted months saying each solution they sold was "on the way" and that each technical issue "is getting fixed soon," all while the clock ticked down.

The six-month alarm

With broader understanding throughout the industry of how long it can take to establish interoperable connections and onboard EPCIS, more trading partners have realized that the remaining six months aren't much time at all.

Each connection can take weeks to months, and any company in the pharma supply chain will want to be compliant far before, not on, the deadline. DSCSA processes require adaptation time; it's entirely unrealistic to expect to flip a switch on November 27. Then there are seasonal challenges: summer vacation time, prep for fourth-quarter earnings, annual contract cycles. And, of course, you have a business to run.

Which is why so many decisionmakers tell us they reached the same conclusion: It doesn't matter that our provider is the cheapest, because we don't save any money if we can't do business next year. Why on earth would we risk our company on this?

When you hire a provider for something as essential as regulatory compliance, you have every right to expect evidence of results. Evidence that they can process EPCIS files; evidence that persistent technical issues will be fixed; evidence that they can, indeed, transact the data that the law requires for every product exchange. Anyone who says otherwise is asking you to take an absolutely unreasonable risk, given what's at stake.

With DSCSA, a risk to one is a risk to all

There's another reason so many companies are coming to the same conclusion around the same time: The very construction of DSCSA, across its requirements for interoperable data exchange, serialization, and authorization, means that any uncertainty on your ability to do business also applies to your partners. That's why some pharma trading partners have set their own deadlines, complete with penalties, for suppliers to be compliant far in advance.

Simply put: It's the responsibility of all trading partners to avoid supply chain disruptions.

This means that being a DSCSA compliance provider is a heavy responsibility, carrying the need to guarantee that the job will get done. At LSPedia, we believe that we're not just providing you with a package of solutions, but a proven track record that your partners can trust. This is how you get surety and peace of mind in the pharmaceutical industry in 2023.

By the same token, a pharma business tied to an underperforming DSCSA provider increasingly runs a reputational risk of prioritizing that faulty, frustrating relationship over the ones that are central to their existence — their trading partners.

The best time for a breakup

The time is now. If your provider is unresponsive and failing to deliver despite such dire consequences, ask yourself what they could conceivably do in the few months remaining that would resolve your concerns. When your business and reputation are on the line, six months is not a span to wait and see what happens; it's where you use what you know will work.

As so many customers are discovering, LSPedia is ready to help immediately, bringing any new customer into compliance far in advance of the DSCSA deadline. We can move fast thanks to OneScan's cloud-based and system-agnostic serialization solutions; our Investigator exceptions management technology automatically finds EPCIS errors and quickly guides each fix; and our work has the benefit of numerous trusted industry partnerships.

Our reputation is built on delivering results: supply chain continuity, consistency, and optimization. You shouldn't expect — or accept — anything less.

Get in touch today to switch to LSPedia.