Since 1922, a group now known as the Health & Personal Care Logistics Conference, Inc., has been gathering semiannually to learn from each other, and from experts in their respective fields, in our area of business about maintaining safe and cost-effective supply chain practices supporting the distribution of life sciences and health care products nationally and globally. I have personally been an attendee since 1974—a long time ago!—and I can attest to the value I obtained from participating, both early in my career and at our last educational conference in October.
More than anything else, I would stress that the HPCLC conference is uniquely focused on our industry and the members are only from the life sciences (pharma, biotech and medical devices) and personal care (OTC, health & beauty) companies. We have a valued relationship with vendor sponsors, and the main goal is to create an educational forum for industry members to gather, learn and share information. HPCLC is run as a nonprofit with reasonable membership and conference fees, and the group’s activities are focused on issues that are important to us professionally.
Supply chain practices generally, and logistics specifically, have become a more central part of business management at multinational pharma companies. In my company, a supply chain leader sits at an executive council, and we are not unique in this regard. However even the smaller life sciences companies, with a few products, have significant supply chain issues to deal with and can benefit from attending our conferences and becoming an active member. Non-member companies are also welcome and often attend our conferences.
The program for our upcoming meeting, to be held in Philadelphia April 1–3, will center around the theme of “Emerging Trends in Supply Chain Integrity.” The range of topics being addressed in the sessions will focus on “Creating Value and Integrity through SC Visibility,” “Serialization, Globalization, and other Trends,” and “Supply Chain Risks and Security Management.” Other sessions are being organized around “Challenges and Trends Managing Temperature Sensitive Products” and “Trends in Supply Chain Security Management.” And, as we do at every conference, we will have a presentation from our legal counsel, who keeps us informed of key logistics and transportation issues in Washington and abroad. Finally, we will conclude the conference with a session facilitated by our Service Provider Council. This Council is run by service providers that attend HPCLC, and provides key perspectives from a supplier point of view.
HPCLC also benefits from our educational advisors, Dr. Ted Stank and his team at the University of Tennessee and Dr. Terry Esper at the University of Arkansas. Under their guidance we insure that the agenda and sessions at our educational conference focus on the latest supply chain processes and trends and how they impact our industry. We also benefit from the research conducted at these excellent supply chain institutions. Our conference also sponsors a scholarship program to help produce the next generation of life sciences supply-chain leaders and is open to the children of any of the member companies supply chain organizations.
Membership in HPCLC provides a discount to the meeting attendance fee, but also enables members to stay connected with each other throughout the year. Members also have access to our legal counsel for addressing any questions and guidance about developing service provider contracts.
Join us at our next conference in Philadelphia this Spring, April 1–3! I look forward to meeting you there.
Charles Bennett is director, global specialty & cold chain logistics at Pfizer, Inc., responsible for developing, implementing, and standardizing the processes and procedures for handling Pfizer’s products requiring temperature controlled logistics. For the Health & Personal Care Logistics Conference, he is currently membership director, and is a past president of the organization and a long-standing member of the board of directors. More information about the conference and the upcoming meeting is available on our website at www.hpclcnet.org.