WCA Pharma, part of the world’s largest network of independent freight forwarders, makes no secret of the toughness of its entry requirements. Manchester, UK-based Adam McKenna, general manager of WCA Pharma is adamant: “We have very strict criteria for membership. We actually reject more companies than we accept.”
A demonstration of the importance of pharma activity to the wider WCA family is that it is not organised regionally like the wider association but in McKenna has a dedicated general manager with a worldwide remit.
The network is the only fully validated pharmaceutical and life sciences network, offering the only fully GDP-trained and GDP-certified pharmaceutical and life sciences network
Presently WCA Pharma has 125 members. They are described as “the leading independent forwarders in the world, who operate to the highest GDP standards and have the experience, know-how and expertise to handle pharmaceutical products.”
Members move products and offer a complete temperature range, from frozen, chilled, heated and controlled, says McKenna.
The WCA Pharma group is maturing, with its first phase of growth concluded. McKenna says: “We were formed as there was a need for a true pharma network.”
The first phase saw 70 member companies rigorously examined before acceptance. There were strict criteria related to GDP standards and validation.
The care with which members are selected continues during their membership, says McKenna.
“We check members’ validations every three months,” he says. Reasons for questions about the validity of a certification could include the departure of an individual responsible for that certification and what steps are being taken to replace them or resolve the certification issue.
McKenna explains that with four examinations a year, WCA Pharma has little tolerance of members that fall short of its standards.
“We are not afraid to lose members,” he says.
The second phase of growth of WCA Pharma may see the future development of a virtual WCA Pharma academy. This could be staged as breakout events at WCA Pharma conferences. This comes at a time when McKenna is excited at the prospects for blockchain and its application in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
“I am a huge fan of transparency in the supply chain,” he says. “Let’s be transparent!”
He is excited the prospect of a “true” platform that can be developed for members to have total visibility in their operations.