A FRAMEWORK FOR LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT IN THE CLINICAL TRIALS INDUSTRY: AN EXTENSION OF THE STATE-OF-THE ART USING CONTEMPORARY SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURES AND TOOLS
Logistics management in the clinical trials industry is a very challenging undertaking due to multiple stakeholders, complex processes, diverse software applications, intensive white-collar jobs, and onerous quality standards. Current business practices are inefficient and difficult to automate technologies. This thesis reviews the theories and concepts of clinical trials logistics management. Then, the inefficiencies in current logistics management in the clinical trials industry are addressed by building a conceptual framework based on contemporary software tools and architectures such as web portals, software agents, business process management system, project cards, and resource cards, all interacting with specialized software applications such as accounting, inventory, and label design software. The framework supports data analysis at multiple levels of decision making. Furthermore, a project planning tool for facilitating and optimizing the operational planning in this industry is designed and presented. Different managerial scenarios with shared, dedicated, and work group resources are investigated using this tool.