Organizations working in the area of Life sciences, especially those dealing with research, development, production, export or distribution of pharmaceutical drugs and formulations, can have an ongoing challenge or a constraint in Operations, Research & Development or in Distribution to International Warehouses.
Reduction in overall lead-time
Increase in output of plants
Reduction in WIP
Improvement in working capital cycle of the company
Pharmaceutical manufacturing plants are characterized by a large number of dedicated product routings/flow lines coupled with a high degree of variability in manufacturing capacity (downtime and batch time) and RM availability. The practice of planning and scheduling of pharmaceutical manufacturing over long horizons result in piling up WIP over certain product routes. This in turn creates overloading of work centres in that route. At the same time, due to commonality of raw material, some of the other product routes/flow lines may be starving. This erratic starvation or overloading of work centres that pharmaceutical manufacturing plants often experience, leads to highly variable lead times and delays in order/batch completion. Expediting delayed orders force frequent changes in schedules. This causes capacity/output loss. Consequent issues pharma companies tend to face include exigency of new product launches, write offs/discounting of FG and expensive air freights. Sales and profitability of many Life sciences companies in this industry are steadily deteriorating even as the companies’ investment in inventory, capital costs, and operating expenses are increasing.
Find out how Vector’s pharma consulting services can enable Life science companies engaged in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals to ensure 100% on-time-in-full deliveries at a significantly reduced lead time. Learn more about how companies can achieve this while they increase plant output and significantly lower working capital deployed in their businesses.Read More
Research & Development
Reduce project lead time
Increase output in additional resources
Clear visibility and control over progress of projects
Reduced rework and improved quality of output
Rapid production stabilization
Reduced stress on people and other resources
Generic Pharma R&D departments of Life sciences companies suffer perennial mismatch between capacity and load. This becomes more evident towards the end of second and fourth quarters of the year. Critical resources are extremely busy during these months.. In the first part of the year, the resources have to complete Exhibit Batch related tasks. At the end of the year, they have to attend to submission requirements followed by a spate of FDA queries. All these ‘urgent’ tasks have to be addressed by the same set of resources which are stretched beyond capacity. This is a problem that pharmaceutical companies have been unable to solve with traditional project management tools.
Vector Consulting uses principles of flow management to help pharma companies complete R&D projects at significantly lower lead times (without increase investment in resources).Read More
Distribution to International Warehouses
Improvement of availability
Reduction in inventory
Eliminate or reduce need for Inventory liquidation sales/ destruction of expired inventory
Improvement in working capital cycle of the Company
International warehouses for generic pharmaceuticals, whether owned by a Life science company or maintained by a distribution partner in that country, need to maintain adequate stock so they (the warehouses) can meet the varying local demand and can offset the highly varying lead times of manufacturing and supply. This is a tightrope walk for them. Fear of sales loss and the heavy penalties on unavailability imposed by some countries force these warehouses to hold significantly high levels of pharmaceutical inventory. However, stocking too much inventory comes with the risk of much of these reaching near or crossing the expiration date. The distribution channel will be very reluctant to accept pharmaceutical stock nearing expiry. If the pharmaceuticals’ expiration date is crossed, the warehouse will have to destroy it!
Life science companies engaged in the manufacturing of generic pharmaceuticals can solve the ‘too much or too little’ conundrum by ensuring that their international warehouses have 100% availability at low inventory. Find out how with its expertise in harmonizing supply chain operations, Vector Consulting can help companies achieve this.Read More
Quality Control Laboratory
Reduction in invalid OOS
Reduction in Lab incident to test ratio
Reduced stress in the whole system
Release of management bandwidth
Quality Control Laboratory (QC Lab) serves one of the important functions in pharmaceutical production and control. Quality tests are numerous, varied, stringent and time-consuming. Therefore, in order to ensure that manufacturing goes on unhindered, the QC Lab must perform all the required tests, right from raw material, in-process & finished goods efficiently, while also ensuring compliance as per regulatory guidelines. However, despite careful planning, a high frequency of occurrence of OOS (Out Of Specification, i.e., breach of the allowed upper/ lower limit of the parameters of drug testing), especially invalid OOS cases (breach not due to the drug itself, but because of the lab testing or manufacturing processes) and lab incidents (process deviation) plague this department, raising doubts about the robustness of testing/ manufacturing with the auditing agencies.
Some of the typical solutions companies tend to take to solve these issues are to increase the level of supervision in the lab, to put the analysts through more training, and to add resources to reduce load on the system. However, these steps, while offering some improvement, do not sustain, or the benefits stagnate after a point.
The key to sustained and continuous improvement in quality departments is to first address the cognitive overload in the system with the objective of bringing down manual errors (Type A) to minimal levels. Then the systemic errors (Type B) due to incorrect method followed, unclear procedure, etc. will become visible, and actions can be taken to rectify them.Read More
Using the principles of flow, Vector Consulting has helped many pharma and Life science companies to build agile operations and to significantly increase R&D output.
Major multi-national pharmaceutical company
This major Life science company engaged in the manufacturing of generic pharmaceuticals achieved phenomenal improvements in research and development with the help of Vector’s pharmaceutical consulting expertise.
- Annual increase in R&D output
- Total lead time
- Reduced by ~50%
- Formulation development cycle time (start to EB completion)
- Reduced by 58%
- Lab-scale development cycle time
- Cut by 57%
- Turnaround time of analytical test
- Reduced by 54%
What stage is your plant in?
Typical stages of a pharma plant
- In the beginning, wastage is high because manufacturing capacity is not fully utilized
- Then more pharmaceutical variants, along with additional volume of pharmaceuticals already being manufactured, is added to fill capacity
- As pharmaceutical variety/volume increases, new higher tonnage alternative machines are added to accommodate future growth
- As pharmaceutical variety and volume increases, number of intersecting routes increase and moving bottlenecks start to appear
- Significant management bandwidth of the Life sciences company goes into solving these local bottleneck – wastage of manufacturing capacity increase
- Number of moving bottlenecks goes out of control, pharmaceutical batches frequently violate hold time considerations
- Unplanned setup changes increase, manufacturing capacity wastage increases dramatically
- The pharmaceutical plant adds new manufacturing capacity and/or adds more alternative machines with larger tonnage to improve efficiency
- High CAPEX does not yield expected output
To understand how pharmaceutical manufacturing plants (in Stage 1) can quickly reduce capacity wastage by introducing new products, visit this linkRead More
Pharmaceutical manufacturing units (in Stage 2 and Stage 3) can align operations to increase plant utilisation and improve productivity. Find out howRead More
We have partnered with some of the major names in the pharmaceutical industry to create and implement radical solutions which have helped redefine industry benchmarks. These include: