Blog for updates and happenings in logistics in the Asia-Pacific region

June 26, 2015

Pharmaceutical Companies Need to Revamp Supply Chains to Ensure Quality

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Procurement,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:10 am

pills-2-1160486-mOver the last several years, the biopharmaceutical industry worldwide has intensified its focus on quality in manufacturing – but with little to show for it. Manufacturing quality levels remain well below those in other industries, such as semiconductor manufacturing and aerospace. And major recalls are still all too common. From 2010 through 2014, 11 of the top 15 biopharmaceutical companies (by revenue) received warning letters from the US Food and Drug Administration. Such problems can come at a steep price—in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue, remediation costs that run in the tens of millions of dollars, and a big hit to the company’s reputation.

There are a number of reasons for the persistent quality challenges. First, the focus on quality has itself too often meant racing to put out fires when compliance issues surface, instead of addressing the root causes of quality problems. Increased investment in areas such as quality personnel or software can help in the short term, but the resulting improvements are rarely sustained and are not always commensurate with the investment. Second, when a company does implement a program aimed at delivering long-term results, it is often rolled out in a rigid, one-size-fits-all manner that ignores differences among manufacturing plants and their progress in improving quality. The result can be programs that are poorly matched to individual facilities and that miss the root causes of their quality problems. Further, such programs typically reside exclusively within the quality function and fail to address organization-wide processes that can have a major impact on quality.

[Read more… Curated from BCG Perspectives]


April 15, 2015

Jim Young: Sourcing for a Startup

Filed under: Logistics,News,Newsletter,Procurement,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:09 am

StartupJim Young, senior supply chain manager at Applied Microstructures, Inc., is responsible for everything from sourcing materials and services to shipping finished products. He talks about the challenges that are unique to startup organisations.

The biggest challenge I face is sourcing for a small startup. My previous employer, Applied Materials, is a Fortune 500 firm. If we signed a $5-million agreement with a precision machine shop, that was a small contract. Here, my annual spend for precision machining is far less than $900,000.

This means we have to work with smaller suppliers. Unfortunately, they don’t always have the systems in place to deliver the quality we require. To get that quality, I have to spend a lot of time helping those shops enable their capabilities. I serve as an unofficial consultant, recommending strategies they can use to better manage their operations.

One of the biggest moves we made here in 2014 was to implement Expandable, an enterprise resource planning system designed for small manufacturers. This year, we’ll use that system to make some important enhancements to our operation. For example, we will introduce scorecards to guide execution and get a better view of inventory. Our ultimate goal is to create a world-class supply chain operation.

[Read more… Curated from Inbound Logistics]


April 10, 2015

Hilton Plans to Ban Cages, Crates in Its Food Supply Chain

Hilton WorldwideHilton Worldwide has announced it will begin to eliminate the use of cages for egg-laying chickens and gestation crates for breeding pigs in its global food supply chain. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization.

Initially all hotels in the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton brands will be required to switch all egg usage to cage-free by Dec. 31, 2017, ensuring that chickens are not confined in cages. All pork products must be purchased from suppliers that house breeding pigs in groups rather than gestation crates by Dec. 31, 2018. These changes will initially apply in 19 countries where products are currently available and will be adopted in additional markets as supply comes online. These actions are part of the company’s global responsible sourcing strategy, which includes a focus on animal welfare. Last year, Hilton announced a global ban of the sale of shark fin in all owned and managed properties.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]