Situation

Our client markets para-pharmaceutical products such as drugs, medical devices, cosmetics and food supplements. Its product portfolio with qualitative and original in-licensed products are sold directly in the Benelux countries and in the world through export partnerships. It is a family-owned company, managed by the second generation, and experiences strong growth.

Operating in a very regulated and controlled market, its logistical centre was becoming much too small, and an external logistical provider increased costs and errors, so the regulatory authorities imposed a rapid change.

A new large warehouse was rented near their original premises, but the overall complexity and scope of the project quickly appeared to have been under-evaluated.

Challenges:

  • Transforming a blank warehouse (walls and a roof…) in a secure place (some drugs require specially locked and secured spaces),
  • Active Temperature and humidity control
  • Logistic process design and optimization for future growth
  • Definition and Purchasing of state-of-the-art pharma compatible equipment
  • Project management of the whole project in a short timeframe
  • Documentation and inspection/approval by the national Drug Administration
  • Hiring and training of additional staff
  • WMS definition, selection and implementation

As the company had no real logistical expertise inhouse, it decided to hire an Interim Supply Chain Manager. He had strong experience in the contingencies of the pharma regulated operations, and as you say, “had been there before” many times.

Action

The interim manager’s first success was to give confidence to the management and family that things were under control. Quick diagnostic, clear overview of all aspects, and precise budget evaluations created trust and calm. A shared vision of problems and goals was reached, and a consensus on future business design reached.

Collaboration with internal and external parties was quickly established and the project proceeded with speed. Outside of some small technical problems, the project followed its schedule perfectly, and the up and running new warehouse got into production as expected, within budget and timeframe, with the green light of the control authorities.      

Results

The Interim Manager worked 5 months full time, and 4 months half time before leaving with the congratulations of staff and family. The significance of the results are memorialized with a photo album of the whole project sits at the reception and the business continues to grow.