In view of an accelerating pace of change driven by increasing regulation, expiring patents, and international competition, the international leaders of the pharmaceuticals industry are facing great challenges: product quality and reliability of supply are no longer enough to guarantee commercial success, and costs are becoming an increasingly important factor. The most successful companies in the future will be those who combine a strong innovation pipeline with benchmark-competitive costs structures; the only way to achieve this unlocking of value, however, is to question operative processes along the whole supply chain and to break up ingrained structures.
In this endeavour, pharmaceuticals companies stand to learn the most from the automotive industry, a pioneering sector in terms of costs efficiency and on-time delivery. Operational excellence (OPEX) and production efficiency (e.g. using specific OEE management) are a key factor in reaching the costs goals which will become necessary in future.
It’s not all bad news, however: OPEX works very well when applied to the pharmaceuticals sector, as the authors of this work demonstrate using a range of real-life case-studies.