As reported in Pharmafocus in August 2017 the cost of inefficient production processes in Pharma might be in excess of $50Bn a year with several hundred leading drugs being in short supply worldwide. The suggestion for big Pharma is to adapt and use continuous manufacturing to remove inefficiencies, but other lessons can be taken.
Value your time
Few businesses know the cost of changing their plans and some still do not understand the cost of idle machines / lines. If the calculations are done at worst every lost hour is an equal share of the costs but in reality, each lost hour is a missed opportunity to fill that hour with sales at a margin! As a rule of thumb a £100m turnover contract packing business operating 12 hrs a day for a normal working week will lose £38k per hour lost across the factory. Often if such a business gains an hour there are few associated costs and so half of the sales might become profit.
Remove every small delay
Continuous improvement starts with an assessment of downtime and delays to an optimal production run. There are the usual issues of machine breakdown, planned maintenance and make ready times in the core issues. Beyond core issues several, often overlooked, causes come into play. Delays such as stock outs can cause multiple impacts in changing plans, shortening production runs and also preventing a planned job from starting. These show up as many small delays, but all are caused by selecting the wrong supplier.
Work with your suppliers
For improvements relating to stock levels and for advice on how the product supplied might be affecting upstream efficiency, manufacturers need to work with suppliers. Medica has an open door policy where clients are welcomed onsite to understand our processes and clients often do the same. Discussing losses in efficiency can lead to major improvements at little cost, it starts with communication.
Having worked with many contract packers, manufacturers and growing companies Medica has developed its operations to support a flexible work plan and a five day lead time. Five day lead times mean many of the delays caused by cartons and leaflets not being on site are removed.
“It is our view that our clients should never be left waiting for Medica product. We do not delay packing, we do not let clients down. Our products are of fantastic quality but we also have to get them to the line when needed and respond to clients needs. If any manufacturer cannot rely on their carton or leaflet suppler they need to talk to us.” Gerard Harford, MD, Medica Packaging.
Consult the experts to understand the opportunity for you. Medica packaging has been advising clients on packaging and related developments since 1922. Medica is dedicated to flexibility and continuous improvement. We have over twenty staff qualified in lean manufacturing and a mentality to strive for more.
Having added to the design studio in 2016 Medica can deliver curved edged cartons, braille, raised ink, blockfoil backgrounds and other solutions to maximise product appeal and patient confidence. All this with a five day lead time.
For more information please contact Medica on firstname.lastname@example.org