Medica Packaging

Culture of Quality

Recent news articles in print packaging have referenced key players where client experience has declined. Turnarounds and mergers/integrations lead to significant internal focus and often a drop in service to customers. However the longest delay is in establishing a culture of quality and service, but why?


Behaviours can change, Instincts take longer

Most jobs have a dozen behaviours and processes that will account for most of the working day. These functions can be redrawn and retrained over a number of months to alter performance. Measures and targets can then track the change and controls can be added. However even if all processes are changed for an individual the goal of each, the priority for the company will often not be clear or will not include the client.

What does a carton buyer need to know?

Any supply chain change in Pharmaceuticals must start with quality of product. Ensuring a new supplier can deliver to a consistently high standard is a must. Seeing this from the outside is difficult and needs at least a site audit and an inspection to be meaningful. Service levels drive the real cost of supply for packaging; miss one delivery and the impact of a ‘stock out’ on that part will be a multiple of the cost of the carton. Service levels have to be high. Price is, of course, a consideration both in terms of the unit price and how procurement might use a second supplier to benchmark market pricing, whilst ensuring security of supply in a consolidated market.


Company priorities must be lived not taught

One reason cultures take time to be established is that they are hard to teach. In any group environment we are all taking in many layers of communication; body language, written memos, formal training, moments of praise, moments of discipline, and inferring what we need to do to fit in and then succeed. To have a client focused culture there must be consistency of direction across all thee communications.


Fear Stifles Positive Change

A number of players in packaging are struggling at present both in terms of profits and in certainty of direction. In some ways this help explain to staff why change is needed. The bigger impact of fear and uncertainty is to delay and stifles the right actions for the client; self-preservation stops staff admitting to issues, people do not take responsibility for problems, no one takes a lead. Why challenge yourself if you don’t know if you will have a job in two months’ time or if your company might be sold or carved up.


Culture is precious

‘At Medica we are very fortunate to have a long standing focus on quality product and good service,’’ Gerard Harford, MD, Medica Packaging.



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Originally published in Pharmafocus magazine October 2017

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