Implementation of Lean manufacturing – appropriate emphasis on correct thoughts

The implementation of the manufacturing of pharmaceutical companies can be quite smooth and efficient or meet with resistance and only in part. Many have to do with perceptions and attitudes and emphasis on the right implementation. And this is an area where Lean Manufacturing consultants can provide the most and most effective assistance.

Perception and attitudes that inhibit successful implementation, effectively from this solution in the pharmaceutical industry begins from above. Not much in management today see aspects of manufacturing as an area to get a competitive advantage. One of the results of a shrinking profit margin and increasing cost pressure is that the company further reduces their own production and shifts production abroad, where costs are lower, by outsourcing.

What happens is that pharmaceutical executives reduce the task of reducing costs to simple equations. This outsourcing decision, many times, is made only based on no more than a comparison between production costs at the company’s facilities and production costs in the target outsourcing. But is this the best solution? Or it would be better to implement Lean Manufacturing solutions and eliminate waste, continue to strive for a more efficient production process, and become more responsive to customer demand?

Furthermore, as often recorded but rarely handled, there is a departmental properties controlled or silent in the pharmaceutical industry. The separation between manufacturing and R & D has long been the norm – separation that has remote consequences, the weight now feels completely. However, the development of quality products depends on the input of manufacturing. In accordance with the emphasis of Lean Manufacturing in a smooth and integrated production process, there needs to be two-way dialogue between manufacturing and laboratories.

Industrial analyst and Lean Manufacturing consultants suggest that, as the first step, effectiveness must be emphasized at efficiency. But because cost savings are greater than the efficiency aspects of the implementation of Lean manufacturing, senior managers often want to emphasize efficiency rather than the directiveness of the gate, which often see some initial benefits but there is no real long-term success. So, the initial effort, need to focus on reducing variability in the core manufacturing process and thus improving the quality of this process. For example, the first step is possible to carry out more preventive maintenance to reduce unplanned maintenance later in steps that increase first effectiveness to promote the quality and efficiency of making.

Also, the overall lean manufacturing implantation requires a paradigm shift in thinking from top to bottom transferring the emphasis to think about the process in terms of sustainable improvement. According to Thomas Friedli (“Operational Excellence: the opportunity to miss Pharma,”, “This challenge has never really ended. [He] is an ongoing journey that requires management attention at each level.” And he further stated, “To get a purchase at all levels in the operational excellence program, it is obliged that people understand the meaning and objectives of the program … this will ensure that this program is seen as increasing the survival and competitiveness of plants.”

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