Medical technology & pharmaceuticals

Characteristics and particularities
Industry insight

The medical technology and pharmaceuticals sectors are among the most dynamic branches of manufacturing industry due to the independence from economic developments and the existence of a growing demand-side market. Nevertheless, tighter regulation, near-term legislative amendments, the expiry of patents and not least increasing price sensitivity among consumers and health insurance providers present significant challenges to the industry. Stronger competition with generic products and the growth of personalised medication are precipitating further changes in the market circumstances. Pharmaceutical and medical technology companies are increasingly responding by initiating reorganisation and optimisation projects throughout the supply chain, from suppliers and production, to distribution and interfaces with patients.

Challenges to
ensure competitiveness

Specific framework conditions and special challenges that are characteristic of the medical technology and pharmaceuticals industries:

  • Globalisation of production and value chains
  • Outsourcing of non-core content to suppliers and contract manufacturers
  • Strong growth in new markets requires alternative distribution channels and modified processes
  • Lean management in production and logistics to enhance efficiency and flexibility
  • Optimisation of the entire supply chain: Distribution/sales, scheduling, procurement, production – through smart SCM approaches
  • New products need to be launched quickly and efficiently on the marketplace (new product launch)
  • Quick, punctual supply of patients requires the introduction of additional measures and solutions in the supply chain, especially for the last mile
  • Increasing volatility of customer requirements, caused by promotions and tendering
  • Hospitals are optimising their logistics; this requires client-oriented supply concepts such as vendor managed inventory
  • Rising volumes of over-the-counter products (OTC) that must be treated in the supply chain like consumer goods

Selected consulting focuses

  • Forecasting and demand planning
  • Sales and operations planning (S&OP), integrated planning and control
  • Intelligent scheduling procedures
  • Order fulfilment processes
  • Production and logistics networks
  • Distribution processes, replenishment and line-side presentation strategies
  • Procurement and logistics strategies
  • Inventory optimisation along the value chain
  • Lean SCM methods
  • Lean production
  • Warehouse and logistics optimisation
  • Outsourcing of logistics, service provider concepts
  • SCM/IT applications for forecasting, planning and control, e.g. SAP-APO and -IBP
  • Indicator systems (KPI) in the supply chain

Project examples
Customer benefits through industry expertise

A selection from our extensive range of products.

Implementation of group-wide supply chain planning solutions for a German pharmaceuticals Group:

  • Development of concepts and corresponding processes for demand forecasting and planning and for sales & operations planning (S&OP) between the distribution companies and the production plants worldwide.
  • Optimisation of inventories in the complete supply chain through application of an ebp tool and modification of the scheduling principles.
  • Development of organisational structures for supply chain planning. Definition of requirements and preparation of specifications for the rollout of the SCM software SAP-APO (Advanced Planner & Optimizer).

Reorganisation of the supply chain and warehouse logistics for one of the world's leading medical technology groups:

  • Analysis of the distribution network in several countries and development of optimisation scenarios for the number and location of sites, article distribution and inventory days, with due consideration of all factors along the entire supply chain.
  • Strategic optimisation of a warehouse location and the distribution processes in a European country. Implementation of warehouse planning and support in the procurement of materials handling and warehouse technology.
  • Development and implementation of VMI concepts to the consumers as a new distribution strategy aimed at reducing inventory and offering added value to customers.

Optimisation of assembly and logisticsfor an international manufacturer of medical technology:

  • Planning of structures and processes within assembly and logistics at the headquarters in Switzerland as a means of modelling the vast growth and increase in process efficiency.
  • Restructuring and segmentation of machine assembly and surface use. Introduction of flow manufacturing during implementation of lean production principles in the segment of large machines.
  • Planning of the new, automatic warehouse with shuttle technology and downstream supply of the assembly zone, from order picking to line-side presentation at the assembly sites. Preparation of specifications for the technology and the new warehouse management system, as well as proposal of possible suppliers.