Go lean for inventory-turn and lead-time cuts

It appears that like many Americans, drug company manufacturing ops are far from lean. In a long-term cross-industry study that uses inventory turns as an indicator, pharmaceutical companies hold the bottom spot. Johnson & Johnson, now struggling with a 50-million unit product recall and fighting DoJ kickback accusations, shines as one of just two drug companies adept at lean manufacturing.

The drug industry's "but we're different" excuse for avoiding lean, first espoused during far better economic times, no longer holds water, writes Robert Spector of Tunnell Consulting in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. A history of corporate spending on the favored children--R&D and compliance--has left its mark on operational efficiency and production costs.

In a case history, the author shows how adoption of a manufacturing pull system produced lower inventories and reduced variability within the cost-challenged plant of a global manufacturer. Set-up reduction and other lean techniques also contributed to a work-in-progress inventory reduction of 35 percent and a 56 percent cut in production lead time, among other cost-saving improvements.

- here's the article


Using AI and RWD to Uncover Rare Disease Insights, Accelerate Commercialization and Improve Patient Outcomes

Wednesday, March 24 | 2pm ET / 11am PT

Learn how IPM.ai transformed real world data into real world insights to assist Audentes in their development of AT132 for the treatment of XLMTM. The session reviews how IPM.ia and Audentes collaborated to uncover the XLMTM patient population.