Until recently the Life Sciences sector has been somewhat reluctant to change. Part of that can be traced to the fact that during the last two decades,the industry has been enjoying enviable margins, and has had a philosophy of non-change. But economic crisis can change it all. Now,the pharmaceutical industry is currently being challenged by hard times, and change is required.
Even if this is generally recognized by the managers and workers in the sector, there has not been much action taken towards the need for change and overcoming the obstacles. Lean principles, which have been proven to work, and which can adapt to the requirements of the industry, can be very successful. Lean options are even being applied by regulators, so the time has come to apply the principles to the pharmaceutical industry.
In general, pharmaceutical industries have been slow adopters of lean technology. It is well behind many other sectors that have used its principles to improve performance. This stems from the fact that manufacturing was generally perceived as a cost and not as a way of generating competitive advantage. Focus was on research and development and sales and marketing .. As a result,the manufacturing stage was often overlooked.
But manufacturing processes have become more complex and important. A global and integrated view has to be applied. So an integral and overall strategy needs to be put into action, preferably by business life sciences consulting firms.
However, interim strategies do not always apply. It is not recommended, for instance, in the following circumstances:
- When resources, leadership, and experts are available within the company,
- When the company is not open to changes due to cultural or style reasons,
- When there is not a visible cost/benefit advantage,
- When there are interests that collide, or it is not possible to be objective,
- When the company is not comfortable sharing information with external advisors.
So when pharmaceutical companies do not meet the requirements to bring external consultants, it is probably better off analyzing the processes itself. If, on the other hand, the requirements are met, these are the key elements that should be sought after when hiring an external group:
- The type of service it provides: whether it’s specific or general.
- Whether the group has extensive knowledge and a solid background throughout the stages of the product’s life cycle.
- The services the group does not provide.
- The knowledge and experience of the group.
- Whether they are capable of planning projects and take them to action as well.
- Whether the consultants can meet timelines and deadlines.
- Whether the group delivers customized solutions based on each company’s problems or just canned responses.
Life Sciences consulting is essential to maintain the competitive edge of pharmaceutical producers in the marketplace.
In a changing world, being able to adapt and reformulate is necessary for survival..