Building operational efficiencies within your organization is very important. This is especially true as relates to the pharma industry. When it comes to practical process improvement (PPI) there are three important outcomes that will drive efficiencies:
- Increased levels of quality
- Higher Productivity
- Stronger Customer Allegiance
Each employee is responsible for quality assurance, not just the quality department. Quality assurance is a good practice in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products. It supports the process of vouching for integrity of products to meet the standard or above for the proposed use. If you are confident in your product, customers will trust it. Quality assurance ensures manufacturers meet the end-users needs in terms of safety, quality, efficacy, strength, reliability, and durability. Quality is a benchmark of perfection for the end-user. If there are any issues or the product is not perfect then the customer will fill out a complaint relating to a quality issue. A corrective action request must be filled out by the supplier for an investigation to take place. It is important to prevent these non-conformances from happening.
Productivity has been a focus area for pharmaceutical companies because it has been declining over time. There are five known strategies that pharmaceutical companies can use to improve productivity and gain efficiency. The first strategy is outsourcing. Savings can happen by relocating certain operations to areas where labor costs are cheaper. The second strategy is business process management which creates process improvement, standardization, and technology automation. This helps with automating and simplifying clinical trial processes, minimizing errors and risks, improving communication and helping to facilitate collaborative research environment. The third strategy is lean process improvement. This involves eliminating non-value adding activities to increase efficiency or operations and decrease costs. Eliminating unnecessary steps help speed up certain processes to reduce cycle times. The fourth strategy is big data. This drives down costs and increases patient safety by mining real world data from healthcare providers. The fifth and final strategy is strategic industry partnerships and cross company standardization. This helps streamline and improve operations that one company operating in isolation cannot. Working together to share research and solutions will help simplify and accelerate delivery of exciting new medicines for patients.
Customer allegiance supports the customer experience and interaction a customer has with a provider over the lifetime of the relationship. The pharmaceutical perspective on the customer experience is more complex than many other industries because it involves a number of different customers and needs to bear in mind the patient’s perspective as well. Understanding the patient journey is an important part of building customer experience. If a customer has a product that works, and is easy to get hold of and use, this will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, improve patient outcomes, and ultimately boost revenue. You want to meet or exceed the customer’s expectations. It is important to focus on the customer, not the product.
Quality, productivity, and customer allegiance are all three significant outcomes to problem solving and PPI. They are very important in the pharmaceutical industry and are a major success when they are improved. If a company lacks in any of these three areas, the company will not be successful. Each outcome plays an important part in a successful company and in creating strong business relationships. Being able to have a customer’s trust will get you far.