It is true that the environment in which pharmaceutical organizations operate is lot different from other sectors. But it is still possible to successfully implement OpEx in Pharma sector and reap benefits. The key is to understand the spirit of OpEx principles and apply them to suit the corporate objectives. Executive management should play pivotal role in creating conducive atmosphere for implementation of OpEx.
Several large organizations are already implementing or in the process of implementing OpEx. There are many potential areas where OpEx can be applied within a Pharma company to improve operational efficiencies. Some of the areas where OpEx is being applied are:
  • New drug development process
  • Reducing manufacturing process variability and waste
  • Improving API yield and minimizing cost
  • Batch record time and cost reduction
  • Optimal equipment startup/shutdown time
  • Increasing dissolution and yield
  • Reducing dispensing to package cycle time
  • Lead time reduction, WIP inventory minimization, and reduction in production space
  • Smooth product launch
  • Planning ahead to keep supply chain healthy
  • Improving supply chain to enhance revenue flow
  • Optimizing movement of goods from warehouse to packing lines
  • Rapid replenishment to the forward distribution centers
As it is evident from the above, there are several potential areas where OpEx can be applied without compromising regulatory aspects and quality. The OpEx concepts can be applied to other business segments also. It is very much possible to implement OpEx in Pharma sector. OpEx concepts are not all difficult to understand. There is no reason to panic as they are easy to understand and implement. It is high time that mid-size and small size companies also seriously consider implementing OpEx concepts to sustain competitive pressure and enhance growth. OpEx implementation requires executive management blessing, all employee participation and disciple to focus on continuous improvement which will give the desired results. If the desired results are not achieved, it has nothing to do with the OpEx concepts per say. It really boils down to our inability to understand the true spirit of the OpEx concepts and apply them in the context. There are no short cuts. One should not expect results overnight. The change process takes time and one has to be patient. OpEx must be implemented with the right mind set and disciple. Results are bound to follow.