Healthcare and other industries are impacted by several trends and drivers that have the potential to reshape the competitive arena. In order to be successful in the future firms have to recognize and prepare for these challenges making use of appropriate key levers for Complexity Management. Social trends can be characterized as the essential drivers. These are e. g. ongoing demographic changes, growing patient awareness, lifestyle diseases and self-diagnostics. As economic trends we often find shrinking market entry barriers, the need for staff training, an increasing fitness and wellness industry and an urgent need for innovation management. 3 D and 4 K visualization, big data, miniaturization, internet of things, combo products, mobile health, 3 D printing and personalized medicine represent important technological drivers. Being regarded as a system relevant branch by government officials, new regulatory standards, changes in healthcare coverage and cybersecurity are heavily influenced by political factors resulting in a constantly changing regulatory environment.
Manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry is constantly changing and presents huge challenges for nearly all companies. Increasing sales due to the demographic change in the industrialized countries and the increasing demand for medical products from the developing countries allow continually growing production quantities. Rising competitive pressure from generics, expiring blockbusters, shorter patent terms and increasing regulatory demands put the margins of the pharmaceutical producers under pressure. Operational Excellence (OPEX) concepts for increased efficiency as well as our worldwide famous OPEX data base can help you master these challenges.
The diagnostics industry faces the challenge to balance continuing developments such as an aging society, a diversity of new diseases and increasing regulatory demands. Additionally, trends such as the demand for personalized treatments, near-patient testing and lastly increasing cost pressure are constantly gaining in importance. Commercial excellence concepts and radically new innovation processes that intelligently integrate expertises from different disciplines are the requirements to successfully launch solutions faster and gain market shares more quickly.
Innovative MedTech solutions are indispensable for aging societies and the increasing demand in emerging countries. In spite of all growth prospects, all suppliers are faced with growing development risks. The central challenges of Complexity Management are to master health economics, overcome regulatory approval thresholds and meet the needs of greater connectivity of devices and systems. In more than 50 projects our 12 Lean Innovation principles have reliably demonstrated that accurate innovations without waste show sustainable potential for success and, for instance, can be made accessible by innovative platform concepts.
High degrees of freedom and highly intense competition meet increasing personalization of products. The central challenge of Complexity Management is to design product architectures in a way that allows to quickly generate derivates. This includes using platform and modularization methodologies that until now have been reserved for "iron and steel products". Subsequently, the network complexity of the global production networks needs to be optimized so that the correct solutions are globally available at the right time. More than 40 projects globally have shown that speed is a valuable competitive advantage.
The global manufacturing network of a leading healthcare manufacturer for diagnostics exhibited noticeable differences in performance and operational excellence (OPEX) among sites. Internal benchmarking efforts yielded little opportunities for improvements. Therefore, an external benchmark database was put into the equation. Via the OPEX data base of the University of St. Gallen it was possible to position the company’s production sites against a broad range of pharmaceutical production sites and show possibilities to improve productivity, quality and the reduction of lead time. The OPEX data base proved to be instrumental in investigating site performance deviations and finding previously unseen levers for improvement. Individual sites yielded reduction potentials of up to 18 %.
Companies operating in the healthcare sector are facing a high degree of complexity that is constantly rising. Within the tool set of Complexity Management, process orientation is a highly valuable means for eliminating silo mentality and profit from newfound agility. Based on the results of the process orientation project, the case company started the implementation of all improvement measures. Due to the coaching in process orientation, silo thinking and functional divides have been abandoned. Furthermore, the employees involved in the project now truly live the optimized process because it is the result of their own work. Everyone understands what each step in the process adds to the overall value creation and works hand in hand with other functions or organizational departments.