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Life sciences

Historically highly profitable, the life sciences industry is now undergoing accelerated change in a context of economic pressure, increasing regulatory requirements, price/service competitivity on OTC products, deregulation and the rationalisation of public health devices.

Challenges in the life sciences industry

Facing these evolutions, pharmaceutical laboratories must continually improve service to their customers through the development/launch of new products or their improvement, and the development of service to the patient and the prescribers, taking advantage of digital capabilities.

Laboratories must also continue to look for scale effects to reduce increasing costs of R&D through industrial or distribution synergies. Acquisitions must be integrated effectively, particularly concerning organisational structure, processes and IT.

Life science companies need to be increasingly flexible whilst controlling costs; adapting the distribution strategy, improving demand steering and the collaboration model through controlling the balance between demand, inventory and industrial capacity, evolving the industrial model (decoupling points, delayed differentiation, campaign size), stock policy optimisation, production cycle reduction and the management of change controls.

How we can help with life science challenges

We help life science companies transform, from operations assessment to the implementation of improvement initiatives throughout the supply chain.

Operations strategy

  • governance and supply chain and operations organisation
  • make or buy and industrial footprint
  • reduction of catalogue complexity
  • carve out/post-merger integration

Operations digitalisation

  • real-time traceability via IoT (flows, transportation, parallel markets, temperature monitoring etc.)
  • demand forecasting
  • manufacturing process control
  • predictive maintenance development
  • APS system deployment

Economic performance and cost control

  • (re)design to value
  • efficiency of purchases/should-cost of packaging
  • industrial competitiveness
  • inventory reduction
  • SG&A reduction
  • cost to serve and logistics routes optimisation
  • governance and performance steering


  • NPI
  • planning chain synchronisation and execution: sell > replenish > produce > order
  • reactivity and industrial flexibility (MTO/MTS, production campaign size, security distribution and demand signal stabilisation)


  • change control management
  • serialisation model choice and time to market control
  • release process
  • control of the master data


  • supply chain steering and APS deployment
  • interaction with the CDMOs: supplier development
  • collaborative planning with manufacturers
  • risk management of supply sources

Our approach

We apply a combination of technical expertise, operational experience and business knowledge to help our clients solve life science issues and deliver lasting results. Our personal, and pragmatic approach, with challenge where needed, ensures buy-in at all levels of our clients’ businesses and a successful outcome. We have worked with a wide range of organisations in the life sciences industry including Arysta, Pfizer, Merck, GSK, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, Servier and IPSEN.  Learn more about us here.

Life sciences case studies

Planning hub location selection

pharmaceutical company

Planning hub location selection

Pfizer is one of the world’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical companies, developing over 100 different medicines and consumer healthcare products every year.

In order to drive excellence and reduce costs the demand planning functions across Europe were to be centralised into a regional hub. Senior stakeholders were unsure of the best location based on cost saving potential and availability of qualified people.


  • Assess and analyse the demand planning labour market in a number of key regions; Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, India and the Baltics
  • Research key socio-economic elements for each country, conduct analysis and make recommendations
  • Create a report on the recommendations including supporting evidence
  • Comprehensive report detailing the estimated cost saving and demand planning experience in each country
  • Recommendations for two options; low cost (circa 70% cost saving vs Western Europe benchmark) and a lower risk option
  • Planning hub location selected from the options provided

Global operating model development

global pharma

Global operating model development

Merck is a major global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of innovative pharmaceutical products. This includes vaccines, medications, and consumer and animal health products. It is headquartered in New Jersey, USA with worldwide marketing and manufacturing sites.

The company was in the early stages of implementing new planning systems and processes. However, there was no common understanding of what the end to end planning landscape would look like.


  • Collate the planning process designs into one global operating model (GOM) document
  • Document the supply chain design to support the change process
  • Designed a global operating model covering demand management, supply management and S&OP
  • All processes documented with linkages, responsibilities and metrics and incorporating cross-industry best practice
  • Business-wide understanding of the ‘to-be’ planning model and the changes to current ways of working


Logistics contracting

global pharma

Logistics contracting

GSK is a global healthcare company with three divisions: pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare. The company has commercial operations in more than 150 countries, a network of 86 manufacturing sites in 36 countries and large R&D centres in the UK, USA, Spain, Belgium and China.

The company had created a new venture in the consumer health area, and needed to consolidate in-market logistics contracts. New logistics contracts were required, in addition to rolling out standard contracts. The scope covered a number of markets across Europe.


  • Drive new transport and warehousing contracts with a wide variety of logistics contractors across Europe
  • Identify opportunities for cost reduction and efficiencies through benchmarking and analysis
  • Document and report the project to ensure alignment with other initiatives
  • New contracts negotiated and agreed based on a standard contract format
  • Fully benchmarked costs and performance
  • Cost savings and efficiencies of 3%-5%
  • Recommendations on which areas would benefit from a market RFP to drive further cost reduction


Order to cash process improvement

global biopharma

Order to cash process improvement

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is a global biopharma company focused on delivering innovative medicines to help patients fight serious diseases.

Following the shift of their business, financial, procurement, HR and IT services into a European above market capability centre, BMS was looking to standardise and optimise processes to improve operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience. The client needed our help to identify improvement opportunities in the end to end order to cash process.


  • Assess existing order to cash processes across 20+ EMEA markets
  • Benchmark processes against industry best practice to identify improvement opportunities
  • Evaluate and prioritise improvement opportunities to establish an implementation roadmap
  • Identified 37 opportunities to improve operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction
  • Workstreams prioritised based on a number of factors (complexity, benefits, impact, resources, strategic alignment)
  • Stakeholder buy-in across all levels
  • A manageable programme of 20+ workstreams with a PMO to manage progress



Multi-regional network strategies


Multi-regional network strategies

The largest of second-tier agrichemical businesses, Arysta operates in more than 100 countries worldwide with key markets in Brazil, North America and Europe. Arysta LifeScience manages a portfolio of more than 200 active ingredients with 4,000 employees worldwide.

The company wanted to review its North American and European networks to understand the opportunities for cost savings.

  • Model the ex-factory network flows, costs and options in Europe and North America
  • Analyse industry standard transport costs versus rates paid to identify what the cost should be
  • Model the optimum networks for Europe and North America to deliver to all key markets within eight hours
  • Create compelling business cases for each network


  • Identified that network opportunities were in managing the current cost structures more effectively
  • Identified 20% savings in the European transport operation and 50% in the US transport operation
  • Identified significant benefits in optimising the location of inventory and warehouses in US
  • Solution implemented by the company