Delaying final packaging until local market demand calls for it can save money
Tjoapack, a contract packaging organization (CPO) based in the Netherlands, is touting the launch of a postponement service, potentially moving more of the pharma supply chain into a just-in-time setup. The first phase of the new postponement service will be fully operational by the end of this quarter, it says.
Postponement is hardly new, and is being offered by, among others, logistics services providers managing global markets for pharma companies. The driving concept is to keep packaging (or packaging components) “market agnostic” for as long as possible in the supply chain, and then either adjusting production to meet market demand quickly, or providing language- and country-specific packaging components to a basic package only near the point of transfer into a market. The other extreme—which the pharma industry has been moving away from for years--is to have a production campaign in a set time, generating all the volume needed for a year, and then keeping the inventory warehoused until needed.
“Postponement packaging can offer customers more control over their supply chains,” said Eric Tjoa, founder of Tjoapack, in a statement. “By giving them the flexibility to adapt to market related variations and avoid repackaging work, it is possible to lower working capital and reduce finished goods inventories. All of which can ultimately help to offset the rising cost of healthcare.”
Tjoapack has 19 packaging lines, producing some 26 million packs of primarily oral solids annually, and serving 42 countries globally. The company will be hosting an event at its facility in Etten-Leur, the Netherlands, on November 22, to discuss its capabilities.