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Malaysian Pharma company finds Planning and Scheduling success with Preactor
July 2010
Starting out in Asia over 60 years ago, Zuellig Pharma has established itself as the leading healthcare distribution solution specialist in the region. Serving 15 countries and regions in Asia, Zuellig Pharma is constantly evolving its quality services, IT systems, facilities and management in order to create enduring market partnerships based on trust, open communication, responsiveness, vision and top results. The Malaysia business unit; Zuellig Pharma Sdn Bhd (ZPMY) serves over 100 Multi National Pharmaceutical and OTC Principals providing importation, receiving and warehousing, sales order processing, invoicing/credit risk management & collection, Retail Sales Force, and Repackaging and Labeling services.

ZPMY’s Repackaging and Labeling services grew out of the necessity for track and trace within the complex pharmaceutical supply chain; most pharmaceutical products must be labeled with special holograms in order to differentiate “name brand” products from counterfeit items, which are extremely dangerous for the consuming patient. Service offerings include inkjetting of expiry dates, handling of samples, promotional pack conversion, and many other types of “light manufacturing”. All repackaging is handled within ZPMY’s word class Central Distribution Center, considered one of the most advanced DCs in the Asian Region. Within the DC, the repackaging areas are equipped with automatic production machines which manage hologram labeling, shrink wrapping, ink jetting, and other manual miscellaneous jobs. The repackaging area designated for Pharmaceutical products and is Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, providing a safe environment for handling of pharmaceutical products, Dangerous Goods, Cytotoxic Goods, etc.



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With approximately 8,000 actives SKU’s under management and 230,000 units passing through the repackaging areas; ZPMY was challenged by the growing complexity of their repackaging operations; namely scheduling work centers and prioritizing urgent work orders (known at ZPMY as jobsheets). ZPMY had to rely on physical arrival of inbound shipment before planning and scheduling light manufacturing and assigning the required resources and materials to complete the job. To add to the complexity; sometimes SKU’s arriving are already on backorder, which required much manual coordination to expedite through each work center.

zuellig3.pngPatrick Macdonald, a Business Process Analyst, and Hui Min Wong, the Quality Manager, who are the key movers for the Preactor project, commented noticeable advantages with Preactor system in ZPMY.
 
ZPMY sought out an external software to manage a dynamic planning and scheduling system. After evaluation of three different software, Preactor was selected with Malaysian vendor Optimal Expert Management Solutions Sdn Bhd handling the implementation.

ZPMY went live with Preactor in August 2009 on time and within budget. Since implementation light manufacturing operations have become much smoother, namely for SKU’s on backorder. With a smoother process the cycle time to get backordered SKU’s ready for sale to customers has reduced lost sales for ZPMY’s Principals. Scheduling has also improved compliance as Preactor now hard codes the schedule for selected SKU’s to be performed in designated areas (i.e. Cytotoxic, Dangerous Goods, etc).

Resource management has also benefitted as Supervisors can see the schedule for their respective work center, while management can open, close, or change/convert work centers according to resources required for the current light manufacturing volume. This has led to a more efficient use of resources.
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Preactor can be considered a success at ZPMY due to the strong IT team from ZPMY, the support of the project management team, and the technical capabilities of Preactor.