New year, new order – This time around … – Editorial
January typically is a time when we ensure things are in order so that we can start off the year well organized. Appropriately, this month’s articles cover issues related to the structure and organization of pharmaceutical manufacturing.
When a plant manager thinks about improving efficiency, a manufacturing execution system (MES) can be a valuable tool. These systems provide a critical interface between plant-floor controls and enterprise resource planning systems that manage the supply chain. A good MES can make the process of communicating information from one level to the other more efficient and accurate. However, implementing these systems can present challenges, and validation, regulation, and compliance are key concerns. Our special report (page 38) examines these issues and takes a look at the future of MES.
In another article, Scheuring (page 66) tackles a different concern of pharmaceutical manufacturers and laboratories: gas supplies. By explaining how to think about impurities, minimize contamination risks, and manage supplies, the author offers solutions that can help ensure quality and provide cost savings.
Miller, in turn (page 86), informs us of changes occurring in the way outsourced wholesaling is organized. As companies shift to manufacturing according to demand rather than according to projected targets, the structure of the supply chain is evolving. Some outsourced wholesalers are already adapting their own business structures as a result.
And in Packaging Forum (page 34), Forcinio describes the latest packaging machines, which include features such as servo motors, PC-based control, and modularity that increase flexibility and accuracy. With equipment like that, it is easy to have one’s packaging house in order!
The new year is here. As you get ready to roll up your sleeves and get organized, reading these pages may be a good place to start.
Laura Bush, Managing Editor
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