Reimagining Tomorrow – Pharma Manufacturing

Umang Vohra

September 3, 2020

Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed the large-scale disruptions brought in by COVID-19 across every sphere of human and business activity. Being in the business of saving lives, it was critical for us at Cipla to ensure unrestricted production and supply of life-saving medicines. During these challenging circumstances, when employee safety was utmost priority and uninterrupted supply was equally important, manufacturing facilities over the world were walking the tight rope. Facilities were running at reduced capacities; #API supply chains were disrupted due to export lockdown and then the nation-wide lockdown abruptly brought the entire country to a halt. This pandemic not only served as a wake-up call - spotlighting the need for every nation to be self-reliant, but it also accelerated automation, newer ways of thinking and doing things.

“Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors’ – Franklin Roosevelt

Navigating the new normal

Challenges like running manufacturing operations at reduced capacities and the supply and demand volatility accelerated Industry 4.0 - building leaner and agile operations, dynamic planning and process simplification. Disruptions brought in by the pandemic reset the manufacturing and supply chain network; placing emphasis on evaluating partnerships for scaling up in-house capacities to create a resilient #supplychain aided by digital analytics. Digitization and automation ensured efficiency in quality and compliance by reducing manual errors, transcending any future disruptions as well as allowing faster and effective resolution of problems. Real-time data and analytics help track trends, minimise deviations, provides better visibility across shop floors and improves overall quality and efficiency.

One of the biggest barriers in digital transformation will be addressing talent gaps. A future-ready agenda stipulates a dire need for talent with cognitive and creative capability, combined with an insatiable digital appetite. An organization designed for disruption, change management, speed and agility will see powerful outcomes, including greater customer engagement, enhanced capabilities, and better performance, in terms of cost efficiency, revenues, and return on capital.

Restricted business operations compelled us to rethink our business models across multiple dimensions. As this global crisis evolves and the new reality sets in, we must swiftly adapt and leverage this opportunity to partake in this quest for a reimagined tomorrow.