Thursday, March 13, 2014

What are some benefits of collaborating with suppliers to manage your raw material supply chain?

This week, we turn our sights to look at raw materials and supply chain management at Biopharmaceutical Development and Production Week.  Speaker David Kolwyk, M.S., MBA, Principle Scientist, Material Science, Amgen Inc. recently sat down to join us for an interview and previewed many of the topics he plans on look at during his presentation Strategies for Managing Impurities in Upstream Raw Materials.

Today, he discusses the benefits of collaborating with suppliers to manage the raw material supply chain.

Well, I think the biggest thing is that when you collaborate with your suppliers, you are more often able to create a sustainable solution. One of the challenges is, as a manufacturer, you can say: “Well, we just don’t want our suppliers to change anything”, but that’s not terribly realistic because technology develops and maybe process improvements that they have.

So, I think by collaborating with our suppliers, you create a deeper understanding of the process. And through that deeper understanding and knowledge, you can then intelligently help manage change control with the suppliers when they are going to make changes or they are going to have to qualify new raw material for the process. You can also reduce the variability within the process in areas where maybe the supplier didn’t realize that this certain process attribute or this certain control point actually had an impact in our manufacturing process.

So, by working with the suppliers you can both reduce variability and I also think more effectively manage change control for your manufacturing processes going forward. And you can do it in a way that both organizations can benefit and, I think, ultimately benefit the industry overall by creating solutions which are focused more on being able to manage that inherent variability or changes that are going to have to happen as a part of the change control process. And be able to do it in a way that minimizes any disruptions in the supply chain.

David will be presenting Strategies for Managing Impurities in Upstream Raw Materials on Wednesday, March 26 in San Diego.  For more information on her session and the rest or the program, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us for Biopharmaceutical Development and Production Week, as a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code BDP14BLOG, you can save 20% off the standard rate.

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