Digitization Drives Results for Contract Manufacturers


From testing to treatment, contract manufacturing and packaging organizations – particularly those in pharma and bio pharma – are closely involved in responding to COVID-19. Increasing production capacity while minimizing costs remains a top priority as demand continues to rise. A report published this spring noted the contracted development and manufacturing organization market value will reach $128.4 billion in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5%.(1)

With the pandemic illustrating the importance of scalability among contract manufacturing and packaging organizations, now is an ideal to time invest in digital tools. Customers that adopted MasterControl Manufacturing Excellence™ saw significant results including increased production capacity and faster time to market.

The improvements seen by contract manufacturing and packaging customers are highlighted below.

Address Quality on the Line

It’s increasingly important to address quality at the source – on the production line. Doing so ensures an organization can adhere to high standards while meeting tight delivery schedules.

A new customer and leading 503B compounding facility adopted Manufacturing Excellence and experienced the following improvements immediately:

  • Records and documents are kept in an electronic format, which makes them legible and complete.
  • Corrections and accountability are clear, and this helps staff expedite reports through production stages.
  • Errors are significantly reduced.

Improve Transparency and Increase Efficiency

A recent survey conducted by Accenture shows that 91% of life sciences companies plan to increase their use of contract manufacturing and packaging organizations over the next three years. With frequent customer audits, and a rise in demand, it is critical to have the ability to provide transparency quickly.(2)

Wellington Foods, a leading contract manufacturer of nutraceuticals, says Manufacturing Excellence helps build trust with customers because they can provide real-time information about where their product is on the production line and when it will be ready.

“Our customers depend on us to have a system that works for them. If they give us an order for a multivitamin that’s due in six weeks, that requires (us) to accumulate a great number of products, approve everything, schedule, and produce all at one time,” said Tony Harnack, president of Wellington Foods.

Eliminate Errors and Shorten Review Times

In addition to transparency, Wellington Foods needed a solution to help shorten review times. Finished products sometimes waited on the shop floor for 10-15 days while a review of paper batch records took place. Incomplete and illegible information was causing a ripple effect throughout production that cost time and money. When the company started using electronic production records, they saw a 90%-100% decrease in common data-input errors. Being able to set data limits and automatically reject incorrect entries allows them to fix errors in real-time. As a result of addressing problems early on in the manufacturing process, review periods were shortened to three days – a 75%-80% reduction.

Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging was an early adopter of Manufacturing Excellence and preliminary findings show they have reduced the quality review process per batch record from two to three hours, to 10-15 minutes.

Another customer implemented Manufacturing Excellence and the move from paper to electronic production records boosted employee efficiency by 30%. Through digitization they also saw a significant decrease in overall manufacturing costs.

Optimize Resources

Too much energy goes into managing production paper work and sometimes results in people accidentally duplicating work. Rather than focus on pushing paper, it’s ideal to have a workforce focusing on innovative activities that generate revenue.

A great deal of energy goes into managing production record paperwork, and it often results in people accidentally duplicating work. Through digitization, it’s possible to shift the focus of a workforce from pushing paper to innovative activities that generate revenue. Some MasterControl customers went live and saw a 50% reduction in the number of hours individuals spent focusing on production record paperwork. The result is more people working to get products to market faster.

The right technology makes it possible for manufacturers to focus on quality while increasing capacity, eliminating errors, and conducting faster reviews. When quality becomes a central part of business, companies see improvements in key areas and gain a competitive edge.

  1. "Global Pharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing (CMO) Global Market Report 2020-30: Covid-19 Impact and Recovery," Business Wire, April 2020.
  2. "Dare to be Different: It's time to revamp collaboration in life sciences manufacturing," by Anne Marie O'Halloran, Barry Havey and Greg Ciccarelli, Accenture, 2019

Dale Thompson - Profile PictureDale Thompson is a content marketing specialist at MasterControl’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her areas of expertise are pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. Thompson’s varied career includes extensive work in grant writing and journalism as well as crafting content to highlight the work of biology professors and paleontologists. She has a bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in professional communication from Westminster College.

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