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Client Industry: Manufacturing; Pharmaceutical

Project Length: 3 months

Solution Category: Business Intelligence; Consulting

ROI: 30% cycle time reduction


Within the pharmaceutical industry, each process has to be documented by a batch record to establish evidence that the manufacturing process has been operated within the pre-established parameters to prove that the produced product meets its pre-determined specifications and quality attributes. Batch records contain the actual data and step by step process for manufacturing each batch and ensures that proper ingredients are added, and each processing step is completed according to the SOP and also ensures uniformity in finished product in each batch. Our client used a hard copy system for batch record tracking and had no visibility of batches and batch records from origination to release. There were no metrics on cycle times, bottlenecks, or status available to key groups throughout the organization that required this information in real-time (customer services, sales, operations, quality, management, and distribution). This lack of visibility lead to cut orders that had a significant negative financial impact on the organization in addition to inflated total plant cycle times required to originate and release batches.

Solution RCI designed a PowerApps-based form to register the location and timing of each movement of every batch/batch record throughout the entire batch record process. This project was further enhanced by building custom software that captured these movements with 2D QR codes via wireless barcode scanners. A Power BI dashboard was developed and deployed on top of the tracking database (below) to display critical KPI's such as cycle time, right first time, count of originated, release, and reject, as well as a live Visio flowchart showing where each record is in real-time.

Impact The project was successfully implemented throughout four sites (all writing to a single database table). Updating in real-time, management is now working on several initiatives targeting the gates with the longest cycle times (bottlenecks). Current right first time metrics average around 65% - management is hoping to achieve 90% with the new system. Total plant cycle time is currently 27 days with targets to improve total plant cycle time to 21 days.

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