In part two of our interview series, Uwe Harbauer, Senior Vice President Business Unit Pharma, explains what it takes to shape and maintain successful customer relationships.
Last month, we spoke about the changing relationships between drug manufacturers and equipment providers. How does in-depth market knowledge shape these relationships?
Uwe Harbauer (UH): While specific drug expertise will always remain the key competence of pharmaceutical manufacturers, it is no longer sufficient for equipment suppliers to have in-depth knowledge about coating, filling, packaging and the like. We need to understand product characteristics, know the different markets, see new trends coming and be up-to-date with all regulatory requirements.
How do you realize this in your day-to-day work?
UH: We see proactive compliance as part of our daily business. This includes monitoring the regulatory environment and supporting our customers at a very early stage of a project, or even before its start. For instance, when the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) General Chapter 1207 on Container Closure Integrity (CCI) Testing was revised, we already had matching solutions in our portfolio, such as the new KHS inspection machine for Headspace Leak Detection (HSA). Another example is our modular serialization solution, which helps customers to adapt their processes to different national legislation.
Could you provide a practical example?
UH: A large generic producer from the MENA region sells his products in the local market, as well as in Europe and the US – all with different serialization specifications. The majority of pharmaceuticals is packaged at the production sites in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Against this background, our customer required a flexible solution which is able to fulfil far more than just one national guideline. We recommended an upgrade of several packaging lines with CPS modules for track & trace, as well as the implementation of the CPI software, which we implemented to their entire satisfaction.
Read part 3 of the interview series in December.
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