Active discussion on inventory management at the Life Science Network Meeting

Bart Paridaen   |   June 05, 2013   |   Life Science   |  

The 7th EyeOn Life Science Network Meeting took place at Croy Castle on May the 23rd 2013. Throughout the day the members of the Life Science network shared ideas and raised questions about effective inventory management. The day revealed that there is an active discussion in many companies on inventory management with the tradeoff between service level optimization and working capital reduction. Both very strong business pressures. In addition many participants indicated that a prerequisite for effective inventory management is transparency of information and visibility of stocks throughout the organization. Furthermore it was illustrated that for most companies effective inventory management is not simply about lowering absolute inventory levels but making inventory decisions part of a well balanced supply chain.

Find below a short summary of the programme of the day. For more information or a copy of a specific presentation please contact one of the members of the EyeOn Life Science Team.


Ernico van Halm from MSD API Operations shared with us how the MSD API supply chain is organized and managed to control inventory at different levels in the organization, from raw materials to intermediates to finished products. In the context of a lengthy supply chain, planning and inventory optimization is complex. Ernico explained on the drivers for stocking points and how inventory levels are monitored to enable production decisions that can reduce inventory substantially.  


Eric Eggenhuizen introduced the Inventory Game. He challenged the network participants divided in smaller groups to calculate the best reorder point for different business dynamics. The results of these reorder strategies where compared with the results of an inventory optimization model developed by EyeOn. Although not very complex, the model can easily provide a solution for different scenarios.

Andre Vriens, Managing Partner of EyeOn, demonstrated the concept of Eventcasting where retailers and producers integrally steer the value chain. By sharing information, making the value chain transparent and creating a joint forecast they are able to manage events (like promotions or new product introductions) better and as a result improve on shelf availability and reduce supply chain (inventory) costs. As the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare services supply chain are expected to become more integrated in the years to come, we discussed the opportunities and benefits that collaborative planning through integral visibility & control could bring the life science value chain.  


Stefaan Motte from Materialise introduced the concepts and technologies of 3D printing for medical applications. Throughout his presentation we discussed the expected opportunities, impact and also complexities of 3D printing for the Life Science supply chain. Topics that were touched upon were spare parts management, late customization and quality control.


The next network meeting planned is the Planning Innovation Day (PID) 2013, to take place on November 7th 2013. This day will take place in a broader setting with participants from all industries combined. In line with the previous PID we expect more than 200 participants from leading international companies. During the day you will have the unique possibility to exchange ideas and extend your professional network. In case there are topics you would like to see addressed on this day please feel free to contact us. We look forward to meet again on the PID 2013!    

Bart Paridaen

Bart Paridaen

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