Presentation Univ. St Gallen

Key Efficiency Drivers of Quality Control Laboratories in the Pharmaceutical Industry


Name:          Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli

Company:   University of St. Gallen

Title:             Professor for Production Management and Director Institute of Technology Management


Presenter´s biography

Thomas Friedli is Associate Professor for Production Management and Director of the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. His area of expertise is operational excellence, management of global production networks and management of industrial services. He leads 15 doctoral student on applied research projects that focus on new management solutions jointly developed with industry. In 2007, he became an Associate Member of the International Academy for Quality (IAQ). Since 2014, he is also an active member of the RUAG Holding Advisory Board. He is author and co-author of multiple books in the area of his expertise.


In the world of pharmaceutical manufacturing, it is universally understood that a robust quality control laboratory represents one of the key element of quality assurance and on-time product release for every pharmaceutical manufacturing company. It ensures that patients are timely provided with medications that are safe, effective, and reliably produced at a high level of quality. However, despite its bottleneck position the quality control laboratory was widely disregarded by pharma companies in their operational excellence programs in the past. Consequently, efficiency has not been the center of interest in quality control laboratories.

In the recent past laboratory efficiency gained attention as one of the key focus area of operational excellence practitioners. To address the importance of an assessment tool the Institute of Technology Management and selected pharmaceutical companies co-developed an operational excellence benchmarking in 2016 - specifically for quality control laboratories.

It is fundamentally important to identify barriers of laboratory efficiency. Linking effective levers to these areas enables the company to achieve the overall goal to ensure on-time product release and to timely provide medication to the patient. Derived from the benchmarking pilot started in 2016 we will present insights with a focus on efficiency drivers in a quality control laboratory.

“Does smart lab system implementation support the efficiency?” will be one question we want to answer.

Company Introduction

800px-university_of_st-_gallen_logo_englishThe University of St. Gallen located in St. Gallen (Switzerland) was established in 1898 and is one of the top-ranked business schools in Europe with around 8’000 students. The Institute of Technology Management is the biggest institute at the University and is led by four professors with their research focus areas in production management, innovation management, operations management and entrepreneurship.