Inventory System Streamlines Procurement for cGMP Drug Production Facility


An unstable system for managing production supplies often leads to interruptions in productivity. At a company’s aseptic injectable drug production facility, production personnel lacked a reliable inventory of “cGMP-Approved” and “Non-Approved” supplies necessary to complete critical work in cleanroom areas, resulting in delays to the overall output for the company.

Each department had responsibility for maintaining its own inventory of chemicals, protective apparel, glassware, and other production supplies, but this non-scientific task was a low priority compared with the company’s core pharmaceutical manufacturing goals. As a result, departments purchased too much inventory of some supplies and not enough of others, and without the required inventory on-hand, production areas even faced the risk of shutting down. How could the company keep its inventory sufficiently stocked without compromising its cGMP-certified manufacturing projects?


Using Lean Six Sigma methodology, Avantor Services proposed an inventory system suitable for the FDA-certified facility to manage the efficient delivery of products from receiving areas, into IQ/OQ, and onto the production floor. After reviewing our assessment and recommendations, the company’s leadership team agreed that supply chain and inventory management demands were hurting manufacturing productivity and costing the company both time and money. The company validated our proposed improvements, which included efficiency gains and reduction of operating costs.

Avantor Services provided a dedicated associate to support the three largest departments onsite and manage “cGMP-Approved” inventory (items requiring quality inspection prior to internal delivery) and “Non-Approved” inventory. The company asked Avantor Services to manage the process and designated warehouse space for our team to oversee.

“Avantor Services has been extremely successful at our facility. We depend on the best quality and the best services for high performance. Quality is number one and the service and support
needs to be at the same level.”

Manager of Supplier Development and Purchasing


  • The on-hand inventory value has been reduced from $856,000 to $149,000—a savings of $707,000
  • 2,900 hours were recovered for internal management and technician teams
  • An additional $250,000 in process cost savings was captured for support teams
  • Rush freight charges were reduced by $12,500

The company was able to:

  • Increase the number of hours for workers to focus on core manufacturing responsibilities instead of inventory management
  • Improve focus of management on company productivity
  • Increase the number of batches per month due to material availability
  • Achieve more efficient movement of material per month
  • Eliminate stock-outs in all departments, which allows for steady flow of business
  • Increase the number of product campaigns in manufacturing

Given the success of this inventory management initiative, the company is in the process of expanding the responsibilities of Avantor Services’ onsite service team to other areas in the facility.