Dietmar Siemssen, CEO What does the packaging of products mean to you as a customer? While a customer’s infatuation with a product solely based on its great packaging can be applicable for most of the industry verticals, within the pharma ecosystem, it plays a critical role in maintaining the identification and stability of the drugs. In an era where packaging is deemed as a catalyst toward improved health and well-being, Gerresheimer [ETR: GXI] pioneers as a leader in contributing to this cause with its specialty glass and plastic products. Established in 1864 as a glass-blowers manufacturing firm, Gerresheimer today stands as a global partner that delivers a portfolio of pharmaceutical specialty glass and plastic products for the safe, simple administration of medicines. Gerresheimer is driven by its people’s passion for delivering solutions that improve the entire healthcare ecosystem. The company boasts worldwide operations with over 10,000 employees that help in delivering pharmaceutical packaging products as well as convenient and safe drug delivery systems such as insulin pens, inhalers, micropumps, prefillable syringes, injection vials, ampoules, bottles, and containers for medicines and cosmetic products. Gerresheimer’s customer base includes both international and national pharmaceutical companies, American pharmacies as well as companies in the diagnostic and medical technology industries.
The Legacy of Care Delivery
Gerresheimer initially catered to the rising demand for glass bottles for various labs and other scientific processes. With plants in Europe, North and South America, and Asia, Gerresheimer generates revenues of approximately EUR 1.4 bn. Today, the company operates through three divisions: plastics & devices, primary packaging glass, and advanced technologies, and has allocated individual group companies. The plastics & devices division offers a host of drug delivery systems such as inhalers, pen systems, and injection systems; sterile and non-sterile prefillable syringe systems for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. This division is also responsible for manufacturing disposables for various analysis systems that are used in laboratories and medical practices, quick tests for patients in medical practices or hospitals, skin-prick aids and lancets for diabetics, disposables and components for dialysis machines, and catheters and surgical devices.
We develop and define plant-specific improvement schemes as part of the operational and strategic planning process
It also produces containers for the delivery of tablets and powders, parenteral packaging applications, liquid dosages, ophthalmic and rhinological applications, oral prescription medications, and cosmetics.
The Primary Packaging Glass division of Gerresheimer delivers glass-based primary packaging for medicines and cosmetics. The offerings include vials, syrup, ampoules, cartridges, and dropper bottles, tablet jars, and wide-neck jars, as well as infusion, injection, and transfusion bottles; pots and flacons for deodorants, fragrances, and care and decorative cosmetics; and jars and bottles for spirits and food. The recent acquisition of the Swiss technology company Sensile Medical enabled Gerresheimer to lay the groundwork for its latest division—Advanced Technologies—dedicated to developing and producing intelligent drug delivery systems. The division’s current portfolio encompasses patented micropumps for self- treating diabetes or heart disease, for example. By making this strategic acquisition, Gerresheimer has gained a highly innovative technology, thus enhancing its capability and product portfolio.
After decades of experience of working with glass and plastics, and handling complex production processes, Gerresheimer has built up a high level of engineering expertise that can be instrumental in bringing continuous improvement of production processes and product quality. The company pays special attention to achieving it ultimate vision of improving health and well-being of patients across the globe. In doing so, Gerresheimer understands each of their customers irrespective of the size and provides them with solutions that can meet both their present and future needs. Living up to their commitment to excellent quality and continuous innovation, Gerresheimer leverages its competence and technological leadership by acting as one global team and strives to be an employer with highly motivated and passionate employees all across the globe. “We develop and define plant-specific improvement schemes as part of the operational and strategic planning process,” explains Dietmar Siemssen, CEO of Gerresheimer. Based on the operational excellence indicators and a standardized evaluation system, the company regularly measures and assesses the progress of the objectives and comply with the predefined standards.
Until now, more than 200 staff members have been successfully trained as auditors who can help implement the system in the coming years. Based on the auditors’ assessments, Gerresheimer devises site-specific recommendations and action plans, which ensures the ongoing implementation of targeted continuous improvement measures.
The company has also launched Gerresheimer Management System (GMS) that helps the company underpin its business excellence and lay the groundwork for continuously improving all of its business processes. Having experienced constant development since 2004, the GMS combines concepts for continuous improvement, streamlined production, and a focus on quality and customers within a standard, group-wide framework that is tailored to their clients’ requirements.
Setting Tomorrow’s Pharmacy Trends
By adhering to its four growth drivers—stronger growth with existing and new customers, ongoing product development and innovation, regional expansion, and additions to the service and value portfolio—Gerresheimer has succeeded in taking a major step forward in the pharma and healthcare ecosystem. Looking forward, Gerresheimer is extending its business model in the direction of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for drug delivery platforms with digital and electronic capabilities for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers. Part of the company’s growth strategy is to devise innovative products and solutions and meet the pharma customers’ increasingly stringent quality requirements. Gerresheimer will continue to invest in optimizing production and product quality and portfolio, working closely with customers and partners from the industry, academia, and other institutions.
"Gerresheimer is driven by its people’s passion for delivering solutions that improve the entire healthcare ecosystem"
Furthermore, Gerresheimer has recently succeeded in becoming the primary supplier to one of the largest heparin producers. This partnership will enable the company to supply this customer with prefillable syringes under the multi-year contract. This is an outcome of Gerresheimer’s systematic persuasion of its syringes strategy and its ongoing remarkable operational performance in the syringe business. Talking about the company’s organic base growth for the financial years 2019 and 2020, Gerresheimer initially expects to grow with the market for products relevant to the company. The company is expecting a growth rate of one percentage point by performing further improvements in the product mix, to be achieved through a shift toward more high-quality products such as biotech syringes, new innovative developments like Elite Glass, and cosmetics finishing. With such strategic acquisition, Gerresheimer will continue to gain highly innovative technologies, and enhance its capability and product portfolio.
- Arijit Sarkar February 11, 2019
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