By Shawn Opatka
Business continuity relies on resilience: the ability to successfully deal with crisis situations like COVID-19, to keep core manufacturing and supportive business processes alive and to adapt to new, threatening environmental changes. Pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers who invest in their resilience gain a competitive advantage over organizations that are less prepared for unforeseen events.
Resilience does not only mean enduring sudden crisis situations. Threatening change tends to unfold much more slowly, like an emerging major competitor, shortage of skilled workers or even global warming. True resilience, in a business context, is "strategic resilience": the capacity to anticipate and adjust, to react quickly to changing conditions, to turn threats into opportunities and to seize those opportunities – in due time, but not in crisis mode.
In this context, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) play a pivotal role and prove to be true game changers. By digitizing production processes, MES provide the basis for the necessary flexible process design and adaptation, for automated real-time production and quality control, and for fast and informed decision-making – ensuring GMP-compliant production processes from clinical trial to commercial manufacturing.