Tailor-made biological sampling kits
Through the acquisition of a new production facility, Marken has further enhanced its depot network and increased its global reach. Gerit Offenhauser, who manages the facility, explains how this strategic partnership between Marken and LabCorp fuses together their logistical and kit-building strengths.
In May 2012, Marken announced that it had acquired a new facility from LabCorp Clinical Trials. The facility, a European kit-building operation based in Hamburg, greatly enhances Marken’s production capacity, distributing up to 60,000 sampling kits every month.
“The facility produces biological sampling kits, but also storage and depot services for ancillary devices that are needed for the clinical trial,” explains Gerit Offenhauser, senior vice-president of clinical trial distribution for Marken. “Basically, everything that will be shipped to investigator sites could be physically stored here.”
Offenhauser, who has managed the facility since 2004, sees the acquisition less as a transaction, and more as a strategic partnership. Through combining their strengths, the decision leaves each business free to focus on its core competencies and more thoroughly serve its clients.
The complete package
Already the leading supplier of global life science supply chain solutions, Marken is committed to improving its service offering and becoming a one-stop shop.
“Through having this kitting operation and depot in the network, it’s one further stepping stone towards becoming a complete provider,” says Offenhauser. “It perfectly ties into our strategy of opening more drug storage depots and completing our footprint around the globe.”
At present, Marken supports over 49,000 clinical investigators across more than 150 countries. Focused entirely on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, the company facilitates the delivery of drugs into even remote countries, optimising the supply chain and tightly controlling cold chain management. This logistical know-how will enable quick transportation, to wherever the biological sampling kits are needed.
The new facility does not just offer physical space – 10,000ft² in total – but numerous, highly experienced personnel. With project leaders and quality assurance professionals on the team, operational expertise is guaranteed: the facility has produced over four million kits to date.
“The majority of employees have vast experience in the life sciences arena, and their experience in project management and line management is unparalleled,” says Offenhauser. “Because our industry is growing, finding qualified project leaders is a huge challenge. So this was like getting a honey pot of extremely well-trained people through the door.”
One of the most flexible players in its industry, Marken has always been quick to react to challenges and create innovative solutions. With customer requirements and legislation ever changing, the company does not use a one-size-fits-all approach. Rather, it tailors its solutions towards each client’s individual needs, bearing in mind understanding of market conditions to provide a customised solution.
“Already the leading supplier of global life science supply chain solutions, Marken is committed to improving its service offering and becoming a one-stop shop”
As Marken continues to evolve, the new facility will help create efficiencies throughout the logistical process. “Now that kitting is truly integrated into the logistics side of things, it will help to drive down costs for clients,” Offenhauser explains. “The time to market, the time to patient and the time to investigator sites for the biological sampling kits will be much quicker.”
The product of a Lean Sigma innovation and evolution process, the production facility boasts strong engineering capabilities, with detailed reporting and performance metrics. It bears all the hallmarks of its 20 years in the industry, with fully audited programmes and a plethora of satisfied clients. These traits, in conjunction with Marken’s leadership, will create a complete supply chain process for a variety of pharma clients.
As Offenhauser puts it: “Clearly we have a great anchor point now, with highly experienced people in the market. This will help us build a true network of kitting operations globally. Our depot network is fast expanding and this is really just a perfect fit.”
Gerrit Offenhauser, Senior Vice President Clinical Distribution
Gerit Offenhauser is a well versed business leader that has worked the past 20 years in the Life Science industry. During that time he has held various leadership positions in Europe and Asia. He has held many senior roles from Strategic to Operations. He as served as Director, Project Management Europe and Asia Pacific, managing a team of Project Management professionals that are conducting 350+ projects in parallel. Most recently Mr. Offenhauser was serving as Vice President, Global Logistics Operations and member of the Group Executive Board for one of the top tier global central labs.
Gerit is a contributing Scientist in a Masters Program at the Center for Stroke Research Berlin, where he is currently teaching “Project Management in Clinical Trials” in the “Master of Science in Cerebrovascular Medicine” at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Source: Clinical Trials Insight | www.worldpharmaceuticals.net