Contact Information
Registered Office/ Head Office:
Ashford Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.,
31/36, 5th Floor, Dheeraj Heritage,
S. V. Road, Santacruz (West),
Mumbai (Bombay) - 400 054. India.
Tele- fax: + 91 22 6675 8866
Email:info@ashfordlab.com

Japan Office:
Ashford Laboratories,
4-11-24-1402 Fukae Kitamachi,
Higashi Nada Ku, Kobe 658-0013,
Japan.
Tele- fax: +81 0784 122579
Email:japan@ashfordlab.com
Ashford Laboratories is a multidivisional company with a pharmaceuticals division, an OTC division, biologics, nutraceuticals, supplementary balanced diets and cosmetics division. We believe our portfolio best meets the varied and often complex needs of patients and societies. Ashford is positioned to lead in innovation, partner with others and offer solutions to patients across a broad healthcare spectrum. In addition, a diverse portfolio reduces financial risk, bringing greater value to those who invest in our company. Our portfolio, focused on broad areas of healthcare, aims to best meet the evolving needs of patients and societies worldwide.

At Ashford, we often achieve success through close collaboration with partners who share a common vision and complementary strengths. A key Ashford priority is to build winning collaborations in the research and production of new and existing medicines and vaccines.

Many of our semi- finished/ finished products are manufactured in collaboration with third party manufacturing companies. The reasons for having third parties as part of a supply network can be manifold. Ashford is using third parties as a result of the ‘production strategy’, where the size and type of own sites with their technologies and capacities are defined. Since the company’s take over by Mr. Pradeep Agarwal in 1995, the company has focused on the specialization of own facilities, divestment of non strategic sites and employment of technology and capacity providers as part of the overall supply network.

Different third parties need to be integrated at different levels in the supply chain. Some of our third parties are what we call extended work bench. These are closely linked to our own sites and integrated in the production process at our plant level. So here, it is important that our plants realize that they are responsible end-to-end to include and manage the third party.

In the company’s markets some Ashford affiliates that are responsible for selling and distributing finished products to local customers utilize re-packaging operations at third parties. These operations are also managed in strict accordance to GMP and regulatory compliance.

There are also third parties that produce directly for Ashford’s markets and are managed by the company’s headquarters offices.

To strategically manage third party relationships, Ashford created an organization within Technical Operations called ‘virtual plant’ that controls the integration of any third party into the company’s global manufacturing network. ‘Virtual Plant’ integrates all of the key functions you find in one of our production sites, like quality, sourcing, supply chain and engineering. Operating those third parties like a virtual plant means that our teams work together with our third parties like they would be one of our own sites. As a result, performance levels can be monitored to ensure that they correspond to the standards of Ashford. We choose the optimal third party to join our network and engage them in such a way that they are aspiring to meet our performance levels, sharing our knowledge and expertise with them, thus giving them a further incentive to be part of our network. This is a relatively new concept which seems to be the way forward according to an international benchmark by an external consulting company.

RISK MANAGEMENT
To improve productivity and performance, third party operations will become of increasing importance for Ashford because the pharmaceutical technologies that are surfacing are becoming more and more specialized. We simply need to deal with third parties who are able to manage these non-standard technologies we may not have available in-house. This trend is likely to lead to a growing dependency on these specialized high-tech third parties.

A critical factor is technology transfer, which concerns not only third party manufacturers but also in-house operations. Ashford Laboratories set up the so called ‘launch office’, an internal group that manages the transition from development into commercial production at own sites and third parties.

Investment issues also play a role. Once an expanding factory has reached a critical size, it becomes more difficult to manage. Instead of investing in a new site, we may look for opportunities to use third party capacities. At some point, we may decide to in-source the whole production again. Depending on the internal investment rates in capacity, we may have to involve more third parties to meet growing market demands. In conclusion, we are changing the relationships with our third party manufacturers from a pure transactional relationship into a partnership management which is an integrated part of the overall manufacturing strategy of the company. Partnership management requires quite a different approach that has to be sustainable over time.

Mr. Ankit Agarwal likes to call it a ‘marriage’. He explains: “In a marriage, you go through various stages of your relationship. And you will have the occasional crisis to go through. You will also have to deal with some of the ‘relatives’ in the extended family. But if you believe it is a long-term bond, you will put in place all measures and good intentions to manage it appropriately.”

Third party management, Ankit is convinced, has to be treated as a multi-skilled profession. “Those companies that find ways to approach it professionally and strategically will be the most successful in the future,” he concludes.

See Also
        CRAMS/ CPSS
        Manufacturing Flow Chart

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