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Sigma Tau, a leading Italian pharmaceutical company, needed ways to keep production costs low and unlock efficiencies in drug production.
As a company striving for high performance, Sigma Tau embarked on revamping its manufacturing processes and information technology (IT) systems.
Accenture's ongoing research into the characteristics of high-performance businesses reveals that leading companies view IT as a strategic asset and invest in information systems and process improvements that drive innovation in the business model. Importantly, high performers also work hard to ensure that their improvement initiatives are aligned to enterprise-wide strategies. In this regard, Sigma Tau resembled a high-performance business. It knew that it needed to create operational effectiveness and redesign its information systems to be both reliable and flexible to support operational goals.
In 2000, Sigma Tau acquired a well-established product that led to a 40 percent increase in production volume and introduced manufacturing inefficiencies. In the same year, the Italian Ministry of Health stopped subsidizing one of Sigma Tau's leading products because a low-cost competitor was offering the active ingredient for that product at a lower price.
As a result of these two changes—acquiring a new product and no longer receiving government subsidies for a leading product—Sigma Tau needed ways to keep production costs at the Italian manufacturing plant under strict control and create more efficient processes for drug production. As a company striving for high performance, Sigma Tau believed that revamping its manufacturing processes and IT systems would deliver the desired benefits.
To help accomplish these tasks, the company turned to Accenture. Sigma Tau chose Accenture to help based on our deep industry expertise, our proven record of helping other pharmaceutical companies transform their manufacturing processes and information systems and an unbeatable combination of process, systems and computer system validation experience that drive high performance.
Drawing on Accenture's deep process and technology skills, the Sigma Tau/Accenture team worked to design state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and a system architecture fully compliant with Good Automated Manufacturing Practices (GAMP), as issued by the GAMP Forum. In doing so, the team carried out a full range of software life cycle development activities.
The first step involved analyzing and reengineering the company's critical processes. The team consolidated the user requirements, defined functional specifications and technical design, built and tested the architecture system, executed the data conversion and finally drove the go-live implementation.
Throughout the project, the team leveraged Accenture's Pharma Industry Solution. This pre-configured solution, which is based on SAP modules, provides a road map for achieving new levels of business performance in the drug manufacturing process. The Sigma Tau system developed by Accenture covered critical areas, including materials management, production planning and execution, data management, and pieces of distribution, procurement and industry management.
The team needed just 12 months to implement the new system—from design to execution. Accenture also handled the training of Sigma Tau employees on the new processes driven by the implementation.
Accenture assisted Sigma Tau in achieving greater operational effectiveness, which is a key component to becoming a high-performance business, according to Accenture research. The new approach has helped Sigma Tau to:
According to the head of technical operations, Paolo Matteucci, "Through Accenture's approach, we were able to keep production costs in line—our original goal—but also significantly improve the performance of our manufacturing facility." With its new manufacturing processes and information systems, Sigma Tau has taken a significant step on its journey to high performance.
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