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How does McKesson Europe make sure medicines arrive with the patient safe and intact?

At McKesson Europe, when we talk about quality we don't only look at individual products and services, but at the entire value chain – because the safety and well-being of our customers are our top priority at all times.

But how do we actually meet our own claim of delivering top quality? How do we ensure that our supply chain is protected against counterfeiting, and how do we get a little better every day?

… by making high quality our unconditional commitment back to top

… by making high quality our unconditional commitment

This is what we have done in our "Quality Statement", which has been signed by all of the Managing Directors of our subsidiaries. Based on our ICARE shared principles, we are committed to:

  • always acting in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations
  • working reliably and with integrity
  • training our employees appropriately
  • providing good and secure jobs
  • continuously developing ourselves

We keep this promise by working with integrated management systems. These combine methods and instruments from different areas, including quality, environment, and occupational safety.

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In doing so, we follow the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Our sites are ISO 9001 certified in ten countries.

… by placing high quality requirements on our suppliers back to top

… by placing high quality requirements on our suppliers

We offer our customers almost 130,000 different medicines. We purchase the majority of these from brand manufacturers. Increasingly, our customers are also relying on our own brands, upon which we place special quality requirements – these include social as well as environmental standards.

… by knowing where any product is at any time back to top

… by knowing where any product is at any time

We check the quality of our goods at every single step in the supply chain. In France, this so-called batch tracking is already mandatory. Our tracking system allows goods to be tracked end-to-end.

A high standard with future prospects

To strive for continuous improvement in all parts of our organisation we use Lean Six Sigma as a systematic approach. Lean Six Sigma is a process oriented, holistic management approach that puts the customer right at the centre of all business activities and aims at continuously improving operational and back-office processes by minimising variation in processes and reducing defects.

In 2015, McKesson Europe introduced Lean Six Sigma in Europe.

The results speak for themselves:

United Kingdom, AAH Pharmaceuticals

After a thorough analysis, AAH Pharmaceuticals changed processes in the warehouses to reduce paper and waste. The result is 8 million fewer pages in 12 months, the equivalent of €70,000 in savings. 

Sweden, Lloyds Apotek

In Swedish pharmacies we have reduced the time required to store newly delivered goods: on average, pharmacists here are now 20% faster. The time gained can instead be used to benefit patients in the pharmacies.

Portugal, OCP Portugal

Through process optimisation with Lean Six Sigma, the company OCP Portugal was able to cut printing by a volume of 3.6 million sheets of paper annually. Transport activities were identified as the major source of paper consumption in the company. Therefore, related documents were defined as the scope of the problem analysis and solutions development.

Denmark, Tjellesen Max Jenne A/S

Colleagues in Denmark complained about unnecessary travel distances in the store: with the help of Lean Six Sigma, we have implemented more efficient goods storage and shorter travel distances. This saves money and manpower at the same time.

Austria, Herba Chemosan Apotheker-AG

With a detailed process analysis and the use of further Lean Six Sigma methods, we were able to reduce the process time for purchasing in the secondary market (secondary market sourcing).

France, OCP France

In several French dispatch centres, the number of products damaged during order picking was significantly reduced. In addition to customer satisfaction, we have also achieved cost reductions.

Norway, Norsk Medisinaldepot

By analysing the causes of returns and evaluating the returns process, it was possible to reduce the number of returns caused by order errors in pharmacies. This has led to a noticeable reduction in expenditure – both for pharmacies and wholesalers.

Slovenia, Kemofarmacija d.d.

As part of an LSS project, we were able to arrange the storage locations within the store much more efficiently. In addition to faster delivery of medicines, this also means shorter travel distances for colleagues.

Belgium, Pharma Belgium / LloydsPharma

The time required to place and process an order in central purchasing was reduced by 50% with the help of Lean Six Sigma. This takes the pressure off employees and enables them to use the time they have gained for other value-adding activities.

Italy, ADMENTA Italia

Through process optimisation with Lean Six Sigma, the number of customer complaints due to wrong and misdeliveries was significantly reduced. This resulted in higher customer satisfaction and more efficient internal processes.