Entourage helps customers build a robust, transparent and sustainable supply chain. Life science companies need supply chain models that support strategic priorities while being resilient, flexible, service-oriented and cost-efficient. We adapt supply chains to the increasing complexity of the industry and the diverse needs of the business units.

The supply chain department, as part of the functional organisation, is one of the focus areas for senior management in every medium and large life science company, along with sales and marketing. Along with sales, the supply chain function is considered one of the most important money-makers within the company. The reason for this is relatively simple: without selling products to customers and delivering them on time, hopefully in full, it is impossible to make money. Of course, the needs of customers and the health of patients are the overriding goal, but each individual company must also be economically successful.

Supply chains must always meet the new demands of the changing environment, and the Covid-19 pandemic is just one prominent example. However, when talking about a robust and well-organised supply chain, all functions must be included. For example, successful and timely product launches are not just a date. They represent the ultimate in cross-functional and cross-site collaboration, where all team members must work towards the same overall goal. From R&D and possible tech transfer, through RA dossier creation and artwork finalisation, to production of the first commercial batches, market preparation by sales and marketing, and finally logistics to the customer. Every single function is involved and every single cog has to fit into the other to form an efficient gear.

And as everyone knows: only with a well-functioning gearbox can you get the power to the track.


Purchasing via value-based CMO relationships combined with strategic second source building and powerful quality control.


Digitally manage customer demand with advanced analytics and performance dashboards for sales and purchasing KPIs.


Stakeholder, country and third party management. Efficient handling of delays, improved stock monitoring and fully visible transaction tracking.

Would you like to optimise your supply operations?

Our Approach.

The path to an efficient and transparent supply operations process landscape.

Life science supply chains have become global and very complex. More and more companies are outsourcing their production to CMOs and looking for new ways to reach patients. Lack of transparency, single source for key intermediates or end products, and long lead times for glassware or active pharmaceutical ingredients are just some of the hurdles to overcome.

While supply chain risks are inevitable, we can help companies mitigate or even eliminate disruptive impacts through increased visibility, more proactive risk management and advanced technologies. We help you better anticipate, respond to or minimise problems.

Entourage supports its customers in building a less vulnerable and more transparent process landscape through at least eight pathways:

  1. Valuation of dependencies
  2. Creating end-to-end transparency
  3. Setting up routine stress tests and reassessment
  4. Ensure lower vulnerability to shocks
  5. Establishing an extended value chain cooperation with CMOs
  6. Engaging management in the development of a robust supply chain
  7. Transformation of the QK laboratories to the state of the art
  8. Development of proactive risk and delay management

Our offer in Supply Operations.

Eight ways Entourage supports customers.

Pharmaceutical companies often purchase critical materials from only one source, which exposes them to the risk of shortages. Typical examples are registered starting materials (RSMs) from China or India. However, as the healthcare industry has decided to become more independent from the Asian region, a number of lucrative alternatives in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) with modern facilities, e.g. in Slovakia, Serbia or Ukraine, have been identified and a reasonable number of CMOs are already present.

Pharmaceutical companies need to map their suppliers by tier to get a comprehensive overview of the supply chain and identify potential problems and bottlenecks in the chain at an early stage. It is also important to have a good understanding beyond supply activities, including how products are manufactured or developed (from active ingredient to drug product to finished dosage form), delivered and stored. Each stage has its own lead time and, of course, carries potential risks.
Pharmaceutical companies often use scenario planning or simulation models to anticipate their vulnerabilities, quantify the potential impact and mitigate the consequences.
Pharmaceutical companies need to expand their supplier network. Relying on a single source for critical compounds or raw materials can become a serious bottleneck. But multi-sourcing is not the only solution. Many companies are experimenting with technologies that enable rapid switching between suppliers and advanced analytics that help anticipate potential problems.

Pharmaceutical companies also need to manage the supply chain together with CMOs through a value-based collaboration and relationship. Together, they optimise order and delay management to reduce problems and costs. They look together for second sources of RSMs and simplify packaging. They harmonise product formats to improve predictability and optimise procurement. They proactively share reliable information and block capacity or formats to increase flexibility, and they also share best practices and optimise quality-related processes.

Pharmaceutical companies should include supply chain risk and resilience in the company's strategic plan. Input can be gathered in a well-structured S&OP meeting, where sales, procurement and controlling discuss necessary changes, set up possible action plans and agree on the requirements for strategic decisions by the management team.

Pharmaceutical companies often underestimate the role of the QC function within the E2E process landscape. Digitally supported and process aligned QC labs make a significant difference, indicating whether a supply chain is either robust or has a serious bottleneck. Aligning QC lab turnaround time with production, transparent sample forecasting, rapid turnaround and adequate throughput, a levelling strategy and a flexible, self-directed workforce are key. In addition, visual performance management in the lab, including digital dashboards for planning, scheduling and tracking utilisation, is already common practice in the industry. Finally, pharma companies should avoid QP capacity bottlenecks to ensure fast batch release.

Pharmaceutical companies must also be prepared with a sufficient risk and delay management system. There must be a categorisation of risks according to probability and impact. In addition, there must be a fast flow of communication between procurement and sales to ensure rapid categorisation of delays and initiate appropriate corrective and preventive actions. In such cases, close communication with customers is crucial.

Our services in Supply Operations.

Best-in-class supply chain functions challenge themselves through a continuous improvement process in 23 dimensions across four categories. Entourage supports its customers in every single aspect with experts from the field.

Strategy and mission.

Operations and Systems.

Management structure.

Mindset and skills.

Supply Operations Expertise.

Get to know our supply chain experts.

Entourage team merlin idris

Merlin Idris

Entourage team dirk duesterhoeft

Dirk Düsterhöft

Senior Management Consultant

CSV, DI and IT Infrastructure Expert

Our Case Studies.

Discover our Case Studies in Supply Operations.

Case Study.

Process Optimisation for the Market Launch of an API Product.

Process Optimization for an Animal Health API Product Launch at a global-oriented CDMO Site.

Case Study.

Increasing the overall effectiveness of the supply chain at a medical technology manufacturer.

Overall effectiveness of the supply chain.

Case Study.

Digital Demand Forecast for Supply Chain Management of Health Products.

Global demand management of health products.

Our blog.

The latest articles on Supply Operations.

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COVID-19 vaccine roll-out becomes largest in supply chain history.
The introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming the biggest challenge for chemical supply chains ...