How to choose the right partner to secure your API supply ?


APIs is not a simple matter. Sourcing is a strategic process. The Covid pandemic has revealed in an exacerbated way that pharmaceutical players have to increase their supply safety and as a result, they have to reinforce their level of knowledge for their supply chain, and/or to be supported by specialists in this filed.

The first stone to build a safer supply lies in the selection of your API source and the challenge is as high as the difficulty.

For all the steps of this process, a documented selection method is needed in order to choose a manufacturing partner while avoiding all of the typical mistakes.

A supplier must be a reliable partner

To succeed in sourcing, beyond the API selection, the major component is to select the right partner.

Registering a source is a real investment, in terms of time, money, and resources. It is therefore important to ensure that both the customer and the supplier are committed to the relationship, in order to create a partnership and ensure that the selected source is sustainable.

Failing in choosing a reliable partner is an important risk for your company.

This is why at Safic Alcan our speciality is to help and accompany pharmaceutical companies in order to have success with their sourcing.

First step - Define your needs – What do I need?

A good price. Without a doubt, but not only.

The first step is to define what is really important for your API supply

  • Technical documentation
  • Specification,
  • Manufacturing process
  • Quality & regulatory requirement
  • Price competitiveness

Your next partner may not be the cheapest or the most reactive. The price is important, but a price is negotiable while the documentation and condition of production are much less so. An important aspect is also the regional diversification of sources as well as the independence of qualified sources from each other.

The sourcing work can only be successful if the need has been precisely mapped out and therefore defined in collaboration with the customer in advance.


Second step – Be organised and methodical

At this step, you will need a method and an approach. Without revealing all the aspects of our approach, we will highlight a few key points here.

First, it is necessary to continuously acquire the most complete understanding possible of the entire API supply situation. Our method is not to trust databases or even more so the companies' website because absolutely everything has to be verified. Nothing should go unchecked.

A complete local team with multidisciplinary specialists that is close to the ground and speaks the language is an absolute advantage : Safic Alcan also have a specialized control laboratory on site and a team of scientific specialists for Chinese sourcing but also from other countries such as India, Europe and the United States

Our method will consist in Screening, Selecting, Suggesting and Deciding.

Third step : Deciding

Most of the time, after several inputs and first analysis, it is comfortable to select 2 or 3 sources for the same API and at this stage, more precise requests can be made such as samples, technical details…

This is the time to evaluate the documents with more precision with what we call simple or complex factors. A simple factor for example is the evaluation of the team of people at the producer who work on the certifications or documents like the TSE for example.

Once it is done, Safic Alcan will present a short list and suggest the best partner, that your company could choose with the best and most comprehensive analysis.

Last steps: Long live the partnership!

At Safic Alcan, we really want to make the best of our partnership with our supplier.

Once the partnership built, it is important to spend time to keep empowering it : The partnership must then be maintained to evolve according to the needs and requirements.

Giving feedback to the supplier regularly is the basis of a good relationship because a supplier is not just someone who delivers a molecule.

Your specialist need is to make sure that the long-term evolution of the selected suppliers fits with your expectancies.

In conclusion,

The numerous pitfalls can all be avoided with experience and relying on teams with many years of expertise will help to secure your sourcing.

Appropriate sourcing will guarantee security of supply for your company and your business partners.

Do not hesitate to work with our experts who know how to support the veterinary and pharmaceutical industry.

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