22 December 2003 00:00 [Source: PCE]
Established in 1952, Orgamol is an incorporated, privately owned and independent Swiss manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients, advanced intermediates and generics. Orgamol offers exclusive substances produced under strict confidentiality and according to customers' specifications, as well as generic products available via its catalogue. The history of Orgamol, says the company's Bernard Orsat, emphasises commitment, stability, reliability, quality and growth, as well as a profound attachment to the Valais, a Swiss alpine region where the company has actively been part of the social life for more than 50 years.
In 1994, Orgamol opened a production plant in Saint-Vulbas near Lyon in France. In 1999, a second production plant was inaugurated at the same location. Almost simultaneously, the pilot plant facility was upgraded and enlarged and a new kilo lab one was built in Switzerland. For the past two years the company has been developing its facilities by adding new equipment and innovative technical features.
Facilities are ISO 9001 certified, strictly comply with current good manufacturing practice and local regulations, are subject to regular inspections by relevant authorities - including the US Food and Drug Administration, and are accessible anytime for customer audits. Today, with production plants at one location in France and at two distinct locations in Switzerland, Orsat says Orgamol is a 'homogeneous and centralised industrial ensemble' that can provide a complete range of top-quality services to customers. Multiple sites with similar qualification levels are conveniently secure for internal back-up opportunities. This development based on scale and capacity will be referred to by the group as vertical integration.
Orgamol is also renowned for special technical expertise in areas such as phosgenation, azide chemistry, cryogenic chemistry, catalytic hydrogenation, hydride reduction, halogenation and alkylation. The increased range of technologies made available in a centralised manner is expected to match the needs of the market for diversified high-tech chemistry in a more efficient manner. This trend aimed at developing the technical competencies and expertise of the company is referred to as horizontal integration.
Finally, integrating vertically and horizontally at the same time through the introduction of all technologies at all scales multiplies the size of the offer and makes it more tailored to a large customer base with various needs in terms of scale and technology. Integration also means that the company is now planning the use of its equipment in a more rational manner. 'Due to the availability of different scales and technologies, Orgamol is always using the right equipment for the corresponding purpose,' says Orsat. As a result, integration also improves chemistry, including yields, increases safety and significantly reduces environmental impact.
On the other hand, it is obvious that the implementation of such a business strategy has high associated costs. This dual-development means that corresponding investments have to be multiplied to reach the desired effect. On average, 15% of its annual turnover of around $130m is reinvested by Orgamol to support the two-dimensional expansion of its offer. Statistically, the distribution shows that 65% of the amount invested is directly technology related, that 25% is related to safety and environment and that only the remaining 10% is aimed at something different. Investments for safety and environment are indirectly related to technology because each time a new technology is introduced at any scale, Orgamol builds, enlarges, upgrades or modifies the corresponding equipment aimed at minimising the risk and impact of company's activities.
Orgamol keeps building up the outstanding reputation the company has acquired through collaboration with world-leading pharmaceutical groups and by providing top-quality products to customers in more than 50 countries around the world.
Investing in integration has conferred to Orgamol competencies to master the most complex chemical processes and to satisfy the most specific and exclusive requirements of its customers, including industrial-scale production. Therefore, with activities still exclusively oriented towards chemistry, Orgamol keeps enlarging its customer base and dealing with increasingly complex and challenging chemical projects.
'Although integration cannot be sold as an universal strategic panacea for success and continuity, it seems that in the case of Orgamol this business strategy has provided the company with assets that are strong enough to securely drive the business of the company in future years,' says Orsat.
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