Control Systems

Control Systems

Any organization will normally exist with a specific purpose and as such this purpose must be achieved through the services it offers or the goods it produces. One of the key drivers of success will therefore be the ability of the organization to offer quality goods and services to its clients and this is what keeps the business as competitive as possible.Organisations will therefore utilize control systems in its processes to ensure that it achieve quality management objectives. The control systems will therefore affect the performance of the employees within the organization by motivating them to work hard towards achieving high standards of quality in their business activities.pharmaceitical industry is one of the areas of business that values quality in its operation and can positively utilize the control systems to achieve this. They mainly deal with manufacture and selling of drugs which are used for medication purposes and given the sensitivity of life the firms engaged in the pharmaceutical business must establish proper control and quality management systems in the production and marketing processes. GlaxoSmithKline is one of the companies with a long term history in development, manufacture and distribution of medical drugs. The company has for a long time operated under its slogan of doing more, feeling better and living longer which is properly aligned to the objective of achieving high quality in its production processes. This paper will therefore analyse the control and quality management systems applied by the organization and how they have affected the motivation within the organization.
Discussion:
GSK is one of the companies with keen interest on not only what they produce but how they produce it and as mentioned earlier the sensitivity of the industry has placed an enormous responsibility on the company and hence there is a whole range of control systems and quality management processes that have been established within the company to ensure that they achieve desirable outcomes in the production and distribution of drugs.
Control systems:
GlaxoSmithKline business model is basically underpinned in strong research capabilities which leads to innovations in manufacture of medical drugs the company therefore operates under high level of technology to improve the quality of its products. The firm has particularly taken a lot of steps in automating its control systems to ensure smooth processes within the supply chain. In the year 2003 the company contracted ABB which is a leading technology firm to establish a blue print of what has become its key component of control system for a long period of time. The ABB industrial control system which is modern and highly innovative control system which is able to handle a whole range of controls within the same system and this has been a major cost reduction initiative for the company. They chain of ABB controls include: production of IT batch, information to the IT manager, engineering IT, workstations, network equipments, engineering services for design, building, testing, validation of GMP applications, installations and customer training among others. This control system therefore serves in many aspects of the organization and has become a major boost for the company as it reduces costs. The benefits of the control system have been: elimination of numerous automation facilities within the company as the system is able to multitask; the current system has ensured that the company operates with a common platform which can easily be upgraded to another level as the capacity increases. Batch recording is one of the key aspects of controls within a pharmaceutical plant and as such the new system is able to consolidate the batch records electronically hence reducing the paper work associated with batch recording. The firm strongly depends on application development and validation facilities in its production system and hence the introduction of the new system has been able to serve the organization better by using the industrial IT aspect objects technology to perform the same tasks. The health care environment has been changing in the past few years and only firms with strong research and development that can deliver the right quality of health care solutions can survive in this environment. The firm investment is technology based control system has really improved its research and production processes. Another important component of this process is the personnel and the general staff who are able to get proper training using the ABB system and this has greatly motivated the staff members. The combination of factors has led to increased output in the production of medical drugs. It has also increased the overall output of the employees as they can achieve their desired levels of performance as supported by the system.
GSK has also assembled the best niche of talent across the world in form of scientists who are actively involved in research and development activities. Medical discoveries must be grounded on facts beyond reasonable doubt and to achieve this, the firm has been able to establish collaborative approach to research by working closely with learning institutions that supports medical education, other biotechnology companies and governments with interest in medical discoveries. With such elaborate network that company has been able to support the development of innovative medical products that changes within a short period as more discoveries are made. The combined strength in medical research has led to production of quality drugs that conform to the company’s mission of making people to feel better and live longer.
The investments in research and development has been able to cost the company more than $500 million and the process runs for as long as 15 years but the benefits can been seen in the company’s ability to generate more healthcare solutions to become the leading manufacturer and distributor of medical drugs in the world. Collaborative research is therefore one of the areas of control within the company as it leads to establishment of unparallel discoveries of medical drugs which have led to improvement of the lives of many people in the world. The collaborative research process can also be attributed to the firm’s commitment to reduction in the period of time that it takes to produce medicine which is highly needed by patients across the world. It has to be recognized that medical discoveries takes a longer period as the new molecules developed must be given enough time to develop into viable medicine but the company has appreciated the need to save the lives of many patients who need the drugs. This network is therefore a viable control system that leads to faster product development which helps the company achieve the needs of the patients who highly need the medication.
Being in a highly sensitive business the company has not only developed strong controls on its research and development processes but on the ethical front as all the staff members are expected to achieve the desired goals of the company within a specific ethical framework. Employees are therefore required to uphold policies and procedures of the company as they perform their duties. In that regard the company has developed a five point code of conduct that affects both the employees and contractors who engage with the company. They mainly focus on conflict of interest, unlawfulness, honesty and compliance with legal requirements. All employees and other stakeholders must therefore show their commitment to live up to the code of conduct to enable the company achieve its business objective in a responsible manner. The company has recognized the sensitive nature of drugs and how they can affect human life and hence the firm has a well established marketing control system that allows it only carry out its distribution processes to the target customers. The firm ahs therefore developed a policy to ensure that the drugs are only marketed and distributed to the hospitals, doctors, government agencies that deal with healthcare issues and other healthcare professionals with proper understanding of the drugs to avoid cases of misuse of the drugs or drug abuse for that matter. This is an important control system within the firm as it ensures that the company products are only used for the right purpose to derive the correct benefit.
With such elaborate control systems the company has also established a well coordinated monitoring process to ensure that the stakeholders comply with the control systems that have been put in place. The managers therefore have a huge responsibility of ensuring compliance with company policies and procedures in their respective areas of business. The company has also set up a special department in the name of corporate ethics and compliance to monitor all control matters related to ethics are adhered to and also take necessary displinary measures against any staff member who breaches the ethical code of conduct prescribed by the company. The company also has a team of qualified compliance officers who monitors all compliance issues at all levels of the company and they have mandate to interrogate even the members of the executive on matters related to compliance within and without the company. The officers also cover the operations in the business units such as manufacturing processes, biologicals or vaccines, pharmceiticals and research and development. The compliance team therefore ensures that all company processes are conducted within the policy framework and procedures of the company to ensure the company maintains high quality in its operations (Team,2004).
Risk management has become a very common undertaking by many businesses given the dynamic business environment and as such GSK has also instituted a clear risk management component in its business processes. The company has a risk oversight and compliance council which undertakes internal control and risk management processes within the firm. The council works closely with corporate assurance and corporate ethics departments to ensure that the company gets value for all its activities and minimize losses that may be experienced due to human error of natural disasters. The council conducts audit on all the aspects of the organization and makes its annual report which helps the management to make improvement decisions in all its processes. This also ensures that the company operates smoothly without interruptions that may be occasioned by the human error or natural disasters.
GSK therefore have elaborate control systems that cover all aspects of the business and this has really motivated their work forces who are able to work within the control framework and achieve the company goals and objectives. The success of the company has for a long time depended on its controls systems (Team, 2004).
Quality management:
Apart from control systems, the firm has also invested heavily in quality management as a way of motivating its staff and encourages them towards attainment of the company mission and vision. The company has therefore developed an excellent quality management system that meets the internationally recognized standards to ensure that it meet the needs of the customers. The quality management system has three dimensions: quality which targets the customers and patients, compliance to the regulatory framework and continuous improvement which is the responsibility of the company and the stakeholder’s hence quality has been the main focus of all activities at GSK.
The company has been aligning its quality process to meet internationally recognized standards like ISO 9000 which is a valuable tool in quality management. The company has therefore managed to benchmark its required quality standards especially in product development to the ISO 9000.Another quality intent can be seen in its mission and vision which simply stresses on feeling better and living longer and as such this cannot be achieved without high quality product hence the firm takes exceptional quality as a major goal for the company. The quality management systems within the organization can also be seen in corporate policies as anchored in its ethical code of conduct which clearly spells out the five points that will guide the employees and the stakeholders who deal with the company. The company ahs given the managers within the departments to take overall responsibility of ensuring quality is upheld in all processes within the departments. This is important as the work of the departments will be reflected directly on the overall performance of the business. The risk and compliance departments have come handy in overseeing the quality of all processes within the organization and their reports provides an opportunity for the organization to improve on its processes that ensures that customers, the organization and the regulators get satisfactory results from the organization processes. Through its ABB system the company trains its staff members and this is major factor in developing high quality in the performance of the employees (gsk.com.my).
Conclusion:
GSK has therefore utilized control and quality management systems in its business to achieve highly and that are what make it’s a leading company in the industry. The operations of the company have allowed it to achieve efficiency and effectiveness which is its major driving force. This discussion has therefore provided a clear indication of what quality management and control systems can achieve organizations and must be emulated by other companies in all industries.

References:
Gsk.com.my. (2011).”Quality management systems” Gsk.com.my.Retrieved June 13,
2011. from http://gsk.com.my/global-qualitymgmtsystem.html.
Team, C. (2004). Control and Communication. 2nd ed. Milton Keynes: Open University.

Leave a Reply