Celebrating its 60th year in pharmaceutical logistics, Alloga Ltd. continues to evolve in an ever-changing market
Quality Service on a Grand Scale
Project Manager:Callam Waller
Alloga Switzerland has built a name for itself in the market based on quality service and with its 60th birthday just around the corner, the Company shows no signs of slowing down. Being part of the Galenica Group which itself has almost 90 years of experience in the sector, Alloga is an ever-evolving business with an old soul at its core.
The Company was founded under the name Galenica Vertretungen Ltd., acting as a pre-wholesaler and offering both logistical and administrative services in the pharmaceutical industry. Since the joint venture with Alliance Unichem (today Walgreens Boots Alliance) in 1999 and Galenica Vertretungen Ltd.’s transition into Alloga Ltd. In 2001, the Company has seen vast levels of expansion and innovation to remain ahead of the industry curve.
Alloga provides its partners with two basic but highly successful services within pharmaceutical logistics, as Andreas Koch, Managing Director (MD) of Alloga Ltd. explains: “In general we provide two services, one of which we call a ‘logistics only’ service and the other option is the ‘full service’ model.”
The Company’s logistics only model does precisely what the name suggests; the partners Alloga work with have limited storage facilities and therefore need to outsource their products to another company. Orders are transferred across to Alloga to be processed and delivered, and once the delivery has taken place the responsibility returns to the original partner.
Alloga’s full service model differs in the responsibility that is outsourced; for example the order process management and distribution as well as invoicing and cash collection. The Company prides itself on the expansion available with this model over time, offering pharmaceutical partners the chance to concentrate on doing their core business while Alloga takes care of the rest.
Within these parameters, the Company works to highly stringent guidelines in order to maintain the high standards Alloga has set since inception in 1957. For Alloga, the main focus at all times is delivering quality service; despite some in the industry viewing the Company as inflexible when compared to its competitors, Koch is proud of the business model Alloga provides.
“I am very proud that we have taken the decision to focus on this quality aspect, and also to be able to communicate that we are focused on that; most of our partners are looking to get this level of high quality. You either ask for flexibility, or you ask for quality. Flexibility always means that we veer away from the standard process the Company has found to be highly successful, which is where people will make mistakes,” he affirms.
The Company places huge importance on remaining up-to-date with each of the 80 industry partners which are hosted within Alloga’s facility, located just outside Bern.
“Each week we will have an audit coming from at least one of our industry partners. It can either be an audit on security or an audit on the GDP requirements. With the consistency with which we receive these audits, the Company invests a lot of time in improving any issues that crop up. Currently we don’t have any open points or issues with our partners; it is very rare in this industry and perhaps a good example of why we are not the cheapest in the market,” confirms Koch.
Alloga’s main investments are focused centrally around providing services which support the pharmaceutical industry and its multitude of requirements. The Company works in a widely varied market, where the products they are dealing with will often require special chambers for storage at a certain temperature or humidity. With the increasing need for storage conditions below 80 degrees centigrade, Alloga is subsequently focusing its efforts in that arena with hopes to be the partner of choice in cold chain pharmaceutical logistics in the future.
Koch continues: “In the pharmaceutical cold chain, we are aware that there will be many more products emerging in the future. This also means that for our existing partners who are looking to expand their product portfolios, we are now in the position to expand our facilities in order to meet their current needs and the needs of future partners.”
In order to maintain such high standards in the developing pharmaceutical industry, Alloga has created a very highly developed training plan.
“Relating to other logistics providers, we have made it quite hard for ourselves to acquire temporary staff; whereas others often hire and fire from temporary offices where you can get people working on an hourly basis. We can’t realistically do this, so from our three month training programme a core staff has been developed,” adds Koch.
Alloga’s industry partners require a very high degree of response to equal the complex pharmaceutical environment they are working in; and the Company’s employees are expected to understand at least the main requirements and messages of the partner companies to meet this demand.
Consequently, it is clear that Alloga treats pharmaceutical logistics with the delicacy that it requires; in transporting sometimes dangerous pharmaceuticals the staff must be specialised.
“I think it is dangerous when we see other logistics providers or standard transport companies where today you could transport fruit, tomorrow bottles and the next day pharmaceuticals. It just doesn’t work in this market,” Koch affirms.
However, with Switzerland’s incredibly low unemployment rate of three percent, the Company has to be innovative in its search for the right workers.
“It falls to a combination of an attractive company profile, traditional Suisse style, high requirements but in return, very good working conditions. We try to hire this way and in the past we have been successful in our endeavours; all of which helps us remain the partner of choice in Switzerland,” the