OPEX Benchmarking

Our Operational Excellence Model

“The right implementation of basic principles of Operational Excellence will lead

to a significantly higher performance among pharmaceutical manufacturing plants

and thus to a higher overall business performance of the company."


This hypothesis was already proven by OPEX benchmarking and a number of our industry projects and is examined more profoundly using a scientific model. The model consists of the elements Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-in-Time (JIT) and the underlying Management System.

Our benchmarking is based on the belief that performance (KPIs) cannot be evaluated without the consideration of the specific site environment, the structural factors, the management system or specific site roles. Consequently, our analysis sets the focus on the link between the performance scores and the enablers leading to this performance.

Research Questions

What does it need to be a Top Performer in terms of Operational Excellence?

What has changed compared to the former benchmarkings?

Which principles of Operational Excellence are currently implemented?

  - Just-In-Time (JIT)

  - Total Quality Management (TQM)

  - Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

  - Effective Management System (EMS)

What is the future role of manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry?

What are the implications for pharmaceutical manufacturing?

How should pharmaceutical manufacturing respond to the changing environment?


Since 2004, the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen (ITEM-HSG), Switzerland, and the Transfer Center for Technology Management at the University of St Gallen (TECTEM), Switzerland, are conducting an international research project in the Pharmaceutical Industry in the field of Operational Excellence. This continuous benchmarking project deals with the implementation of Lean Thinking and the principles of Operational Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry. The results provide participating companies the opportunity to position their production sites against a broad range of pharmaceutical production sites and show possibilities to improve productivity, quality and the reduction of lead time. Since 2008 companies can enter our continuous benchmarking process at any time. Our OPEX database includes more than 370 pharmaceutical manufacturing sites (API, Formulation & Packaging, Biotech) of more than 140 different companies ranging from small and medium-sized companies to Big Pharma. Whereby 18 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies (by revenue) are part of our database.

Financial Independence

The project is entirely financed by the participating partners. This fact ensures the independence from single sponsors and a high interest in added value of the results for practitioners and for the scientific community.


In case you are interested in participating in our OPEX Benchmarking, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Data Security and Privacy

The benchmarking project will be conducted in accordance to the International Benchmarking Code of Conduct which ensures a correct attitude of all participants. The company data will be handled with utmost discretion and if applicable will be made anonymous. Company specific data is not to be used without prior approval of the respective company. The project initiators reserve to themselves to use the project results in summary and blinded for publications.

Get in Touch

Mark Grothkopp


Project Leader

Büro 24-0-238
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen

Matteo Bernasconi


Research Associate

Büro 24-0-238
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St Gallen

Fabian Klinkner

Research Associate

Dufourstrasse 40a
Büro 24-0-241
9000 St Gallen

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