Operational Excellence


We strive to empower your organisation on its journey towards Operational Excellence. Our work bases on three pillars:

  • Research conducted on FDA research grants, e.g. within their Quality Metrics Initiative
  • Benchmarking pharmaceutical, OTC and personal care manufacturing as well as Quality Control Lab operations
  • Individual projects for industry that combine applied research and data analytics with consulting expertise.
Find more details on all of these and examples of research and consulting projects below.
In addition to the above, we offer different formats for knowledge exchange and are happy to share our insights. Please find an outline of these formats in the "Exchange" section.

Our original OPEX manufacturing benchmarking for the pharmaceutical industry was established in 2004 and is a success story since then. We have the world's largest independent database of this kind, which enables us to deliver precise and insightful comparisons. More


In 2016 we launched the QC Lab benchmarking to represent more of the value chain and to support industry in their trending "Lean Labs" initiatives. It follows the same, proven approach of a holistic representation of maturity and performance. Currently, we already have a dataset of more than 95 QC labs available and therefore are able to draw meaningful conclusions. More


In a joint effort with the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), we ramp up similar programs for OTC and personal care product manufacturers. Get involved to spearhead this excellence initiative! Please contact Marten Ritz.


Since April 2020 an additional global quality benchmarking study is open for participation. It acts as a streamlined version of the full OPEX manufacturing & QC lab benchmarking programs and provides pharmaceutical manufacturing establishments with their relative position compared to peers worldwide.

OPEX model_ratio
FDA Quality Metrics Research

Our team was commenced work on a FDA research grant to investigate Quality Metrics in 2016. Since then we developed a model reflecting all relevant aspects of the research frame. We analysed different interrelations and links to regulatory outcomes. Please find all details in our published reports.

ICHQ10 PP_Background
Knowledge Exchanges & Conferences

The Operational Excellence in Pharma Conference Berlin is a one day event in which we present insights on leading and sustaining Operational Excellence. We combine research results, case studies and joint discussions to create a full day that is ideal to get you or your colleagues up to speed on Operational Excellence or to refresh your knowledge with new updates. There are several dates annually with events happening worldwide.


The "Operational Excellence Research Group" consists of six to ten companies that come together for four two-day meetings per year (2 x Europe, 2 x North America). The goal is to combine detailed research result with input presentations from our participants and a focus on expert discussions. It gives you room for in-depth knowledge exchange across organisations. The meetings typically have guiding topics such as Production System, Digitalisation, Performance Measurment, Quality Culture, Quality Metrics and Lean Labs. We take care of organising, moderating and facilitating the events.


Due to the high interest in excellence initiatives around QC labs and to share insights from the lab benchmarking, we inaugurated the QC Lab Operational Excellence Exchange Platform (QCex) in 2018. There are three two-day meetings annually. For the initial round, we geographically limited meeting locations to Europe. Key topics of the 2018 meetings were Performance Measurement, Work Schedule and Digitalisation. The topics of the second year will be announced shortly.



Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli
Professor of Production Management

Director ITEM

Division Production Management

Marten Ritz
Project Leader
Mark Grothkopp
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Gian-Andri Steiger
Research Associate & PHD Candidate
Mateo Bernasconi
Matteo Bernasconi
Research Associate & PhD Candidate
Lorenzo Pirrone
Research Associate & PHD Candidate

OPEX Newsletter

Our newsletter occasionally provides you with information about upcoming projects and conferences - subscribe to stay updated on the latest research!

You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.
You have to fill this out.