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Rob Stijlen
Home | Efficient Quality Reporting for Vifor Pharma - a Success Story
October 31, 2017

Efficient Quality Reporting for Vifor Pharma - a Success Story

More efficient. More reliable. More flexible. — The quality reporting of Vifor Pharma reaches new maturity.

Price pressure and tough competition are driving pharmaceutical companies to higher quality and continuous improvement. The quality management department of Vifor Pharma is making its own contribution and prescribed a slimming diet to its own KPI reporting.


The Initial Situation

Vifor Pharma, a company of the Galenica group, is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of the research, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of iron deficiency.

The quality management (QM) department of Vifor Pharma has a wide-ranging key performance indicator (KPI) system. Quality-related data is regularly collected regarding eight quality departments at seven locations and this data is sent to the global QM. The consolidated KPIs are reported directly to the management of the company.

Due to the rare mix of process, compliance and IT expertise, Vifor Pharma decided to put the planned optimization of the quality reporting process in the experienced hands of the life science consultancy ARCONDIS.

The motivation behind the optimization is summarized by Karin Hochsticher, consultant of the ARCONDIS Group, as follows:

  • “The effort for checking and consolidating the Excel KPI sheets sent via e‑mail was enormous on the part of the global QM. Over a month, this task took more than half of the working time of an employee.
  • The majority of the manual work steps was no longer sufficient for meeting the complexity and quantity structure of reporting: more than 120 key figures per location from fourteen different processes with sometimes site-specific requirements were summarized into one master report and displayed over time. Manual links and too many input sources have led to error proneness.
  • Due to the many non-automated interfaces, the system was rigid and inflexible – changes to the KPIs were only carried out very rarely and with great caution – even if there was a great need for adaptation from the business perspective.”


The Method

A proven phase model allowed for the smooth running of the optimization project (see Fig.):

The focus of the analysis phase was on the penetration of the actual processes and technical circumstances. The first optimization potential has been uncovered.

The subsequent solution design encompassed the definition of the requirements as well as their encounter as part of an intelligent implementation. ARCONDIS showed Vifor Pharma different solutions with corresponding business cases and a viable decision for the design was achieved.

The implementation of the solution occurred within the defined time and cost budget. New or modified changes were also integrated in the short term due to an agile solution design.

In the user acceptance test, the users therefore not only learned the new way of data entry, but also were able to familiarize themselves with the extended KPIs.

Success Story Vifor Pharma - Analyzing graphs


The embedding of new processes and tools in the organization took place according to best practices from the organizational change management as part of the transition phase.

Even months after the project conclusion, the fast response of the support department in the case of need is ensured by the consultants entrusted with the project.


The system follows the process and not the other way around.

The Solution

In addition to project management, ARCONDIS, who is well-versed in the processes of the pharmaceutical industry, is also responsible for process consulting and the technical implementation – so that everything came from a single source.

The main cornerstones of this solution are:

  • Streamlining the reporting process and adjusting the cycle from monthly to quarterly reports
  • Reduction of the process complexity, inter alia by reducing manual work steps and introducing a central data recording platform
  • Optimization of the creation of graphic reports for management in the desired output format (PowerPoint)
  • Increasing efficiency and quality of data input through optimized usability and optical input aids
  • Mechanisms for extended plausibility checking of the transmitted values
Success Story Vifor Pharma - Process Model


Compliance is rising. The effort is lowering.

The Result — a Success Story

What counts are the results. Vifor Pharma is benefitting from this in every new reporting cycle:

  • Well-prepared for the next FDA inspection: through the stable reporting with viable KPIs, trends are detected earlier and unwanted developments are immediately countered. The risk of damage to image and non-compliance costs is lowering.
  • The time spent on global quality reporting was reduced by half. The entire process costs are therefore significantly reduced.
  • The improved process supports the qualification procedures optimally and improves efficiency at all locations involved.
  • Vifor Pharma has regained its flexibility in QM reporting. The new solution is flexible and equipped for future requirements.



“The KPI reporting process was initially very complex and time-consuming. With the help of ARCONDIS, we were able to increase efficiency tremendously and design the report so that we can also use it for the semi-annual quality system management reviews.”

— Head Corporate Quality Management Vifor Pharma



“An important success factor for the project was the good cooperation between Vifor Pharma and ARCONDIS. Due to the fast response times and support far beyond the go live, we were able to ensure that Vifor Pharma optimally benefits from the use of the new solution.”

— Karin Hochsticher, Consultant ARCONDIS Group


Success Story Vifor Pharma - Training Management Reporting

Example Training Management Reporting (fictitious numbers) (Click the image to enlarge)