Around 83% of generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Chanelle’s business is now in the EU, but it hasn’t been an easy road. In the early days, it had to overcome significant challenges in terms of getting products registered in different markets. Here, managing director Michael Burke provides his gems of wisdom for companies keen to make it in the EU:
The number one lesson I have learned in relation to exporting into the EU is never to give up. You have to keep trying and submitting the dossiers – no matter what business you’re in. Perseverance and persistence have been a huge help to us as a company.
The key to our success in the EU has been having a clear strategy. You need to know what you’re about and what your goals are. I am a great believer in keeping things simple. We have a simple way of operating and it gets us places. In the past five years we have doubled turnover and it has all been organic growth. The foundations are in place to achieve this again in the coming five years.
Investment in innovation, both on the product development side and in operations, is vital. We now have 70 people working in R&D in the veterinary and human pharmaceuticals businesses. This is a high-cost centre but if you don’t invest in R&D as a company like ours you won’t have any success. Sales depend on continued innovation. On the process side, we have put huge resources and effort into introducing Lean practices to drive efficiency. We are currently working on achieving Shingo accreditation to highlight our operational excellence.