Pharmaceutical Logistics

In the spring of 1933, in the suburbs of Sofia, the beginning of Bulgarian pharmaceutical manufacture was initiated with the building of the first manufacturing laboratory for pharmaceuticals. This was also the beginning of Sopharma, one of the most successful Bulgarian enterprises of all times. Irrespective of the form of property - private cooperative, socialist state - owned, private joint - stock company, for 70 years now Sopharma continues to be an embodiment of the human striving for health and humanity. This explains the fact that today as well Sopharma continues to be one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals - a warrantor of quality and reliability.

Established as a small manufacturing laboratory with the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Cooperative Society in 1942, the company grew into Galenus Factory, the first modern pharmaceutical enterprise on the Balkan Peninsula. After its nationalization in 1953, Galenus Factory was renamed to Chemical - Pharmaceutical Plant. After the successful privatization in September 2000, Sopharma has become a private pharmaceutical company with priorities aimed at the establishment of the world standards for quality and efficiency.

The price of Sopharma's shares reached BGN 4.62 in 2004, which was an annual growth of 43.92 %. Only two months later, by 01 March 2005, the average daily price of the shares was BGN 7.14 per share. The stable upward trend proves that the company has answered the market expectations with respect to its financial results and corporate management, conforming this way the investors' trust.

Sopharma Trading JSCo (part of the group Sopharma) is now a leading distributor of pharmaceuticals and medicinal products, sanitary, cosmetics and food supplements. Company's has 19.7% market share for the first two months of 2007. The company is certified according ISO 9001:2000 for medicines distribution in compliance with the guidelines for Good Distribution Practices. Under the conditions of urgent investment engagements related mainly to the GMP standardization, Sopharma managed not only to satisfy, but also to increase the demand of its products. Among the best sold medicines in 2004 are Analgin, Tabex, Carsil, Sophanax and other medicines both original and generic.

In 2004 a socially significant advertising campaign for Tabex was started aimed at proving the efficacy of the product for overcoming the nicotine dependence. At the same time new products of Sopharma are launched on the market: Solipril (Lisinopril), Meloxicam (Movix), Pravastatin (Pravapres), Moclomid (Moclobemide), Metformin (Sophamet), Infludex, Hexisept, Paroxat, Tramalgin, Rytmocard.

In March 2004 the first joint project of Sopharma and GlaxoSmithKline for joint manufacture of the drug Paroxat was started to provide a higher availability to Bulgarian patients of a modern medicine for treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. This project is a foundation for future joint activities in the field of pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.

Mantis LV Solution

In 2005 Sopharma JSCo built a new Distribution Center for the trading company - Sopharma Trading. This is a modern building with all necessary conditions for storage and distribution of drugs, according to the Good Distribution practices. The distribution center stores products from Sopharma's production as well as products of other pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. The distribution center is 5,200 sq.m., with 6,000 pallet locations - Back to Back (in stock area and also in rooms under special conditions - cold storage, under strong safety control for narcotic drugs and others) and a picking area with 2,500 picking locations (for packs). The warehouse stores above 9,000 items.

Sopharma Trading understood the need of implementing a solution to manage their supply chain, because the control and management of inventory, documents and personnel in distribution center of this kind is too hard without using state - of - the - art integrated software. Moreover in distribution of drugs there are specific conditions for storage and transport and also need for lot traceability and expiration dates. It's very important not only to know everything what is happening with the stock, but also to have the tools for optimization of all the procedures in the warehouse.

The pharmaceuticals industry has several issues that impact them:

  • Regulatory compliance for handling controlled substances.
  • Samples and literature distribution.
  • Validated information systems that enable tracing to the lot level.
  • Recall and quarantine services.
  • Dedicated around - the - clock customer service call center.
  • Products launch support.
  • Design and maintenance of high - security areas.

Especially for Sopharma the demands were as follow:

  • Production Date and Life expiry systems.
  • Back - panels management.
  • Drive - in handling.
  • Repacking processes.
  • Optimized labor, space and inventory utilization.
  • FEFO inventory control by date code.
  • LOT upstream and downstream traceability.
  • Maximized order filling rates and customer service.
  • Improved order picking and shipping accuracy employs best practices workflow procedures and warehouse task automation.
  • Accelerated material flow through the warehouse, reduced cycle time from receipt to order fulfillment.
  • Vendor quality evaluation (receiving) and combined QC / loading functionality (shipping).
  • Prioritized and directed employee activities.
  • Performance metrics tracking.
  • WMS compliance with IT standards and customer mandates / regulation requirements.
  • Lowest Total Cost of Ownership.
  • Painless upgrade process.
  • Real - time adaptability and flexibility.
  • 24 / 7 support availability.
  • Ability to interface with other business software (LV Link Manager).

Mantis was chosen by Sopharma Company, for the quality of the logistics services it provides and at the same time for the superiority of the LV application itself.

The proposed solution provided Sopharma with the following benefits:

  • Item management by group.
  • Smart Logistics Attributes per item as a guide to handle shelf life, product date etc.
  • Full upstream and downstream LOT traceability.
  • Receipts from suppliers: consolidation per depositor, client, LOT, etc. and put - away.
  • Receipts from manufacturing: direct put - away.
  • Receipts from returns: checking, sorting (damaged promotional, marketing activities etc.) and put - away.
  • Soft allocation of items to orders based on first come first served under the applicable rules for order fulfillment assessment on new guide items receipts.
  • Picking lists generation and hard allocation of stock based on distribution scheduling.
  • Multiple customer orders management for both picking and checking - packing tasks at the level of shipment.
  • Print of packing list at the level of shipping unit (box, hanger bag, etc.).
  • Specific order fulfillment management according to order types (i.e., initial, shelf replenishment orders, back - orders of initial and replenishment orders, etc.).
  • Minimize errors in order preparation thus resulting in almost eliminating returns (if any) and the high costs associated with them, while at the same time increase customer service level.
  • Dramatically increase inventory accuracy (i.e. the exact storage location of each set / item is monitored in real time) which along with goods positioning optimization techniques result in reduction of pick time and increase of work force productivity and efficiency.
  • Automate warehousing and distribution activities thus dramatically reducing company's dependence to expert employees. New employees can start working efficiently with minimum training.
  • Increase utilization of warehouse storage space.
  • Complete traceability of goods from their arrival up to delivery.
  • Provide advanced politics for stock replenishment (FIFO, FEFO, special customer requirements, etc.) and orders fulfillment (First Order - First Serve, backorders, alternative codes).
  • Real time centralized monitoring and control of all distribution centers.
  • Provide management with complete (real time and off - line) information on the logistics planning operations to support their decisions.
  • Provide easy and fast interfaces with the accounting and commercial systems of Sopharma and its depositors through LVS / Logistics Link Manager tool.
  • Subsequent extension to support of value added services (operations as Assembling, Repackaging, or any other similar operation).
  • In house expansion of the Logistics Vision Suite using A.P.W option.


Mantis helped Sopharma boost supply - chain performance to the maximum level. The consultants of Mantis with their deep knowledge of the pharmaceuticals - logistics sector transferred their best practices skills to the customer and added value on their existing business processes.

Sopharma was a challenge for Mantis and vice - versa. After the project closure date, Sopharma became another success story for Mantis and at the same time, Sopharma achieved a R.O.I. in a minimum time and effort. The people of Mantis, feel very proud for helping their customers on their business by providing them solutions with quality and added value. This is the driving force, in which Sopharma S.A. rely on.