The Waters Difference: Eliminating Doubt in the Chromatography Consumables Supply Chain
The Waters Chemistry Consumables team in Wexford, Ireland distributes 8,000 consumable product offerings to three major distribution centers in Europe, Asia and the United States. The consumables team consists of more than 240 committed staff members who work directly to deliver all 8,000 consumables. Our strategy is to ensure that we can meet the demands of our customers today and in the future. Waters consumable products saw unprecedented demand during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Wexford facility, therefore, added 25% more floor space and additional capacity in 2021.
Dedicated Planning Team Monitoring and Prioritizing Orders
The team at Wexford demonstrated tremendous agility during the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain operations and implemented a number of measures to keep staff safe while continuing to serve critical supply chains. To support a significant increase in demand, the facility added temporary night shifts: the first in 2020 lasting six months, and the second in 2021 for four months. Both the safety of our staff and continuity of supply for our customers were of paramount importance to the team. Many of our chemistries support critical pharmaceuticals and biologics including the design, development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines. Part of our commitment to delivering the high volume of products to our customers is to ensure that product offerings are available at our distribution centers when orders are placed.
Waters carries a minimum of four weeks of inventory for ~60% of the 8,000 product offerings; the remainder are Build-to-Order (BTO). A dedicated planning team within the consumables plant monitors the demand signals each day, which include both forecasted and un-forecasted demand. The planning and operations teams work seamlessly with focus, urgency and accountability to prioritize orders into the manufacturing operation throughout the 16-hour working day. The business operates on SAP HANA and a suite of superior data analytics platforms.
Owning the Supply Chain from Start to Finish
At Waters we take pride in the consistency, reproducibility and overall quality of our products. We own the supply chain from start to finish. Our Consumables Manufacturing Operations in Wexford provided us with our Sorbent from our synthesis facility in Taunton as well as our Column hardware from our precision machining operations in Milford, both located in Massachusetts, U.S. As part of Waters risk mitigation strategy, the company holds an enterprise reserve of materials at both intermediate and finished product state, which means the Consumables Manufacturing Operation can react quickly and satisfy demand above forecast.
Due to the significant impact on the airline industry over the pandemic, the Logistics and Trade Compliance team worked tirelessly to acquire space on the limited aircraft travelling to our main distribution hubs. Over the years, our Waters team has developed a best-in-class customs process which includes a customs authorization (approved economic operator) that waives the custom clearance process and facilitates faster delivery both in to and out of Ireland.
Waters Chemistry Consumables takes great pride in producing quality products and delivering on time to our valued customers throughout the world.
Blog: Waters: Our Story
Blog: The Waters Difference: Building Quality into Everything We Do From A to Z (Part 1, Quality)
Blog: The Waters Difference: Eliminate Doubt with Chemistry Technical Services (Part 2, Support)