Serialization is a quickly growing business
Product safety requires a serial number to track medicines from the factory through the pharmacy to the consumer
Harry Saint-Preux (right), Director of Global Alliances & Channels at the American companySystech International, visiting Kuopio. The company is a strategic partner for Servicepoint, which has expanded serialization lines into production, Senior Business Development Manager Iiro Jantunen explains.
Servicepoint Oy, founded for industrial maintenance, is quickly developing its business operations to become a supplier of pharmaceutical industry serialization lines. The fast-growing business field is supported by a strategic partnership with the American company Systech International, a world leader specialising in brand-name protection.
“Counterfeiting products, especially in the pharmaceutical industry is big business. It represents a tremendous health risk for the consumer, and often even the wholesaler may not know falsified products have infiltrated their inventory. The problem is that the fillers and other bonding agents used by counterfeiters can cause serious health risks, compounding the issue for those taking the medication,” says Harry Saint-Preux, Director of Global Alliances & Channels at Systech.
The serialization business is quickly spreading to foodstuffs, as well. Officials in China, for example, are preparing a law requiring verification of the origin of packages of breast-milk substitutes. In 2008 a powdered milk scandal was exposed in China, in which numerous dairies were using poisonous melamine in children’s foods.
Systech is responsible for the software used by Servicepoint’s serialization lines as part of a partnership. Manager Harry Saint-Preux says that the family business, which has about 300 employees, has nineteen partners around the world, and continues to grow its channel program. “I’ve visited a variety of solution providers and I must say that Servicepoint’s design, engineering and expertise is very impressive. I am certain that once Servicepoint’s marketing efforts take hold, there will be great demand for Servicepoint’s serialization lines. I would expect additional demand for their solutions outside their current area of operations as well,” says Saint-Preux.
There are about 15,000 prescription medicine production lines operating in the EU alone, of which only one-third meet the serialization requirement that will soon become law. In serialization, each medicine package is identifiable through a unique serial number. The serial number tracks the medicine from the factory through logistics to pharmacies and on to customers.
“There are blood-clotting medicines whose expiration date cannot be known in advance. With serialization, the user of a medicine could verify through a mobile application whether the product is safe to use,” Jantunen explains.
Servicepoint, based in Kuopio, represents Systech serialization solutions and is an integrator of serialization systems as well as a supplier of all-inclusive solutions in Finland, Estonia, Sweden and Russia. This year’s goal is sale and manufacturing of ten serialization lines for the market area, when last year only two lines were ready for shipping.
“In this respect, we are a start-up company,” says Iiro Jantunen, Manager of Serialization Business Development at Servicepoint Oy, with regard to new markets created by the industrial Internet.
The price range of serialization systems extends to several hundreds of thousands of euros.
“This is quite an high-tech product that enables strong growth for the company, but a prerequisite is of course that the work is done well,” says Risto Finne, the primary owner of Servicepoint and Managing Director of Kuopion Konepaja Oy.
Jouko Juutilainen, Savon Sanomat
Photo: Matias Honkamaa
CTO, Chief Technology Officer
Servicepoint Kuopio Oy