Go main content

Good manufacturing practices (GMP) and distribution practices (GDP)

Good manufacturing practices (GMP) and distribution practices (GDP)

Good manufacturing practice (GMP - Good Manufacturing Practice) and good distribution practice (GDP - Good Distribution Practice) are norms and standards that have been introduced to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical products and other products subject to restrictive regulations, such as food.

The main goal of good practices is to minimize the risk of product contamination during production and damage during storage and transportation. Maintaining the quality of the goods in this case is particularly important. Any deviations from the norm in the production and transport of medicines may affect their effectiveness, and spoiled food may cause poisoning. As a consequence, failure to comply with good practices may affect the health and even life of the consumer. However, the principles of good practice are so universal that it is worth using them regardless of the industry.

What is good manufacturing practice?

GMP consists of many elements that should be implemented at individual stages of production. First of all, appropriate staff training in the standards and procedures specific to a given production process. Training should cover the areas of hygiene, quality control and safety. In the case of more specialized positions, the priority should be to prepare appropriate additional courses. An example is attention to hygiene, wearing protective clothing or a properly developed procedure for washing hands by employees before starting work at the workplace. Next, quality control covers raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products. Suppliers should be verified and trusted and have the required certificates. Moreover, the raw material should undergo detailed quality control before being put into production. This may include visual inspection and laboratory testing to validate the quality of the raw material. Storing semi-finished products also requires appropriate conditions, such as temperature, humidity and protection against damage, which is extremely important to prevent the degradation of raw materials. However, keeping records is required to be able to resolve any complexities in the event of an external or internal audit. An example may be a situation in which a defective batch of a product is received and the cause of this condition should be checked. Quality also includes maintenance and calibration of production machines. Regular maintenance and calibration of production equipment, as well as management in accordance with technical standards, are required in every plant. Equipment inspection is extremely important to prevent possible downtime, accidents or defective batches of goods. In the interests of the environment, it is also good practice to manage pollution in a safe manner. It is primarily about maintaining cleanliness, proper segregation of waste, and its proper storage and disposal. Finally, it is worth remembering to conduct regular internal audits to assess GMP compliance and identify areas for improvement.

What is good distribution practice?

GDP is activities aimed at increasing the efficiency of goods distribution. The right initial step is proper planning and inventory management. Enterprises collect data in order to be able to forecast demand for particular goods in a given period. Excessive inventories generate additional storage costs. In turn, too few goods may result in delivery delays. Another valuable practice is taking care of relationships with distribution partners by building lasting and beneficial relationships. It is crucial to ensure clear communication, fair terms of cooperation and regular monitoring and evaluation of the results of distribution partners. Appropriate cooperation contributes to effective sales and building a positive brand image. An important aspect of business strategy is the choice of distribution channels, which depends on product characteristics, market reach, costs, competition, customer relationships and technological innovations. It is necessary to balance these factors and adapt the distribution strategy to changing market conditions. It is also fundamental to ensure quality in the distribution process, which prevents damage and loss of value of products during transport and storage. This includes appropriate packaging, labeling and securing of goods, applying appropriate handling procedures in warehouses and using reputable transport companies. It is also crucial to monitor the quality of products at every stage of distribution and to react quickly if problems are detected. This ensures that the product reaches the customer in perfect condition, contributing to customer satisfaction and strengthening the company's reputation. One of the most important aspects of good distribution practice is logistics optimization. It involves improving processes related to transports, warehousing and inventory management to increase efficiency and reduce costs. This includes planning optimal transport routes, using technology to track and manage shipments, minimizing downtime in warehouses, as well as continuous monitoring and improvement of all logistics processes. By optimizing logistics, you can shorten delivery times, reduce operating costs and increase customer satisfaction through faster and reliable deliveries.

Compliance with the above practices requires a systematic approach, team involvement and constant monitoring of work effects. Good practices contribute not only to the effective sale of products, but also to building a positive brand image and customer loyalty. Modern tools may be helpful. In the case of good production practices, CMMS systems such as SmartMaint are irreplaceable, which facilitates the management and maintenance of machinery. However, in the case of good distribution practices, the SmartLoad application will help in planning the loading of goods. Both programs have a 14-day trial period for new users!

Previous article: Management consistent with Lean Management