Chuwn Leong Ch’ng – CEO, Thunder Print, Interviewed by PharmaBoardroom

Chuwn Leong Ch’ng – CEO, Thunder Print, Malaysia

Chuwn Leong Ch’ng, CEO of Thunder Print, presents his company’s strategic role within the Malaysian healthcare industry to provide a high-quality packaging services for all type of health products, from medicines to health supplements.

Today, we are one of the few printers in Malaysia that offer a complete range of packaging services specifically for the pharma industry

Can you introduce the company to our international audience and its evolution since its creation in 1996?

We started in 1996 as a rubber stamp and business cards printing service provider before entering the commercial printing business in 2003. Over the years, we have developed our services to adapt it to different industries which helped us shape our focus in the healthcare sector. We went from working with partners to building our own fully equipped in-house facilities offering services ranging from pre-press, on press, post press to end-product delivery. By 2010, we were offering one-stop printing services aiming to offer the highest value to our customers. We also a Research & Development team to help our clients in creating the best packaging for their products.

Today, we are one of the few printers in Malaysia that offer a complete range of packaging services specifically for the pharma industry. 99 percent of our clients are based in Malaysia and we have set up different offices all around the country in order to serve all areas in Malaysia with the shortest delay.

What are the main issues that your clients have been facing when it comes to packaging?

In the print industry and especially in the packaging segment, healthcare companies are facing a few issues. First, they can be subject to poor quality consistency where colours are fading within the packaging of the same batch which in turns can compromise the patients’ perception of the drug. There can also be inconsistencies in the batches when the orders are repeated.

A second issue is related to the timing. Malaysia is a country where distribution can be a challenge. Therefore, clients are experiencing delivery punctuality issues where the delivery is not made fast enough or not respecting the scheduled date. There can also be an inconsistent lead time where the manufacturing plans are not respected due to external issues. Thunder Print believes that pharma clients require a targeted support in terms of fast and on-time delivery in packaging considering the values of such products.

We have also noticed a challenge in providing good services. For example, there is often a mix-up in between orders in the country. Our clients see mix-up as a crime and so do we. Immediate and serious actions are always required to respond to such mix-up and to improve the products. However, poor service and respond time have been observed in Malaysia.

In what way can Thunder Print support the healthcare industry as its strategic partner and what type of innovation can you offer to your clients?

Thunder Print wants to position itself as the strategic partner of choice for all pharmaceutical companies in Malaysia. Therefore, we have adapted our resources to fit this role. Everything is done in-house so as to control the quality consistency of our end-products as well as packaging tempering. Moreover, we employ the latest packaging technology to achieve customer requirements on cost effectively and efficiently. These digital technologies enables us to produce packaging in short-run as well in a short turn-around time. We also developed our own ERP process and system to make manufacturing more in line and effective. We developed our own inspection camera system in sorting process as well. We are bringing in more technologies but there is still a path of opportunities to explore. Additionally, we have established our own logistics department in 2016 to respond to the distribution issue and we are using a specific software to track down the deliveries and allow our customer to follow the delivery status.

We want to make sure that the three pillars we have set as the foundation of our services are respected. They consist of ensuring the constant quality of our products, providing a safe and on-time delivery as well as offering a high-quality customer service so that we can answer the needs of our clients. We bring value to our customers and that is why we are already partnering with companies like Biocon, Hovid and Pharmaniaga.

Why should the packaging step not be overlooked by the healthcare industry when manufacturing and distributing products in Malaysia?

Packaging is important in the healthcare sector for a number of obvious reasons. First, it participates in the product branding and enable customers to make a better decision besides helping them to find the product of the shelves. It also gives customers confidence in the products and helps them to identify fake copies from real medicines. Finally, it helps the company to protect its products during shipping in order to avoid defects. As the first impression is very important in a product, we can ensure that our clients’ requirements will be respected.

Thunder Print has a strong positioning in the Malaysian market. What is your growth strategy moving forward and what type of local investments are you looking at?

Looking at the past five years, the pharmaceutical industry has had a consistent growth of around eight percent in Malaysia. This means that there is a demand for printed packaging in the country. As such, our goal is to be a comprehensive and attractive packaging printer for the pharma industry. In order to do this, we will strategically invest in technology and know-how to expand our packaging line specifically for this industry. We are looking at bringing in machines for individual packaging and the latest technologies will be used so we can ensure the security of our staff as well as the well-execution of the production. One other area that we will look into is logistics and delivery as ultimately, we may look at catering for the needs of the neighbouring countries of Thailand and Indonesia. This will a be a long-term goal that we have started to look at. In terms of further expansion, we see the possibility to extend our offering with integrated marketing solution that will answer some of our client’s more specific needs. We have also seen a growing interest in Malaysia for the medical devices segment so an expansion into this sector might be interesting as more investments are being allocated to medical devices.

Our final goal is really for us to be known as a packaging printing specialist for the pharma industry, one who is not just reliable but who also understands the growing and demanding needs of the industry. My personal motto is “if there is a will, there is a way” and this is the mindset I want all my team at Thunder Print to develop for our clients.

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