Author: Admin

Nippon Express receives WDA license at LHR

We are delighted that Nippon Express have received their WDA license from the MHRA for Good Distribution Practice of Medicinal Products for Human Use (2013C/ 343/01).  We have been working in partnership with the Nippon Express London team over the last number of years on their GDP project and thanks to the hard work, diligence and professionalism they successfully gained their license in April.

Achieving a WDA license requires extensive auditing and compliance, which is where ASC provided their consultancy, advisory and audit services.

As part of the GDP project we trained over 50 personnel on our bespoke GDP and RP for logistics courses.

ASC were privileged to work with a very strong project team, led by Julian Strutt, Tia Lewis and Damian Tomlinson, and we offer our congratulations to them.

Julian Strutt – General Manager London Regional Branch – Nippon Express

“After shortlisting several companies we chose ASC as a company we felt comfortable working with and by their professionalism and enthusiastic approach.  They set up a thorough training schedule for our Ops Teams which was engaging and interactive, working on case studies and problem solving in small teams. Their help in completing our GDP QMS was invaluable, ASC were always available for advice as and when needed. After a full pre audit walking us through the QMS with us from start to finish we were thoroughly prepared for our MHRA inspection and were awarded with our GDP WDA Licence in April. I have no hesitation in recommending ASC Associates”.

Henry Moran – Director – ASC Associates

“Working with the team at Nippon Express was a real privilege. Their commitment to the project was fantastic, their willingness to learn aligned with their enthusiasm made this project a complete success.  We look forward to continuing to support them with their ongoing training needs. We wish them success on their Life Science service offerings”.

Cold Chain Federation Webinar


ASC Associates had the great opportunity of speaking with Shane Brennan chairman of the Cold Chain Federation on pharmaceutical logistics. The session, a live webinar, focussed on what the food supply chain can learn about compliance and quality from the pharmaceutical industry.  We spoke extensively about Good Distribution Practice and how the principles can be applied in a different market sector.  The webinar is available here


Leading Minds Amsterdam

Innovation, digitisation, risk and sustainability were the key messages from last weeks Leading Minds seminar.  Our own Henry Moran was the chairperson of the event, that was jointly hosted by ELPRO and Sonoco Thermosafe.  The annual event brings together pharmaceutical supply chain experts, to discuss and share their thoughts on existing and future trends. This years attendees formed a broad spectrum from the Pharma the supply chain, from manufacturers and 3PL’s to airlines and academics. We are looking forward to 2020 already!

Leading Minds Seminar Europe

On November 14th 2019 our director, Henry Moran, will chair the Leading Minds Seminar in Amsterdam. This event, organised by Elpro and Sonoco Thermosafe, will bring together professionals from throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain for a series of discussions and talks addressing key issues within the industry today.

Leading Minds Seminars focus on collaborative learning, encouraging delegates to share experiences and knowledge with each other. This peer driven format is known as FUELS – Fusion of Useful Experiences in Logistics and Storage, and provides an opportunity to learn from others whilst ensuring you’re on track and implementing the most cost-effective best practices.

The schedule for the event covers a wide range of topics, including quality control, data management, and reusable packaging. And in addition to chairing the event, Henry will also be leading a community forum discussion on “The Impact of Brexit on Pharmaceutical Trade”. It’s going to be a fascinating day, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to gain such knowledge and insight from our peers.

uni of huddersfield

Exploring Pharmaceutical Logistics with Supply Chain Students at University of Huddersfield

On 7th March, our CEO Amy Shortman will be speaking at a Healthcare Logistics and Supply Chain Management event at the University of Huddersfield. The event has been organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, and is aimed at inspiring local professionals and supply chain students alike.

Amy will be providing the initial Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Logistics Industry Overview, which will be followed by a series of talks covering automated technology, the NHS carbon footprint, and GS1 standards.

The event will also include a networking lunch, something which we at ASC believe is crucial in business. The opportunity to meet professionals from other areas within the industry and share knowledge and insights is invaluable. It was a similar networking event, run by Women in Logistics, which led to Amy becoming involved in this, after discussing with Bethany Fovargue, Operations manager at NOVUS Trust The Chartered Institute of Logistics, how to engage the next generation.

Amy is particularly looking forward to meeting with the supply chain students at the University of Huddersfield, sharing her experiences of working within the industry, and finding out what inspired them to start a career in this area.

You can find out more about the event here.


Preview of Autumn Winter Newsletter

Our Autumn/Winter Newsletter

Just before Christmas we sent out a copy of our Autumn/Winter newsletter to all our subscribers. In it we shared updates on what we had been up, as well as industry news that we felt was particularly interesting.

This is something we like to do twice a year, to capture news and updates that might impact our clients throughout the entire supply chain. Our latest edition includes information about the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) move to Amsterdam in light of Brexit, as well as research into the value of Air Freight.

You can download a copy of our Autumn/Winter newsletter here. You can also subscribe to our mailing list, to ensure that you receive a copy of our newsletters as soon as they are published.

PMPS Feb 2018 featured image

GDP and WDA in the UK – Our Latest Article in PMPS

Whilst GDP compliance is becoming increasingly recognised within the Pharmaceutical industry, there remains a lot of confusion over exactly what it entails and which parts apply to each section of the supply chain. Which is why we wrote an article for the February edition of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer (PMPS) magazine, exploring GDP compliance in more depth.

Within the article we focus specifically on WDA licenses, including what they are and who might need one. You can read a copy of the full article here, which is taken from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer February 2018, pages 22-25. © Samedan Ltd

PMPS Feb 2018

Tom Cochrane ASC Associate

Introducing our New Associate – Tom Cochrane

We are pleased to welcome a new associate to our team this year – Tom Cochrane.

Tom has extensive experience within the Pharmaceutical industry, with a particular interest in developing and implementing systems that protect products from damage and theft throughout the supply chain.

It is great to be reunited with Henry and to be joining the ASC team at this exciting time.  I worked with Henry for many years and know the expertise that both he and Amy bring to the pharmaceutical industry” said Tom Cochrane.

Amy Shortman said “We are immensely excited with the addition of Tom to ASC.  He brings with him over 37 years’ of experience within Quality Assurance, Business Process Improvement and, most recently, Pharma Global Security Operations. Tom’s expertise will add significant value to our clients.”

Find out more about Tom’s experiences on Our Team Page.

Implementing Global Operation Centres (GOC) and Quality Management Systems (QMS).


We are delighted to announce that ASC will once again be presenting at this year’s Temperature Controlled Logistics Conference. Now in its 17th year, the conference is organised by the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC), and will run from 29th January to the 1st February in London.

The conference brings together experts from across the industry, covering every aspect of cool chain logistics. With 60 expert speakers, covering 40 sessions split into three distinct streams – planning, transportation, and last mile distribution – alongside 60 exhibitors and 72 hours for networking, it is a key event of the year.

You may remember that last year our CEO, Amy Shortman, chaired the conference. It was a fascinating experience, because it showed us just how much time, effort, and planning goes into making sure the event runs without a hitch. This year we are looking forward to simply enjoying the atmosphere and networking with our fellow delegates.

That’s not to say we won’t be busy. Amy and our COO, Henry Moran, are running a session entitled, “Implementing Global Operation Centres (GOC) and Quality Management Systems (QMS).” We shall be looking at case studies which examine the challenges involved in implementing a global CMS and how these may be overcome.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference.


Virgin Atlantic Pharma Zone

Virgin Atlantic Cargo Launches Pharma Zone

On 2nd October 2017, Virgin Atlantic Cargo opened their new Pharma Zone at their facility at London Heathrow. The purpose of the Pharma Zone is to provide a fully segregated area for the handling and storage of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products.

As the volume of pharmaceutical products being transported via air freight increases, airlines are becoming increasingly aware of the need to comply to strict regulations and guidelines to ensure that product safety and efficacy is maintained throughout transit. The Pharma Zone has been developed in conjunction with Delta Cargo, and alongside this development Virgin Atlantic Cargo are in the process of applying for a Wholesale Dealer Authorisation (WDA).

Our Work with Virgin Atlantic Cargo

ASC has been working with Virgin Atlantic Cargo over the past 18 months in order to assist in their work towards compliance and application for a WDA. Our work with Virgin Atlantic Cargo began by conducting the ‘ASC GDP Health Check’ on Virgin’s cargo operation and that of their Ground Handling Agents at London Heathrow, the Virgin Atlantic Cargo Hub, and Manchester. This was a thorough audit against EU Good Distribution Practice (GDP) Guidelines and Supply Chain Security.

Virgin then took the findings and conducted a CAPA plan to close the non-compliances. As part of the project, ASC has trained 60 key personal on our bespoke certified (GDP) training course which is designed for logisticians by logisticians. Whilst many other GDP courses focus on wholesale activities, we have developed a course that demonstrates how GDP is applicable in pharmaceutical logistics.

Feedback from our work with Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Rich Ellis (Manager, Products and Partnerships at Virgin Atlantic Cargo) gave us his feedback following the completion of our work with the team:

“ASC’s expert guidance has been invaluable in terms of performing a complete GDP Gap Analysis, and then providing assistance in working through this in our work towards obtaining a WDA. The training provided to staff from various departments has been excellent, and their flexibility allowed us to work with them to design a training program that was suitable to our needs.”

Henry Moran, Chief Operating Officer at ASC, was our project lead and has been working with Virgin Atlantic Cargo for the past 18 months:

Working with the Virgin Atlantic Cargo team on this project was a privilege. Their enthusiasm and passion to learn was second to none, which when combined with their excellent service offerings, made this project a complete success.

We are proud of the work we have done with Virgin Atlantic Cargo, and we look forward to continuing to support the team and to see their products and services to the Healthcare industry develop and prosper.

find out more about the pharma zone

The Pharma Zone has been created with the needs of temperature sensitive shipments in mind, and this is clear to see in the range of features integrated into its design. To find out more about the Pharma Zone, visit the Virgin Atlantic Cargo website, where all the key features of the facility are listed.

Virgin Atlantic Pharma Zone 2