Pfizer Puurs wins European Industrial Excellence Award

Having won the Industrial Excellence Award for Belgium in October 2023, Pfizer Puurs has now also received the European Industrial Excellence Award (IEA).

This year’s prestigious competition, held at Vlerick Business School this year, highlighted excellence in European industry with key themes of sustainability and resilience. Pfizer Puurs joins companies such as Volkswagen, Henkel, Bentley Motors and HelloFresh on the roll of honour for this award.

The Industrial Excellence Award focuses mainly on innovation, operational excellence and implementation of strategy in business processes. This year’s jury, made up of academics from European Business Schools including INSEAD, SDA Bocconi, WHU, Cambridge Judge Business School and Vlerick Business School, had a particular focus on sustainability and resilience. They praised Pfizer Puurs for its approach to ‘continuous improvement’ and monitoring of its quality culture, while also demonstrating agility in a rapidly changing sector.

The jury viewed the company’s achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which a new mRNA technology was rolled out in commercial mass production in record time, as a successful expression of that corporate culture.

Luc Van Steenwinkel, Managing Director and Site Leader of Pfizer Puurs: ​

“In the past few years we have built a strong reputation as a ‘launch site’ for new products. The COVID-19 vaccine is the most obvious example of that. Our ambition to deliver excellence every day is characteristic of our mindset at Pfizer Puurs. Quality and safety are right at the centre of everything we do, together with a focus on innovation, scenario thinking, leadership and autonomous teams. That culture definitely helped us in the huge process of scaling up to several billion doses of COVID vaccine without reducing the volume of our other products. We are very proud of that. Right now we also have a lot of new products in our pipeline, so the process of innovation continues.”
Ann Vereecke, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at Vlerick Business School: ​

“What Pfizer Puurs achieved during the COVID-19 pandemic is really impressive: they launched the vaccine in record time and scaled it up to record volumes, without jeopardising the supply of regular products. They did all that in a context of lockdowns and social distancing. The plant’s success was no accident. Its agility and resilience are rooted in a strong operational system resulting from many years of commitment to continuous improvement. Pfizer Puurs has a clear and consistent operational strategy based on strong leadership. There is no doubt that this is a superb case of Industrial Excellence!”