- Case Study -

Alliance Pharma

Alliance Pharma

Alliance was founded in 1996 by John Dawson, who developed the company over twenty years into a successful international business.

Alliance is now a publicly owned international pharmaceutical company, listed on the London Stock Exchange. In addition to its UK operations, the company is growing its International footprint and now has a direct presence in France, Germany, the Republic of Ireland and China, with a group turnover of over £100 million.

Alliance distribute their products through wholesalers, retail pharmacies, hospitals and a well-respected international network of distributors.

Year Founded


Business Challenge

The business has grown consistently over the years, through a combination of targeted acquisitions and organic growth.

Having completed a total of 34 acquisitions to date, together with a number of in-licensing deals, Alliance now owns or licenses the rights to over 90 pharmaceutical and related products.

At the heart of the business sits a diverse team of dedicated, enthusiastic and experienced professionals who are committed to providing much needed medicines around the world.

However, Alliance acknowledge that with any acquisition, comes challenge. There was a recognised need to understand how supply chains operate, effective business planning, particularly in Sales & Operations and understanding the impact of inaccurate forecasting.


As all companies differ in corporate culture and how their people learn, Alliance Pharma took the view to target new learning for their employees, rather than simply placing staff on a generic training course. After extensive research and discussion with potential training providers.  The Supply Chain Academy, and sister company, CP Training were commissioned to analyse the Alliance Pharma business to understand how their teams learn best.

SCA subsequently introduced Matthew Toms, Head of Supply Chain and his team to an advanced tailored version of ‘The Beer Game – supply chain distribution simulation’, led by our expert facilitators.

This simulation game lets participants experience potential problems of traditional supply chains as it is a powerful tool for ensuring people from different functional areas (sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, procurement, customer service, warehouse, distribution etc) acquire a common understanding of how much the supply chain (and business costs) can be affected by such things as lead times, customer demand fluctuations, out of stocks, supplier behaviour and supply fluctuations.


 The supply chain team were then better able to understand: 

  • How interrelated and inter-dependant a real supply chain is, and the effect that people can have on each other when working in a typical supply chain that involves multiple connected parties.
  • How complex the supply chain operating environment is and how to adapt to those uncontrollable external forces on it.
  • How to minimise cost while at the same time maximising service to customers.
  • How communication flow is so important for effective supply chain management.
  • The effect of supply chain operation on inventory. 

“Following the Beer Game and facilitation our forecast accuracy improved by almost 10%.  We now have a better understanding of the impact of poor forecasting!  As a result, other teams in our global network have seen the difference so have engaged the Supply Chain Academy to support them further. They are a great to partner with and do business with” Matthew Toms




Our Creative Team

Paul Stone

Paul Stone

Managing Director

Paul is an experienced Human Resources and Managing Director with a history of working in Blue Chip multinationals, professional services, the public sector and more recently in the education management industry.

Neil Roll

Neil Roll

CP Training Gen Manager

Neil has been working in senior positions within supply chain education for the past five years, following over 25 years of practical logistics experience in a Blue Chip mulitnational company.

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