Sato's production and distribution system allow us to quickly and stably provide the products.
Responsible for Sato’s production are our main Hachioji Factory; Kazusa Factory, equipped with the most advanced equipment; and the global-standard Taiwan Factory. All three factories work together to create a stable, global production network.
Sato’s direct sales system creates a powerful link with pharmacies and drugstores across Japan; this asset is our company’s greatest strength.
All three factories work together to create a stable production
Hachioji Factory: Complete facilities and a global production system at Sato’s main factory
Since the start of operations in 1961, the 25,000m2 Hachioji Factory has played a central role in production for Sato. The factory includes facilities such as a drink production line, ointment wing, formulation wing and the production line for ACESS and other products. Sato’s production facilities have been strengthened by Japan’s fastest production lines, guaranteeing effective production and stable supply.
Sato installed an empty-bottle inspection system for drink products to ensure high quality. A system to constantly monitor the production environment for filling sterile eye drop containers has been introduced. The factory’s production systems are compliant with global standards such as the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) widely adapted by countries and regions including the USA (FDA), Australia, the EU, and Canada. This enables Sato to further drive the supply of its products globally.
To increase production volumes, construction of a new production building is scheduled to begin in 2020. This will be an earthquake-resistant building with automated production lines for ACESS and external pharmaceutical products complying with global GMP.
Kazusa Factory: a fully automated, IT-enhanced
next-generation production center
Located in the rolling green setting of the Kazusa Akademia Park in Chiba Prefecture, across the bay from Tokyo, the Kazusa Factory is a next-generation facility featuring the latest technologies. The production facilities in its drink production wing and external-use wing use IT technologies that make the entire process almost completely automated. Thus, the factory functions somewhat like an enormous robot. To expand the sale of LUCONAC Solution 5%, we established a new line for the production of ethical pharmaceutical products for external use. Production began in October 2017.
Taiwan Factory: compliant with global PIC/S GMP standards
Sato’s Taiwan factory, which operates as the production base for Asian markets, uses the same equipment and management system as the Hachioji factory, with regular checks undertaken by quality control management in Japan to ensure reliable, high-quality products. Using the Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S) international instruments, the factory achieved conformity with global Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in 2014. In 2019, it was qualified once again with a renewed certificate. Production will be expanded, including a current plan to add a production wing for drink products.
Our five distribution center has been established to quickly process order information
Direct sales and a next-day delivery system make for fast OTC drug delivery
Sato is directly connected with its pharmacy and drugstore customers across Japan for direct product sales. This system allows us to ascertain, at a very early stage, emerging consumer needs and market trends, and to quickly share the feedback with product and service development teams.
Product orders placed by the dealers are collected through the portable mobile terminals carried by all sales executives and transmitted to the nationwide distribution centers. A speedy delivery system has been established to deliver an order before the evening of the next day.
Sato has also established an efficient delivery system for quasi-drugs sold at convenience stores, supermarkets and railway station kiosks. The distribution of ethical pharmaceutical products is handled by a network that links Sato to wholesalers, allowing them to keep up with rising demand.
Highly automated, efficient warehouse management system
Automated systems such as automated picking systems are at work at Sato’s high-tech distribution centers in Tokyo, Osaka and Sendai. At all five distribution centers, including those in Sapporo and Okinawa, Sato has introduced the warehouse management system (WMS) to enable centralized product information control and more efficient warehouse management. The Tokyo Distribution Center has incorporated a system that can ensure stable product supply even in the event of a disaster. To provide the advanced logistic system needed by the pharmaceutical industry, we have installed seismic isolation equipment.