||Success Story Detail
Thailand’s Innovative Workforce and Strategic Location Make It Cardinal Health’s Asian Hub
As a leader in pharmaceutical and medical device supply, Cardinal Health located its largest manufacturing plant in Thailand more than a decade ago to take advantage of Asia’s rapidly expanding healthcare industry. Since opening its facility in 1998, the company has capitalized on Thailand’s tax incentives and numerous infrastructure advantages to create innovative new products for its customers.
With more than $100 billion in revenue in 2011, Cardinal Health has approximately 30,000 employees in 11 countries and delivers products to more than 60,000 healthcare sites in the U.S. each day. Its 440,000-square-foot Thailand facility houses manufacturing for the company’s innovative product lines of surgical gloves and employs approximately 2,400 workers and engineers, most of whom are local Thai talent.
Incentives and infrastructure in the Asian emerging markets
Cardinal Health chose Thailand as its Asian base for its winning combination of tax incentives and infrastructure advantages.
“Working with the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has been an incredible experience from the beginning stages of our operation in Thailand,” said Enrique Rios, Vice President of Manufacturing, Cardinal Health. “They are so willing to collaborate with us to build a business environment that fosters productivity and growth.”
One of the fundamental reasons for the company’s decision to locate in Thailand is the country’s reliable and well-developed infrastructure, and the facility’s proximity to the Laem Chabang and Bangkok deep water ports is also vital to the factory’s operations and global supply chain management systems. The Thai government’s dedication to updating its ports with the latest technologies ensures maximum efficiency for the company.
Innovative talent leads to profit maximization
Thai talent in Cardinal Health’s chemistry and engineering labs have also contributed to the company’s success in creating and manufacturing some of its most innovative products. In the 1990s, engineers at the Thailand facility developed the first polyisoprene gloves made from artificial latex used to make the surgeons gloves, creating the company’s largest surgical glove segment. It took competitors four years to follow, allowing Cardinal Health to establish a foothold in the market.
More recently, the company introduced the industry's only half-folded, environmentally friendly glove packaging that reduces material consumption, waste and storage space requirements. The Thailand team produces hundreds of millions of pairs of gloves a year, and environmentally friendly considerations for production, such as the half-fold packaging, are valued by Cardinal Health and its customers.
“Neither of these innovations would have been possible without Thailand’s availability of highly skilled workers,” Rios said. “Our engineers and management are a main reason we have been so successful over the last decade and why we continue to invest in our Thailand facilities.”
A reliable business partner
When flooding hit Thailand last year, Cardinal Health’s plant was spared from damage and experienced no setbacks.
“Fortunately, due in great part to our location, we didn’t miss a day of production during the flooding,” said Taylor Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Surgical Products at Cardinal Health. “We appreciate the Thai government’s incredible response to this emergency overall and their support to us in particular at that time.”