Building on strong values
Annual Report 2021
At Octapharma, we foster a culture that brings out the best in our people to fulfil our purpose of providing new health solutions advancing human life. We believe we can drive innovation, performance and reputation – and enhance our people’s work experience – through our culture.
For me, ownership means claiming unlimited responsibility and accountability for something of importance. A great example was the implementation of Veeva Vault PromoMats, which is a comprehensive solution for compliant, commercial content and digital asset management. Previously, promotional documents were printed and routed throughout the company in folders for review and approval, but that process was not very efficient or sustainable.
Our goal was to streamline the review/approval process and house compliant promotional content in one place, and I was tasked with system implementation, customisation (we did not simply use the out-of-box solution), configuration and administrator management.
After months of collaborating with cross-functional teams, leveraging resources and testing multiple configurations, Veeva Vault PromoMats was successfully deployed in 2017. Its deployment has exceeded expectations and gone far beyond the original goal of simply streamlining a process.
Its success is a testament to the drive and enthusiasm of a whole range of contributors, and it is a project which I am extremely proud to have been engaged on. The ownership and responsibility of managing Veeva Vault PromoMats continues to evolve, and we are currently in the process of deploying even more functionality.
During over 20 years with Octapharma, I have been fortunate to witness the development of the company into one of the key suppliers of plasma products in the German market. Integrity has been one of the crucial factors in establishing a solid presence in that market: all members of the sales and distribution teams have worked hard with our customers to build a mutual system of reliability and trust.
Over the years, during various shortages, we have been able to solve critical supply problems through open communication and reliable actions that ultimately served both sides and increased our standing within the sector. The integrity we demonstrated in earlier supply disruptions made many stakeholders – patients, physicians, distributors and hospitals alike – turn to us to solve their critical needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leadership can mean supporting employees and thus investing in the future. At Octapharma, I have been fortunate to benefit from good leadership and support myself. After starting as a research associate in the quality control laboratory, I am currently completing on-the-job training to become an expert pharmacist in pharmaceutical analysis and technology.
Like me, many other colleagues benefit from similar opportunities, with some of my team also studying part-time or continuing their education in other fields. This simultaneously both increases our enthusiasm for work and helps improve the knowledge base of the entire company.
The best example of a project in which I have been involved where sustainability featured prominently involved two small-scale studies. These aimed to replace the environmentally harmful chemical detergent Triton X-100 with a more environmentally sound alternative, Poloxamer.
In our large-scale processing, we use three regeneration solutions and one storage solution to clean and regenerate two chromatography columns after the product has passed through.
The first of these solutions contains Triton X-100. In the study, we used a scaled down version of our actual process, with smaller chromatography columns and sample volumes. Everything else remained identical to our large-scale process except for the first regeneration solution, in which we replaced Triton X-100 with Poloxamer.
The results were fantastic. We found that Poloxamer was just as effective at regenerating both columns as Triton X-100 is, with no negative impact on the final product. We are still in the process of implementing the change of chemical used in our large-scale process, but this project was crucial to be able to get everything approved.
Working with a group of colleagues who continuously challenge each other to achieve the near impossible, I get to witness Octapharma’s culture of entrepreneurship every day.
One project that I have been involved in that exhibits our commitment to being a driver of innovation in the plasma industry is our Donor Experience project. The main goal of this project is to enhance the overall experience of our donors while in our donation centres. Taking an entrepreneurial approach, we have sought out ways to not only change the donor experience but also to revolutionise the entire donation process. Though this is an ongoing project, tremendous strides have already been made in differentiating Octapharma from our competitors when it comes to donor experience, which is great both for our donors and for our continuing relationship with them.