Q: How do you Address Operational Excellence as an Institution?

— Operational Excellence —

Mark Quick
Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Recipharm

A: At every step, we strive to optimize resources and maximize efficiency by implementing lean methods throughout the organization. This means we can offer first-rate services that provide good value for money. As we continue to grow as an organization, with decentralized operations and relatively small central functions, we are highly dependent on talented people at key posts throughout the organization. Through attracting, developing and retaining talented people, we are able to drive operational excellence across our organization. The key to making this approach work, however, is shared learning, and we focus our efforts on ensuring that the good things which are being done in, say, Portugal, can be transferred effectively to, say, Germany.  

Ben Cliff
Laboratory Director, Intertek Pharmaceutical Services

A: Operational excellence is a strategic priority across Intertek Group and plays a key role in our ‘5x5’ differentiated strategy for growth with focus on continuous improvement to drive productivity and best-in-class management. Examples include the adoption at each Intertek facility of operational excellence tools such as Kaizen and structured simplification. Each laboratory has a Kaizen champion and team empowered by local management to drive and deliver change to processes to improve efficiency whilst improving the quality and timeliness of delivery to our clients

William D. Barbo
Corporate Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer,
Charles River Laboratories

A: As a large, global organization, we have two overarching priorities: to provide an exceptional experience to our customers and to make Charles River an engaging, rewarding workplace for our employees. On the customer side, we want them to reap the benefits of working with an end-to-end provider throughout the preclinical drug discovery process, without ever feeling like our process is too slow or cumbersome. We highly value responsiveness and flexibility within our organization, and use those pillars for both training and recognition. For employees, we realize that providing growth opportunities, recognizing employee contributions, supporting our local communities, and allowing fun and flexibility in the workplace is critically important to operational excellence. Our employees are the backbone of our organization, and our success depends on their commitment.

Dr. Mike Cannarsa, Ph.D.
US Business Development Director, Almac Sciences 

A: For almost fifty years, the Almac Group has established CDMO relationships to extend our range of services to the top pharmaceutical/biotech companies. With over twelve facilities, sixty service depots, and close to five thousand employees around the world, we adhere to a strict ethical statement and have crafted a unique culture of accountability and integrity to be delivered in every product/service offering as a result of implementing and enforcing effective operational systems and controls.

Almac’s commitment to the following five values is unparalleled and equips the company to ensure operational excellence is unsurpassed, ensuring our mission to partner to advance human health is fulfilled:

Outstanding Quality
We ensure exceptional and reliable quality in all aspects of our work and recognize that quality determines the extent of our success.

Exceptional Innovation
We promote an environment where extending the boundaries of knowledge, technology and creativity is encouraged.

Superlative Customer Focus
We are committed to understanding and exceeding our customers’ needs and build relationships based on integrity, responsiveness and excellent communication.

Inspirational People
People are Almac’s core asset. Individually and collectively, people are critical to the success of our vision. Financial Performance We will drive excellent, sustainable financial performance.

Sridhar Krishnan
VP of Business Analytics & Excellence, Catalent Pharma Solutions

Continuous Improvement (CI) is best described as a journey toward excellence. Fundamentally, it starts with the leaders setting the right tone for the organization, and embedding excellence in the company’s values. At every level, it is important to:
  • Set clear expectations
  • Align ALL activities or actions to company’s vision and business strategies
  • Define the measure of success — using simple language that is consistent and standardized across the company
  • Engage and empower every employee
  • Expect that leaders create an environment to succeed
  • Drive accountability and responsibility where it resides

The single most critical factor is “focused execution,” working on just 2 or 3 things at any given time and NOT trying to solve everything at once!

Building a strong CI culture, which focuses people on process improvements and automation, will ensure sustainable and predictable results.

World-class companies have frequent business processes/operating mechanisms in place to support and monitor the progress of transformation towards excellence. The positive impact felt by patients and customers cannot be achieved without a culture of the organization and employees to be better every 30 days! 


Guy Tiene

Guy supports the success of life science organizations by identifying synergies across research, content, marketing and communications resources to drive value for clients. With over 30 years of education and marketing experience and 18 years in the life sciences alone, Guy leads our editorial standards for client content, Pharma’s Almanac and Nice Insight research-based industry content as well as external communications for clients. Having served as head of global marketing and communications for a CMO, he also brings critical insight and guidance to all communications. Guy holds a Masters degree from Columbia University.