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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Customer Care

PMPS: What attracted you to the pharmaceutical industry?

Tim Roberts: I was first attracted to the industry back in 2000. The area in which I lived had suffered from employment shortages; however, the small pharma hubs that we had in North West England provided excellent development and training packages, as well as long-term job opportunities.

Which part of your job do you most enjoy?

Meeting our clients – I am passionate about delivering good customer service throughout our organisation. Meeting and understanding our customers’ challenges – and achieving them – is by far the most rewarding part of my job.

Which part is the most challenging?

Again – meeting customers’ needs and concerns. The clinical trial industry is ever changing; understanding and responding to those changes (almost) before they are required is a constant challenge.

How would you describe your business philosophy?

Win-win! As with everyday life or relationships, both parties must feel that they receive value from being in a business partnership. Understanding what motivates our client is vitally important, as is educating them about our own focus.

What drives you?

My wife has some significant health problems. In my everyday life I see and understand the personal need to have medication available in a timely manner, stored correctly, and in the correct dosage. I like to bring this passion and understanding to my work – people depend upon the clinical trial supplies that we provide.

What have been your proudest moments?

In my personal life, my wedding day. Professionally, being appointed as the head of PCI’s European Clinical Services business.

And your greatest disappointments?

In my business development career, a few larger deals have slipped away.

What keeps you awake at night?

Clinical trial distribution – packaging can move or be course-corrected over a wider time period. You only get one chance to make a shipment of clinical trial material to a site or patient.

What do you think the pharmaceutical industry needs to focus on in 2014?

The use of technology. We can do so much with interactive response technology (IRT) systems, plus various other smartphones and tablets. This does not seem to be developing fast enough in the clinical trial arena.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?

Again, technology – companies such as Google are now looking at advances in augmented reality through smartphones and wearable devices. This will have a great impact on the lengthy timelines associated with language translations and booklet labels required for packaging. Not to be required to print or manufacture language-specific packs would be a huge advantage to all parties, if secure technology can be utilised.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt?

Never assume: gut-feel is a great way to orientate yourself to the beginning of a journey or challenge. However, you must use data to map the points to milestones and your final destination.

What would you like next year to bring?

I would love to see IRT being widely used to control expiry dates on clinical trial material. But that may just be wishful thinking on my part.

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