My passion for Life Sciences began when I started my apprenticeship at an old-established pharmaceutical company based in Cologne as data processing specialist.
Within these years of learning, I was established in the company’s IT department and made some excursions to purchasing, sales and production control departments.
I was taught that IT links everything in a company together. Each department has their own specific IT requirements, used software tools and tasks to fulfil. Obviously and in many areas, it was very easy to see that business and IT folks did not speak the same language.
Some of my IT colleagues preferred to stay in their IT silo than exchanging with business. Unfortunately, there were many prejudices between the two camps.
Studies are over, and now…
When I passed my exam, I spent some months in the classical IT helpdesk department, which has expanded my experience with people, tools and associated difficulties. It was a great opportunity to get insights from different departments and to connect with a lot of people.
Afterwards, I moved into the R&D (Research & Development) department. Here I served as an interface between IT and this specific business area and learned a lot again:
- Many scientists and physicians worked here, everyone unique with a special character, vita and behaviour
- Clinical trial documentation was mainly available as paper file
- Semi-professional CRF design
- A flood of forms
- SOP management on paper base with enormous effort to update, distribute and teach people. Especially the mandatory and regular trainings were extremely boring
- Paper driven SAE management
- Siloed solutions for labelling, shipment and tracking of trial medication and much more
Luckily, my boss there was very curious, open-minded and interested in new trends and developments. This caused the introduction of a document management system within our ‘Klifo’ department to replace paper-based clinical trial documentation by an electronic solution including forms management. Again, I learned much about how to take hurdles, changing the classical way of working, needs for communication.
Sadly, the way was very hard, as many of the old-established staff did not see any sense to move onto an electronic document management system. They argued they could grab directly into the paper files located on the shelf behind their workplace.
My Life Sciences continuance
After a short break and working for a Consulting company with focus on other industries, my Life Sciences way continued in another Life Sciences oriented company. At the (my) beginning, the company sold pure statistical data on pharmaceutical products used for marketing and trend analysis. By the time and after various acquisitions and mergers businesses expanded to provide complete solutions to our clients focused primarily on Phase I-IV clinical trials, associated laboratory and analytical services, including consulting services.
I was part of the global service delivery team where we developed, hosted and supported an analytical software system to analyze pharma marketing, medical and promotional data. Furthermore, we took care of the regular data delivery for various pharmaceutical companies and supported solutions for performance reporting & analytics, Data Management and Business Intelligence.
For myself, this involves working extremely globally (from client perspective as well as internally). It broadens my spectrum of different cultures, thinking, behavior and communication. Even at my location, around 10 nationalities were represented. It was required to be and think flexible and open-minded for new solutions. Very interesting, with new challenges every day.
fme AG: Back to Document Management
A decade later joining the Life Science division of fme AG, I felt like coming back to my roots. Coming back to document management systems (which are nowadays completely different from 20 years before) but difficulties between business and IT continues.
I had a kind of déjà vu when I started a new project recently for a German pharma company and needed to pick up my office key. The way from the main gate to the building, seeing the truck scale and the key transfer process implied NOTHING HAD really CHANGED. Nevertheless, in fact many things have changed.
At this point, I want to encourage anyone to have a look into fme Life Sciences portfolio.
fme is the ideal partner for Life Science companies to implement, improve and strengthen processes around document management systems (Reading example: Case study – Dr. Pfleger Homogenous DMS Infrastructure
Based On OpenText Documentum).
I’m curious about how my journey will continue…