I feel that hard work and dedication is rewarded in Almac. Since I joined the company in 2015, the company has continued to grow significantly.
What does a typical day in your job involve?
I’m lucky in that my day tends to vary considerably from day to day, which I find keeps things interesting. That being said my day generally begins with me writing down a ‘To-Do’ List in priority order, noting any “must-wins” for that day. I also check what meetings I have in the calendar and ensure I’ve any required preparation completed.
Our colleagues at our site in Audubon, PA are 5 hours behind us and so, my first task of the day generally involves reviewing any emails which have come through overnight. This ensures any potential matters needing addressed are captured early in the UK morning time.
The Purchasing department work very closely with numerous other departments on a daily basis. This includes various aspects of the Quality function: Client Services; Scheduling; Production; Business Development; Stores; and Accounts. As we have interaction with so many other departments, it definitely feels like we in Purchasing are at the heart of what we do in Almac Pharma Services.
Working in Purchasing obviously involves working on a daily basis with suppliers regarding orders which have been (or are to be) placed, ensuring components are being delivered in line with our production requirements. Having good relationships and clear communication with our suppliers is certainly key to being successful in this role. The building of strong relationships and channels of communication is something which our entire team takes great pride in and are constantly working diligently to improve.
On occasion there are issues with components which have been delivered from suppliers whereby we will need replacement components or stock to be reworked. On these occasions, having excellent relationships built with our key suppliers certainly helps to resolve these issues quickly and effectively. It’s much better to be working constructively with your suppliers; helping to foster a dialogue of “let’s get this sorted”.
What was it that made you choose Almac over other companies that interested you or with which you interviewed?
Having lived in the local area for most of my life I have always had an awareness of Almac being an industry leader who are at the forefront of innovative technologies and solutions. Not only that, I know quite a few people who have worked here and have spoken in glowing terms around how Almac look after and develop their staff. Having studied at Queens University of Belfast, whose library is named in honour of Sir Allen McClay, I was also aware of the investment Sir Allen (and Almac) have made in the local economy.
When I spotted an advert for a job within the Purchasing department of Almac Pharma Services I jumped at the opportunity to join such a renowned and reputable organisation. Thankfully I was successful in this recruitment process and upon joining the company immediately realised I had definitely made the right decision. Since joining Almac’s Purchasing Team I have learned so much from the team members and managers I have worked with. I feel the company has a great balance between having support of individual line managers and the senior management team, while also being afforded the opportunity to develop further and propose solutions to any challenges we face as a company.
I feel that hard work and dedication is rewarded in Almac. Since I joined the company in 2015, the company has continued to grow significantly. As a result, the Purchasing department recently required a supervisor for the Packaging side of the Team, which I was successful in applying for. I attribute the success of gaining this promotion not only to hard work on my own part, but the development opportunities afforded to me by Almac, which I have been only too happy to seize.
What projects have you worked on that have been particularly interesting?
Having worked in Purchasing for a number of years I enjoy negotiation and investigating opportunities to introduce cost-saving measures. During my time at Almac I have identified and implemented a number of cost-saving endeavours for our sites in Craigavon and also at our US site in Audubon, Pennsylvania.
One such endeavour involved a potential switch of components for a large volume project packaged at our Audubon, PA site. This involved working with a number of suppliers, identifying who would be best placed to produce the components and negotiating suitable pricing and terms. This project yielded significant savings for that project which made a notable difference to the US budget.
How do you balance your career with your personal life?
The ethos at Almac definitely promotes a good work/life balance. This is important to me as I have a number of interests outside of work and relatives who I visit with during the week. The flexible working pattern at Almac certainly helps to fit things in most of the time. I am lucky in having a supportive manager and strong family support framework which helps to strike a healthy balance.
Can you outline your career to date?