The attitudes and skills your pharma serialization team should have
A pharma serialization team is one of if not the most important components of a modern pharmaceutical business. Serialization has become an essential process without which products cannot be reliably manufactured, transported, and delivered to patients. Therefore, care should be taken to form a high-quality team responsible for it. For that purpose, it is useful to know the various attitudes and skills that individuals within that group should possess.
Fortunately, this is not secret knowledge. Our firsthand experience and research has shown us exactly what your future (or present) pharma serialization team should know and be able to do. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at both of these and arm you with the knowledge you need to form a truly cracked serialization team.
Note that some of these are competencies that can be useful for any job in the pharmaceutical industry while others are mostly applicable specifically to those working with serialization.
The attitudes your pharma serialization team should have
Attention to detail and quality
In the pharmaceutical industry, we are constantly dealing with patients, who are real people. The slightest mistakes when designing a serialization system could mean the wrong drug getting into the wrong hands or heightened risk of counterfeiting. Both of these possibilities put the lives of patients in danger. For this reason, any member of a serialization team worth their salt pays attention to detail, is timely, and never overlooks quality control. They have a commitment to ‘Right First Time’ (RFT) – ensuring that procedures are performed correctly the first time, and every time.
A pharma serialization team needs to be full of people who are solution- oriented thinkers. When designing systems as complex as those that handle the serialization of medicines, smaller or bigger issues are bound to pop up here and there. When they do, you want people who will quickly be able to
figure out what went wrong and fix it. This will not be possible if your team has too many people that back down in the face of challenges.
Depending on the culture of your business, employee initiative may or may not be widely encouraged. In a pharma serialization team, it can be a double-edged sword. You want to have some initiative as original ideas can sometimes make a difference and push through narrow bottlenecks. However, a good amount of cohesion and willingness to work as a team will be the thing that ultimately makes it work.
The skills and knowledge your pharma serialization team should have
Good, efficient communication skills and literacy
Communication skills can sometimes feel like a joke soft skill just because everyone puts it on their CV. However, in the context of a pharma serialization team, it means something different. It is not so much concerned with getting along with people (although this is also good) but rather it is more related to precisely and efficiently communicating any potential problems, risks, or even successes that have arisen over the course of any given project. They should be familiar with serialization terms as well as how to communicate them to people less well-versed in this field. Good communication will also prevent silos from forming which is one of the common problems with serialization that we see happen.
This is related to being solution-oriented in terms of mindset, but it is more practical. Being willing to solve problems and knowing how to do it are two different things, after all. When working on an old project or implementing a new one in the pharmaceutical sector, a member of your pharma serialization team must be able to conduct research, analyze any problems that come up, and offer solutions. Sometimes, this even requires them to have accurate foresight and predict issues before they arise.
Specific industry-related skills and knowledge
Finally, we come to the section where we list off specific skills that your serialization team should possess as well as the things they should know or at least be aware of. These are directly related to the serialization process:
- Understanding of the basic processes and systems required for pharma serialization
- Knowledge of process automation systems and computer IT systems
- Familiarity with pharma packaging processes and software
- Understanding of packaging line hardware
- Understanding of software development cycles
- Familiarity with vision inspection systems used in packaging
- Ability to provide engineering support when needed
- Experience with/knowledge of systems management
- Experience with/knowledge of data organization and information storage
- Good troubleshooting skills
- Ability to transfer knowledge in a clear and smooth way
- Familiarity with the relevant country’s compliance laws
Note that not all members of your pharma serialization team need to possess all of these. What matters is that the team as a whole has people who together can work as an efficient whole. Depending on your specific serialization needs, there might be some more specific knowledge and skills that you will require for your team, but take this as a rough guideline of what to look for.
Have you found your dream pharma serialization team yet?
Putting together a serialization team that fits your needs is never easy. In this article, we have tried to provide you with a basic idea of what you want them to know and be able to do. Of course, you will need to watch out for other factors, too, such as personality compatibility.
The important thing is for the team to work. For that reason, even if the team you have assembled does not fulfil one of the things mentioned here but does good work for you, then we see no reason for you to uproot your entire operation. If you feel like you need some help with finding a reliable, cracked pharma serialization team or simply want help with some aspects of your serialization system, then feel free to contact us at Nubinno and make use of our many services designed to help pharma businesses reach their full potential.