'A day in the life of Matt' - Director of Manufacturing Operations12 Mar 2020
Albumedix is a world leading manufacturer of recombinant human albumin (rHA), and as such our manufacturing plant is the core of our business. As a company, we talk a lot about our rHA products, how they’re useful in different applications and what benefits they can bring to final therapies for patients worldwide. However, we don’t talk as much about the amazing people within our business that make the magic happen.
We’d like to change this and introduce you to Matt Offord: The Director of Manufacturing Operations within Albumedix. People are the key to any successful business, with Albumedix being no exception. Matt took the time to walk us through his career path within Albumedix and provided some great insight into what a typical day in his job entails.
Firstly, meet Matt -
Hi Matt, lovely of you to offer your time. Let’s start with a few questions about yourself. How long have you worked for Albumedix?
“I have been employed by Albumedix for, well in July, it will be 29 years, so I’m relatively new to the company!!”
Wow that’s a long time. Can you talk to me about how you started here? What have you done with your 29 years?
“Well, I was 19 when I started. My best mates’ dad set up a company called Delta Biotechnology and he gave me the opportunity to start working in the warehouse as the third storeman, driving the van between the different sites, cleaning tea rooms and things like that. After a year, I got an opportunity to move over into Production, so I moved roles and spent 25 years there. First, I was an Operator, then following the development plans that we have, I moved from Deputy Supervisor to Supervisor where I stayed for 15 years. Soon after I was tasked with the very interesting role of setting up a ‘continuous improvement programme’ within what is now Albumedix - we call the program Op Ex.” (Operational Excellence)
“My current title is Director of Manufacturing Operations and that’s a relatively new role for me, I’ve only been in that job for a few months. I’ve had a very interesting time in my years here, I’ve done work with Validation, a bit of Engineering as well as Supply Chain, Warehouse and extensive work through Production, Dispensary and Clean Suite operations, so yeah, it’s been very varied over the years!”
What about away from Albumedix, could you tell me a little about your hobbies outside of work?
“Yeah definitely, I have a wife, two teenage kids and a crazy spaniel to keep me occupied! But other than that, I love to cook, go for the odd beer and just have fun basically!”
What about an ‘interesting fact’ about yourself?
“Well, I’ve got 2 black belts, which I don’t suppose too many people have! One of them is in Lean Six Sigma, and the other one is also very hard work but in a different way, and that’s kickboxing.”
After getting to know Matt a little, we moved onto some more job-specific questions. Albumedix manufactures Recombumin® in a dedicated, purpose-built cGMP certified facility in Nottingham and maintains over 25 years of ICH Q7 GMP compliance along with being inspected by the FDA, MHRA (UK) and Health Canada. In other words, we run a very tight ship. It was great to get some insight into the inner-workings of the team responsible for this.
Please can you summarise for me what kind of activities you do day-to-day as part of the production team? So, for example, what’s the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning… after you’ve had a coffee of course.
“First thing that is essential for me is to catch up with the Duty Shift Supervisor in the manufacturing control room, the facility here runs 24/7, so this morning meeting gives us time to have a good catch up in a relaxed forum about the current manufacturing status, the status of the plant and of course any specific challenges that may need attention either immediately, or throughout the day, to make sure that production keeps running smoothly.”
What do you like most about your job?
“Definitely working alongside good, strong people with a positive vibe and professional attitude. Seeing people develop in their work and enjoy their work is above all for me.”
What do you like least?
“On plant, I think the toughest aspect is having to wear a hair net, when I have no hair!!”
In your opinion, how does your department help to make Albumedix a successful business?
“Well, Albumedix is the world leader in recombinant human albumin products and technologies, so manufacturing is key to the business’s success. Being strong, flexible and supportive of each other, is essential to ensure we can work closely and support our Commercial team. We make sure that products are supplied in the right presentation, on time, on specification, time after time.”
How often do you work with other departments within Albumedix?
“Oh, regularly throughout the day. We really encourage open communication at Albumedix, we hold daily meetings with representatives from all departments so I would say I work with different departments all the time.”
As well as other departments, how collaborative would you say your role is with your colleagues?
“HUGELY! We listen, share ideas with each other, and working towards common goals constantly, it’s one of main reasons that Albumedix is such a great and positive place to work to be honest.”
In your opinion, what makes Albumedix different to competitors?
“Well, other than being world leaders in our field, we fully embrace multiskilling and cross department training, while other companies run different manufacturing models that keep their people focused in smaller, more specific areas. People love the flexibility, variety of their skill base, development and also the ability to support others in their daily work. This approach strengthens the whole company and enables us to grow together.”
“We also embrace and encourage continuous improvements, which I mentioned earlier, and we run our own very successful Operational Excellence Programme. It’s brilliant for keeping our company moving forwards. We’ve taken the best of Lean and Six Sigma We like to encourage people from all roles to come up with ideas, advertise the ideas on what we call A3’s. These can be pictorial too, then we stick them on the walls in the corridors so everyone can see what they are. We offer rewards for people too. The initiatives employees suggest can be cost saving, time saving, basically anything at all that makes work life easier. It’s still growing, we’re always getting people trained and moving up through the areas. This whole programme is supported from the very top of the company and it runs all the way through.
As a final word, what advice would you give to someone that’s looking to pursue a career in your line of work?
First things first, make sure you look at the culture of the company! Does it fit with you, and your own values, and how you’d like to develop in your career? I love it here for example because every day I feel like I’m part of a world leading company that’s enhancing patients’ lives, it’s very motivational for me.