General Manager at Waterford (Teva’s Respiratory Site)
Hi. My name is Andy and I’m the General Manager at Teva’s Respiratory Site in Waterford, Ireland.
If you love a challenge in life, we’ll take you to amazing new levels and really expand your horizons. You’ll become skilled in the complex challenges associated with respiratory medicines and bring to market technologies that improve the lives of patients across the globe. Sadly, a lot of people still die every year from asthma attacks or due to long term respiratory disease and our medicines are critical in helping patients live longer and healthier lives.
What I like most about working at Teva is how we invest heavily in our people, developing them internally and giving them exciting opportunities to progress. There’s a real spirit of teamwork and collaboration here that drives Teva Waterford forward. Our greatest strength has always been our people.
I joined Teva as an Engineer in 1996, and after moving through a variety of roles became Site General Manager in 2011. My role here involves a diverse range of responsibilities but in general there are three main aspects that I focus on.
The first is growing the business and bringing in new products. It is a huge advantage that we have our Respiratory Research & Development (R&D) division co-located on this site.
Understanding patient needs is a critical part of what we do, and at any one time we have several products in development.
For example, we know that traditional asthma inhalers can be a challenge for children to use. That’s why we’ve created novel, intuitive inhalers to help parents deal with the challenges of child asthma.
In addition, our recently launched ‘smart’ digi-halers also connect with your phone and the cloud providing accurate and timely information to patients and potentially their medical practitioner, so they can understand and manage their condition more proactively.
The second aspect relates to our current products. The safety of our colleagues and compliance with the highest quality standards during the development and production of our products is paramount. We have many Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) focused on key areas such as service, cost and quality that help guide us in delivering our high-quality products at the lowest competitive price.
The third focus for me oversees continuous improvement. I spend a lot of time working with people to improve all the systems that we have throughout the site. A big part of our culture is based on the desire to improve, aiming to be a little better day-by-day. We have an excellent Operational Excellence program and a dedicated OPEX team to help guide our continuous improvement efforts.
I believe in continuous learning and have a number of degrees and master degrees including an MBA. I’m a chartered director and a chartered engineer and at the moment I’m studying for a diploma in behavioural change. I’ve benefitted greatly over the years from the
qualifications I’ve taken, which is why I always encourage other people to learn and develop themselves.
There are general skills and ways of thinking that new recruits will bring to Waterford when they join. We will then train people more specifically on the analytical and complex technologies associated with the respiratory industry. Our products contain micro sized particles which must be delivered into the lungs of patients to help treat their asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), so the equipment that measures and analyses our work has to be state of the art. It’s very interesting and the analytical techniques and tests that we adopt are of a really high standard so they will challenge any analyst!
And of course, once you have these skillsets, many of them will be transferrable within the pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical industries.
Teva Waterford is very fast-moving and there’s constant change. With that comes opportunity and that’s something that appeals to me. There’s always so much happening that you never get bored.
There are also opportunities to meet people from other Teva locations. Teva has sites all over the globe so there is an exciting mix of countries and cultures. I enjoy meeting interesting people from these sites and learning more about what they do. It’s a great way to share knowledge and it’s good that our colleagues get the opportunity to move around these sites as well.
Working in this sort of environment means there’s always a new challenge, particularly when we’re developing products for the future. My wish is to grow into an even bigger site, producing a broader and more complex range of respiratory products and helping patients all over the world to breathe more easily.