BioVectra is a contract development manufacturer for pharmaceutical and biotech companies with full-service outsourcing solutions for intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company has three cGMP facilities in Charlottetown, PEI and one in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Oliver Technow talked about a business environment of constant change, such as renegotiated NAFTA, CETA, and TPP trade agreements. “With constant change, there are also new opportunities for growth and advancement for businesses and individuals.”
Oliver Technow’s advice to other businesses in this time of change
- Focus on your vision and consider the things you need to do differently in order to succeed.
- Surround yourself with the right people and the best talent. “At BioVectra, our 300+ employees are the heart and soul of the organization. Many have been with us 10 to 27 years. We benefit so much from employees who live and breathe innovation and knowledge. We keep them engaged, develop them, and let them grow. It is critical to create an environment where employees can thrive, develop, and perform.“Our employees matter more than anything else. They are relentless problem solvers who take tremendous pride in finding solutions to any issue presented by our clients. There is a huge sense of pride in this organization. You can’t buy that kind of dedication.”
- Be courageous. If you hesitate in times of change, you will be left behind.
- Be determined. Identify the things that do not work in your favour and turn them into strengths. “For example, PEI is not the most logical geography to succeed on a global scale. It is easier to do business in Boston, New York or Toronto, but I don’t think there is a better place than PEI to capitalize on the tremendous human aspect of your business.“On a weekly basis, we bring CEOs and heads of manufacturing, supply chain, and research and development from big pharmaceutical companies to the Island to tour our facilities. We demonstrate to them that we are in a good location to conduct business in a professional and effective way.”
- No complacency. If you are good at something, don’t get too comfortable, because someone else is trying to be better. Always strive to be the best. Instead of complaining about the way things are, ask yourself what you can do to change things.
BioVectra is in stiff competition with India and China, whose production costs are much lower. “Buyers can go to China or India to get cheaper pharmaceutical active ingredients, but they get a first-class experience with us, and they get better access to a team that is highly dedicated to their needs and solves every problem they have. This is where our competitiveness comes from.
“BioVectra could have located in the US or China or India. But Atlantic Canada is a tremendous place to do business. A company from PEI can succeed because we have a very business-friendly environment. I have lived and worked in many jurisdictions, and I have not seen a more dedicated effort.
“The government develops the business environment on the Island so that companies can succeed. We also receive tremendous support from provincial and national industry associations such as the PEI BioAlliance, BioNova, and BIOTECanda, which all help to accelerate the advancement of life sciences.
“As well, the PEI BioAlliance, which consists of 50+ companies, contributes to the fact that PEI is leading Atlantic Canada in growth and economic outlook.
“In the last year, we invested $25 million in a new facility in Windsor, Nova Scotia. It means the world to us to give young people an opportunity to grow in Atlantic Canada.
“The Nova Scotia location also offers us access to a different, larger labour market, so that we can make sure to get the right talent to drive our future growth. We are maintaining our investment in Charlottetown, and we are expanding our facilities here.”
For more information about BioVectra, visit www.biovectra.com or follow on Twitter @BioVectra and LinkedIn at /company/biovectra-inc-.
BioVectra is a contract manufacturing company that makes the active pharmaceutical ingredients for drug products.
“We reverse engineer products to make generic drugs on contract for other firms,” says Trevor Morash. “We are also contracted out by other companies to scale up their production. “Our research and development department is expanding. With expansion comes new equipment, new rooms, new manufacturing, and the need for more staff. Our challenge is finding the right fit for the positions available.
“Quality control is incredibly important to our company. The products we make are used by humans, so everything that comes in our doors and everything that goes out is quality tested.
“Our QC team of 35 people makes sure standard operating procedures are being followed, and they work closely with our clients’ needs.”
“We are a global company, and we require all fields of experience. Our priority is process manufacturing, and in order to support that department, we need Production Staff, Engineers and Maintenance, Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Regulatory, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing, Human Resources, and Finance.
“Our primary focus now is hiring for jobs for our plant in Windsor, Nova Scotia, which is 30 minutes from Halifax. A number of staff at our Charlottetown location are originally from Nova Scotia and want to move back, which may open some positions on PEI.
“We are looking for people with a BSc in Chemistry, as well as Engineers. We just built a new storage facility, so the need to fill shipping/receiving positions may become available. Our Quality Control and Production departments typically have some entry level positions as well.”
“We hire people from a wide variety of industries, not just the science field. For most of our positions, the skills and experience you have acquired can be transferred to bioscience. For instance, for people with Quality Control and Quality Assurance experience, the things you don’t know we can teach you, because experience and talent are so valuable to us.
“We are constantly looking for people with transferrable skills. We look for people who have worked with standard operating procedures, CGMP, or food manufacturing. If an applicant has experience in another field where standard operating procedures are followed, some of those skills can be transferrable.
“It is very rare, except for some directors or management positions, where the open position requires a specific number of years of pharmaceutical experience. Pharmaceutical experience is an asset, but other types of QC or QA experience are also valuable.
“Read the job description and the job duties very carefully, and then see if those fit with your own skills and experience.”
Best way to get your foot in the door
“People looking to work with us should consider becoming certified in CGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices), which is part of every aspect of our operation. It’s not common to find people with experience working with CGMP, but if you do some research and can describe the basics during the interview process, that is very valuable. Present yourself as a person willing to work under those regulations.”
How to apply
“Check the job vacancies on the company website and apply there. If you make it to an interview and if you are not hired for the role you applied for, we keep resumés on file in case another opportunity comes up. It helps you get into the system.”
“Sometimes I receive as many as 60 resumés, and I spend about three minutes on each one. I look at the job description and check each resumé to see how closely the skills, education, and experience match. Then I read the cover letters and make a decision. I choose just 12 to give to the Hiring Manager, and we interview five to seven people for each job.”
For more information, visit www.biovectra.com and click careers.