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CordenPharma Chenôve Pandemic Safety Measures & Supply Chain

Edition 4 / December 2020
Editorial > CordenPharma Chenôve Ensures Safety Measures & Secure Supply Chain During COVID-19

Edition 4 / December 2020

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Yves Michon, Managing Director,
CordenPharma Chenôve, headshot

Author
Yves Michon,

Managing Director,
CordenPharma Chenôve
 

Stephen Houldsworth, VP Global Head of Platform Management & Marketing of CordenPharma, headshot

Author
Dr. Stephen Houldsworth,

VP, Global Head of Platform Management & Marketing, CPI


CordenPharma Chenôve Ensures Safety Measures & Secure Supply Chain
During COVID-19

Dr. Stephen Houldsworth interviews Yves Michon, Managing Director of our CordenPharma Chenôve facility near Dijon, France about the measures taken to ensure employee safety and secure supply chain during the pandemic, as well as the success of 2020 and learnings for the future.

Video Transcript

Stephen
Hi, everyone, and welcome to another new initiative for Corden Connect this month. Today, we are going to attempt to conduct a virtual video interview with one of our site’s Managing Directors. Today, we’ll be joined with Yves Michon that spearheads our CordenPharma Chênove facility near Dijon in France. Welcome Yves. I hope you are well today?
Yves
Thank you, Stephen. Good morning. I’m doing well.
Stephen
So let’s get started here today and get right down to the first question. As you enter 2020 Yves, how did you envision the year rolling out for you in the site?
Yves
I would say we had a promising year in front of us. We had a couple of molecules developing well for which production in 2020 was expected to grow significantly. And as well, we had some promising projects for which fast-track scale-up was expected. So overall, it looked like a very nice year in front of us.
Stephen
So how did the impacts of COVID first manifest themselves for the Chênove facility?
Yves
Right up to the Chinese New Year at the end of January, it looked like normal operations, but we started to see some difficulties for vendors to ship us raw materials and building blocks, especially from China and Asia. So to face this potential very high risk, we implemented a task force I was leading and we daily met during five months to ensure that we could make deliveries happen on our site for all those raw materials, to avoid disturbing our planning for 2020. At the end, we succeeded to get all of those raw materials delivered on time, more or less, but without any impact on our manufacture planning and delivery to our clients.
Yves
Then in March, we started to see some COVID-19 infections and we immediately tried to anticipate and organize our IT network by purchasing additional laptops and checking VPN from various home offices, as well as establishing a list of all possible employees able to work from home. Regarding Personal Protective Equipment, we had a large inventory of masks and gloves available. And when we produced our own sanitizing gel, we also took the opportunity to give large quantities to the local community, such as nurses, schools, the police, and many of those associations or local companies facing difficulties to find disinfecting gel on the market.
Stephen
Can you outline some of the actions you have taken at the site to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Yves
Yes, in our QC and R&D labs we immediately created two shifts to increase social distancing. In production as well, we organized shift bubbles by switching shift stop time by 15 to 20 minutes between each team, to ensure that we minimize the staff in each room and lunchrooms. We created as well a temperature check at the entrance of the site, increased our decontamination program for all common areas and organized only one employee per office. For key functional leaders, we implemented as well a “no meet” rule, meaning that each leader and his or her backup would never meet until the end of the crisis. Our goal was to implement and set up a very strong business continuity plan for each function and at each level of the site.
Stephen
Yves, I just wanted to circle back to something you mentioned in one of your earlier answers – specifically the supply chain, and how you were impacted, and what you have done about this.
Yves
We faced a very fragmented, and from time to time delayed, delivery from our vendors, especially from India and China. Thanks to the strong involvement of our customer service and logistic teams, we made it happen to get all of the material on time for production planning. This was a great achievement. In the meantime, we decided to double our source, mostly from European-based vendors, to secure those supplies. And our sister company WeylChem, in the fast track manner, developed and scaled-up a couple of building blocks which were instrumental for our programs. This was highly appreciated by all our clients.
Stephen
As we approach the end of 2020, how did the year end up actually playing out for you in Chênove?
Yves
I have to say that the year 2020 will be our best year ever. Just fantastic. We have an exciting portfolio and we had a chance to add a new project related to the COVID treatment. We had to develop and scale up this project in a very fast track manner during the crisis. And it is a nice achievement of auditing. During the crisis, we kept constantly focused on our customers’ needs. We adapted to each of the situations and we kept a constant dialogue with all our employees. All of this helped us get where we are today.
Stephen
Final question today. What is the one thing you will take from this year and look to apply in future years?
Yves
This crisis has required us to revisit how we were exchanging documents and information, as well as how to keep up our operations safely running in a very constrained environment. We have been amazed by the difficulties to share paper documents from our home offices, which is quite impossible. And consequently, we have launched a very large program to move as many documents as possible to electronic format. In our operation, we will keep implementing the cleaning and decontamination rules we have set up during the crisis. And as well, some employees we will keep operating from their home offices.
Stephen
Thank you Yves for your time today. I’m sure the audience will enjoy this insight.
Yves
Thank you, Stephen.

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