My day: Grainne Hughes, Almac Pharma Services

At 8am, I’m in my car and already halfway from the office to Almac’s headquarters in Craigavon. I am married with three sons, my husband is a teacher and we are also part-time farmers, so our mornings are extremely busy. I also make sure to schedule time to exercise every morning of the week – I find it invigorating and allows me to focus so I can perform at my best throughout the day.

I usually arrive at the office around 8:30 am and immediately prepare for the day ahead. I’m an avid list-maker and no two days are ever the same, so I check my notes from the night before and review my calendar for scheduled meetings and calls. Then 9am is the start of my meeting schedule, so I like to grab a coffee and get my bottle of water ready for the day ahead.

My individual appointments are scheduled in the morning. As a company, our overriding mission is to advance human health and we are responsible for the packaging and delivery of niche commercial drugs for rare diseases, some of which can change the life of the patient who relies on us. to ensure that the drug is delivered on time and at the highest possible quality. We work with different disciplines and I draw on my background and experience to help teams deliver the best service to our clients.

Over the past three years we have experienced phenomenal growth as we meet increasing demand, which is why recruitment and training is a priority at the moment. In 2021, we announced the recruitment of 1,800 new employees globally, including 1,000 based here in Northern Ireland. This year we recruited interns, creating a pool of potential resources for the future, and they have been a great addition to our teams. I have a degree in biomedical sciences and have evolved into a role that requires a combination of science and a strong focus on business development. Likewise, my team has similar educational paths that work incredibly well.

12 p.m.
I usually join my client services team at this time to ensure that service delivery runs smoothly and discuss any challenges that arise. This gives me the opportunity to discuss clients’ long-term strategic goals, allowing us to assess how we might develop our partnership. I also meet regularly with potential customers to introduce them to Almac and explain how we could meet their needs.

2 p.m.
Another function within my mission is business excellence – as a company, we spend time introducing new ways of working that drive efficiencies and strengthen our overall performance. After lunch, I enjoy spending time with this team reviewing initiatives using benefit analysis and resource assessment processes and discussing potential delivery against our current business priorities.

4 p.m.
At this time of day, I check delivery and revenue performance metrics for our customers and liaise with my sales teams to make sure everything is going according to plan. As a global company, this part of the day is spent meeting with US clients, after which I have the opportunity to download the day and make a list of tasks that I need to follow up on the next morning.

6 p.m.
I try to leave the office at 6 p.m. and once home, my family and I sit down to dinner together and catch up on our respective days. Then it will be a mix of helping with homework and preparing lunches and dinner the next day, giving us a much-needed head start the next morning. Being organized is key to managing all aspects of my busy life. Although there is a lot of work to do, I am passionate about my career and my family and enjoying every moment.

About Margie Peters

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