Author Archives: Carly - Marketing Manager at Amici

  1. Five things I would tell my 21-year-old self now

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    Caroline Briggs, CEO of Amici, was invited to speak at the 2021 University of Strathclyde Women in Leadership Network event. She was asked to give a 5-minute speech that would inspire an audience of the next generation. Caroline considered what she might tell her 21-year-old self now and chose Lifelong Learning as her topic. Her speech is below.

    Five things I would tell my 21-year-old self now.

    1. Embrace and commit to lifelong learning!

    Strathclyde University’s motto is ‘The Place of Useful Learning’ and certainly, your brain is in its academic prime as a student. But this is just the very start of your journey. Life is an expedition. Sometimes it’s exhilarating and sometimes it’s terrifying. Embracing and committing to a lifelong dedication to learning makes for a smoother trip!

    At the start of any new experience there are the known unknowns – the things you know that you don’t know. And then there are the unknown unknowns – the things you are totally unaware of!

    Not knowing things could have an impact on your confidence. However, consider life as an expedition. Anyone who dares to step outside of their comfort zone encounters new experiences and has to go through a learning curve. It could be a new job, a promotion, a first-time manager, a first-time parent, buying a house, resolving a conflict, the list is endless. Every new experience is going to involve a learning curve. You can now confidently embrace the experience and take comfort in the acknowledgement that all around you, seasoned individuals are traversing learning curves of their own. Nobody ever finishes the learning journey.

    2. Confidently learn how to learn.

    As a young Graduate at Zeneca, my development was catapulted by a 4-day course run by an ex-monk from California. I learned how to learn, how our memories work, how to speed read, mind map, and understand personality.

    Talking of personality, probably the most known personality traits are the introvert and extrovert. The introvert prefers to problem solve through quiet study, while the extrovert prefers to ask questions. Both methods have great merit, and combining these methods often gives you the deepest knowledge.

    Access to online resources has never been easier with sites such as Wikipedia and YouTube, etc. Never be afraid to reach out and speak to someone face-to-face, though. Learning is like an onion: it has many layers. You will find that deep learning occurs when you’ve uncovered both depth and context. Mastering the context and depth on any topic allows you to put knowledge to use and retain it. Superficial knowledge is easily forgotten, and difficult to utilise.


    Amici’s CEO – Caroline Briggs, aged 21

    3. Teamwork makes the dream work.

    The study of personality and team dynamics is essential for all leaders – there are untold books, consultants, podcasts, etc. on the topic.

    Firstly, understand yourself. What makes you tick? When are you at your best? What are you like when you’re under pressure? What are your blind spots?

    Studying personality allows you to embrace a rich tapestry of diversity that exists and understand the benefits it brings. The outcomes that are achieved when people collaborate are much greater than the sum of any individual.

    Teamwork can be inspiring, exciting, and supercharging, but it can be equally annoying. People can be scary or difficult. For success, there are two key things to accept and embrace.

    1. Every personality has major strengths and weaknesses – combining forces supercharges your capability
    2. People take time to learn to work well together – understand the process of team formation and taking people from ‘forming and storming’ to ‘norming and performing’

    4. Some education takes a lifetime of experiences.

    To the next generation of leaders: Use your time to learn, re-learn and constantly improve your management skills, leadership skills, how to handle pressure, emotional intelligence and last but by no means least, practice self-care. Your brain is like a muscle. You need to keep exercising it to keep it fit, but you also need to look after your whole self to stay in prime performance.

    5. From failure you can bounce back higher!

    The best thing you’ll ever learn is that despite your best efforts, from time to time, you will fail – and that’s statistically normal and totally OK! From mistakes and failures can come the strongest and best results. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.


    In closing:

    Life is a vivid and exciting journey with so many opportunities and challenges that will enrich you. Embrace and commit to lifelong learning. Go even further – teach others and help them on their journey, too.

    I wish you a bonne voyage!


  2. PPE Supply Issues During COVID-19

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    COVID-19 is having a major impact on the broader supply chain for products that are critical to the day-to-day operations of organisations in the life science industry.

    Routine PPE products appear to be the most affected as demand for these items increases globally. Suppliers continue to allocate PPE – and gloves specifically – to NHS and COVID-19 testing sites as a priority.

    The impact of PPE supply issues may be felt well in to 2022 so what can your life science organisation do to best prepare?

    Amici recommends the following.

    1. Plan ahead. Avoid letting stock run low before placing new orders and aim to hold around 6-8 weeks’ worth of PPE stock.
    2. Consider alternatives. Where possible, decide what is critical and what alternative specifications you could consider. You should also consider alternative brands and/or suppliers.
    3. Have supplier accounts set up. Proactively setting up accounts and agreeing credit levels with alternative PPE suppliers could mean you are one step ahead when placing future orders. Don’t wait until an item becomes critical.
    4. Be flexible. Allowing flexibility with internal processes, policies and procedures will ensure your organisation can be dynamic with ordering PPE items.

    The world’s largest glove manufacturer has seen unprecedented demand for PPE items due to the outbreak. Worldwide, orders have doubled over the last few months, increasing lead times from 30 days to 150 days. In response, some manufacturers are scaling up and increasing manufacturing capacity, however, this will not happen overnight.

    It is a similar story for other PPE items. Those with the highest demand currently are:

    • Gloves
    • Face masks
    • Disinfecting Wipes & Sprays
    • Tyvek suits
    • Sleeve covers
    • Overshoes
    • Lab coats

    What is Amici doing?

    This is a challenging and uncertain time for global and UK supply chains.

    We are checking logistics sources daily to ensure we can provide customers with relevant updates.

    We reach out to suppliers regularly, particularly those suppliers of key PPE items, and we have tracking mechanisms setup to ensure we have the most up to date information on stock levels and lead times. This allows us to work more strategically and support our customers with continuity of supply chain for PPE items.

    Our Sourcing Team is supporting customers with supply issues and sourcing alternative products where possible. We track order patterns to allow us to communicate and plan accordingly for affected products.

    Our Order Management Team continues to problem solve, update orders with expected delivery dates and follow up with suppliers on our customers behalf.

    We pride ourselves on the unique world-class service we provide, and we promise to support our customers in their life-changing work in any way we can.

    Get in Touch.

    If you are a current Amici customer and would like any additional support, please let us know. If you aren’t one of our customers but would like to learn more about the unique service we offer, please get in touch.

    Related Articles

    Supporting the Biotech Sector Throughout COVID-19 Lockdown

    Why Choose Amici?

  3. Stefanie Christou talks about her Data Analyst Vacancy at Amici

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    Hi Stefanie! Can you tell us a little about your background, and how you came to work for Amici?

    I am a people-focused leader, with 10 years’ experience in driving performance improvement in a service environment. I am very passionate about inspiring others to succeed and Amici gives me the environment to do so! I started at Sky, before working for a UK-based renowned private surgery group as their Operations Manager. Those roles were varied and insightful, allowing me to gain the skills and experience to take my next exciting career challenge at Amici, as the Category Sourcing Manager in July this year.

    Three months into the role and this has by far been the best choice I have made throughout my career. The culture is second to none, in an environment that you are encouraged to think outside the box and be truly entrepreneurial. I look forward to continuing working towards the company vision and my future at Amici!

    What does your role in the business entail?

    Working closely with the support of the Sourcing Operations Manager, I strive to create our vision and define clear strategic goals for the Category Team to deliver. Undertaking change and evolution involves thorough project management to ensure the best operational purchasing solutions are in place, to provide a world class customer buying experience. I lead a team of Biological, Chemical and Consumables Buyers and a Data Analyst, who have responsibility for individual projects as well as departmental projects where we all play our part and add our expertise.

    Can you tell us about any projects you’re working on at the moment?

    It’s an exciting and innovating time for the Category team at the moment. We’re in the middle of a major project to revolutionise the findability of products on our e-commerce solution. We’ve been undertaking research as a team, from attendance at conferences, to market feedback, to understanding the possibilities the data and IT can bring. The project involves every area of the company, and this will see us moving into new areas of data science as well as bringing new technology into our development processes. The Findability Project will hopefully lead us to a complete overhaul of the eProcurement module, ushering in the next major version of the software.

    At the same time, we are about to kick off our End of Year Pricing Project! This will update all product pricing on Amici, with a focus on negotiating the best possible agreements for our clients and delivering added value through developing strategic supplier relationships, improving service level agreements and expanding coverage in key areas across the platform.

    You are currently recruiting in your team, can you tell us about the role?

    We are looking to recruit a Data Analyst to work with the Sourcing Team and help define the next generation of our software to improve our customer’s experience. The ideal candidate will have a proven capability and competence with managing large data sets. They’ll understand the business goals and be able to propose ideas to capitalise on the power of the data and define a extraordinary user experience. The Analyst will train, guide and support the team with data analysis to help them with their negotiations and see trends. This is an exciting and unique role, as well as being a fantastic opportunity for the right ambitious person looking to grow their career.

    What are the benefits of working for a business like Amici?

    Amici is filled with young aspirational professionals, working together to make the world a little bit better. The enthusiasm in the office is like nothing I have seen before, all flowing down from our CEO. This creates a great atmosphere with a lot of laughter and a lot of hard work.

    What’s your favourite thing about your job?

    My job is very busy and varied with no two days the same. The Category Team and I are fortunate to be able to work on the most innovative projects at Amici, and really work towards creating a legendary purchasing journey for our customers. The people are great too, which always makes your working life that little bit better!


    To find out more about our current Data Analyst role, please click here.

  4. 9 Reasons Why Cloud is Best for Biotechs

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    9 Reasons Why Cloud is Best for Biotechs


    9 Reasons Why Cloud is Best for Biotechs. Being ‘in the cloud’ isn’t a new concept. In fact, cloud computing was reportedly invented back in the 1960s by Joseph Carl Robnett with his mission to connect people and data from anywhere at any time. It’s fair to say, his idea took off.

    There are millions of articles that refer to various people and events that claim to be the first to coin the phrases ‘cloud computing’ and ‘cloud storage’. Regardless of who said what and when, cloud is here and it’s here to stay.

    A recent study titled ‘Adoption of Cloud ERP, 2013 Through 2023’, revealed that 47% of organisations surveyed intend to move their ERP solution to a cloud-based solution.

    The benefits of cloud in the biotech industry are;

    1. Cloud is often far cheaper to implement than traditional software.
    2. It’s quicker, too. You can be up and running in days. No downloads or installations required, and no infrastructure needs to be built.
    3. Cloud assists with turning labour-intensive, usually paper-based procedures into controlled, secure, and efficient processes, allowing scientists to spend more time at the bench.
    4. Cloud is always up to date. It can adapt and evolve much quicker than a standalone software solution.
    5. Anywhere, anytime. This is the biggest advantage of Cloud. No matter where you are or what device you’re on, you can securely access the information you need with little more than a smart phone or laptop and an internet connection.
    6. By hosting everything online, you and your teams around the world can contribute to projects in real-time. This helps to increase efficiency and reduces errors.
    7. Cloud provides you with real-time data allowing for accurate and intuitive forecasting.
    8. Effort involved in validation can be significantly reduced with cloud solutions.
    9. Cloud providers are experts in IT security, backup and recovery, giving you peace of mind and allowing your team to focus on your business.

    Cloud computing will provide biotechs with greater cost savings, increased agility and a solution which is scalable with your business and the rapid changes to technology.

  5. Brexit – What Can Your Life Science Lab Expect and How Should You Prepare?

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    Brexit. Regardless of the outcome, Brexit is likely to affect various industries, at least for a short while, potentially for a long while.

    So, what can your life science lab expect and how should you prepare?

    If the UK leaves the EU or is left with a ‘No Deal Brexit’, there will be changes to how goods flow through customs. For example, some suppliers ship their goods through distributors in the UK. Post-Brexit, these suppliers will handle any customs queries or costs. However, any goods supplied directly to customers, will be the responsibility of the Purchasers.

    We recommend you do the following as soon as possible to prepare for customs changes. It’s free and should only take a few minutes.

    1. Register for a EORI number to trade within the EU.
    2. Complete an application for TSP – Transitional Simplified Procedure to legally establish your office/business in the UK.

    If you haven’t done so already, we also strongly recommend that you have a Brexit Contingency Plan in place to ensure there are no disruptions to your business post-Brexit. Some of our customers have been setting up buffer stock either on-site or with suppliers, as a safety measure.

    Perishable Goods.

    Some perishable products (such as antibodies, enzymes, cell lines, buffers and so on) are shipped on ice/gel packs to preserve their integrity. There may be a risk of goods perishing whilst being held at customs.

    How can you prepare?
    • Identify what perishable products you buy, from what suppliers, and understand if they are flowing in from the EU.
    • Identify the shelf life of these goods and review if you have enough cold storage on-site to order larger quantities to provide contingency if needed.
    What are suppliers doing to prepare?

    We’re in close contact with our suppliers and we’re gathering data from our top suppliers to build a Brexit Picture. We know that;

    • Some manufacturers and distributors have said that they are increasing their UK warehouse space and increasing stock levels by 5-20%. It’s important to note that suppliers may not increase stock levels on all product ranges, so relying on a generic statement of increased stock levels could be risky as the products you purchase may not be covered.
    • Some suppliers will hold reserve stocks for customers, however, there could be a requirement to underwrite this stock. You should first understand if the goods you buy will be affected post-Brexit e.g. flowing through the EU, and then make an informed decision on the most appropriate stock hold option for your organisation.
    • Some suppliers have created caveats with new 2019 pricing that it may be subject to change post-Brexit due to unknown increased costs at customs and potential exchange rate losses.

    If Amici can help, please do get in touch.