By Aidan Desmond, Automation & IT Director SK biotek Ireland
2018 was a transformational year for SK biotek Ireland’s Swords Campus. We began 2018 by bringing to an end an era, as our long and distinguished history of over 50 years with Bristol Myers Squibb came to a close. With that, a new journey began for Swords, to become a fully integrated API Manufacturing site within the SK biotek network.
Our successful integration faced a key challenge; the redevelopment of our entire IT and Automation landscape requiring us to replace all of the enterprise systems that were provided to us while we were BMS’s API Launch facility.
The IT Transformation programme was a truly remarkable endeavour undertaken by the site, with the backdrop of having to also support a 24×7 manufacturing facility. Not only was the programme chartered with building a new SAP S/4 HANA ERP for the business, we also had to implement a new Quality Management System, an Enterprise Asset Management System, a Laboratory Information Management System, a Learning Management System, an Engineering CAD system, a new site network, a new site hosting solution and migrate nearly 50 validated systems from the BMS network to the SK biotek Ireland network. All of this work had to be done in parallel and to the highest quality standards to ensure that the validated state of our systems were maintained and our sites exemplary quality record continued.
The programme faced a number of potential difficulties, tight timelines with an aggressive budget, limited resourcing, working with new vendors, deploying complex systems in parallel and having to build out a new infrastructure eco systems while ensuring all systems were deployed in a cGXP compliant manner
Irrespective of these challenges, the program was completed on time, under budget and to the agreed scope for Swords.
The key to our success were our people and the fact that this was a business lead initiative. The determination everyone involved in the programme showed along with the extensive support from the business and our key integration partners, meant we had a recipe for success when the odds were against us.
The IT Integration Programme has been an exemplar programme of work for SK biotek Ireland and lays the foundation for the growth of the Swords Campus and SK biotek and we continue our journey to be a top tier CDMO business.