As COVID-19 spread across the world in early 2020, our life science customers needed us more than ever as their teams faced unprecedented lab and manufacturing challenges. Global shutdowns, travel restrictions and site limitations challenged critical manufacturing processes that the world relied on – and not just for potential vaccines, but other commonly used, lifesaving drugs, treatments and therapies as well.
More than ever before, this complex industry needed an immediate solution for pharma-compliant virtual, remote support that could carry them through the pandemic, help stabilize supply chains, fill in the gaps with on-site collaboration or troubleshooting, and fit into emergency contingency plans.
Before long, existing Apprentice customers who were already using Tandem – our remote collaboration platform – for their processes began calling with requests to expand deployments across existing and new sites. New customers reached out asking how quickly we could deploy at their facilities and could we do so without on-site access or set up. The answer was yes.
In response to the pandemic and our customers’ need to get up and running with Tandem immediately, we developed Rapid Deployment Kits (RDKs). Designed to be deployed easily, our RDKs are a fast-ship, out-of-the-box version of Tandem. We made sure that RDKs contained applicable clean-room compliant accessories and could be customized based on use cases and environment.
The response was overwhelming. We shipped hundreds of kits to new and existing customers week after week, and still ship just as many today. Our customers — who are responsible for working on everything from COVID vaccine treatments to cancer therapies — were able to greatly improve performance reliability and increase their speed to market at a time when it mattered the most.
Tech transfers related to vaccine development were cut down from months to just a few short weeks, while FAT and SAT acceptance was streamlined through Tandem’s flexible remote collaboration system, saving critical time. Additionally, overseas vendors were able to walk on-site operators through routine maintenance and equipment troubleshooting that otherwise would have been delayed indefinitely due to travel restrictions. Training was also able to happen remotely without delay so that new teams could get up to speed quickly as veteran personnel worked tirelessly to deliver a safe and reliable vaccine.
Apprentice is proud to support our customers’ processes as many either have worked or continue to work on developing safe and effective vaccines and critical drugs. We remain committed to helping this vital industry establish the right technology infrastructure to improve drug scalability and increase speed to market despite any global disruption. As we head into the spring of 2021, a year after this all began, we know that there are brighter days ahead thanks to our hardworking life sciences teams.
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