Published: September 4, 2020
Q&A with Chris Kean
Meet Chris Kean, Manager of Analytical Operations and Quality Control for Apotex Pharmachem in Brantford, Ontario. He leads a team that is responsible for ensuring the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients manufactured at Apotex Pharmachem meet high quality standards required to ensure patient safety.
We asked Chris about his experience at Apotex and what he looks for in potential candidates.
Describe your journey with the Apotex team.
I joined Apotex Pharmachem 14 years ago as a Chemist in the Analytical Research and Development Department. Through the years I have had several development opportunities within the company, working as a Chemist, Quality Assurance Technical Specialist, Analytical Research and Development Group Leader before becoming a Manager.
I have been fortunate to have these opportunities to grow my knowledge and skill sets. Learning new things and experiencing different challenges keeps me motivated and excited to come to work.
What is your role on the analytical operations and quality control team?
As a Manager, my main role is to support my team and make sure we are removing as many roadblocks as possible. We focus on making processes and procedures more efficient for the analysts in the lab and ensure our department achieves the goals we have set for ourselves. We review testing variances and create action plans to increase productivity. I am constantly looking at our processes and procedures to find improvements we can make to help throughout the day.
How does your role connect to our overall purpose of Improving access to medicines for millions of patients worldwide by providing affordable, innovative, and high-quality solutions each day?
My role helps with the supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) produced at the site. Specifically, by ensuring planned capacity is used to its fullest, as well as releasing finished product APIs in a timely manner so that they can be distributed to the Apotex teams and turned into finished dosages of medications. Every day we contribute to providing patients around the world with affordable medicine.
What inspired you to join the Apotex team? What has influenced you to stay for almost 14 years?
I wanted to join a company that would let me utilize and expand my analytical chemistry knowledge while helping people. At the time I applied, I was living in Nova Scotia and had met a girl living in Brantford, which made the situation that much better.
Within the 14 years I have been here, I have had opportunities to work with various cross-functional teams on projects which challenged me and provided me with new learning opportunities. It has been a privilege to work with many amazing colleagues who helped me grow professionally over the years.
How is your team continuing to collaborate during COVID-19?
Our lab is considered essential, so everyone has been on-site during the pandemic. We have found ways to maintain physical distancing within the labs by limiting the number of people in certain rooms and have moved people to different office areas that are now vacant due to people working from home. We have implemented additional cleaning measures and continue to follow implemented health and safety regulations to ensure our employees safety.
What type of roles are you looking to fill on your team?
We are looking to fill a variety of roles on the analytical operations and quality control team, some of the roles we are looking to fill are:
- Quality Control Chemists who are responsible for release testing raw materials and finished products.
- Lab Technicians who focus on daily calibrations of various lab equipment.
If you are interested in applying to these roles visit: careers.apotex.com
What opportunities does someone have on your team?
We have a wide range of roles and responsibilities within the analytical operations and quality control teams from method validation, release testing, inventory and certification of reference standards to instrument technical teams. Anyone who wants to progress and develop would be exposed to and trained on a wide variety of analytical instrumentation in a short period of time and have many opportunities to grow.
What do you enjoy most about working at Apotex each day?
I am a problem solver who loves a challenge, I enjoy investigating issues and figuring out root causes to find a way of preventing it from happening again. I enjoy being able to be creative in finding solutions. I also enjoy working with the team and collaborating with them to reach our goals.
As a leader, what qualities do you look for in team members or potential candidates?
Outside of technical skills, I look for energy and motivation, not someone who comes in for the day to just do their job and go home. When looking at potential candidates, I want to see someone who is eager to learn, motivated and has a positive attitude.
What would you say to candidates who are considering applying for a new role at Apotex during COVID-19?
We know safety is the number one priority now more than ever. Candidates can be assured that we have been and will continue to be doing everything we can to ensure our employees’ safety through the implementation of our various health and safety measures.