Business continuity: the Galderma R&D center ready to tackle emergency situations with ISO 22301

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By securing ISO 22301 certification in November 2015, the global dermatology leader proves that it has taken the necessary steps to guarantee continuous patient services even in the event of a crisis. Galderma’s R&D centre has brought a new dimension to its continual improvement policy.

You are one of the first organizations to be certified to ISO 22301. What prompted you to undertake certification?
Frédéric Fourquin: Primarily, the standard’s ability to provide greater structure. We had already taken action to implement a business continuity plan. But what we were lacking was the dynamic process that ISO 22301 can help implement. Drawing inspiration from the standard, we set up a steering committee and management reviews, and we identified the right people within our organization for ensuring business continuity. The main strength with this type of standard is that it requires us to establish a systematic and consequently long-term approach.

So did you change how your organization functioned?

FF: No, because the R&D site in Sophia Antipolis was already certified to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. We already knew that we would need to identify representatives and set up a management review. This new certification gives even greater structure to Galderma’s continual improvement policy. It encourages us to keep our reference system and operations documents up-to-date. Furthermore, this certification can be credited to a collective effort that will benefit our entire site. In fact, the rationale behind achieving these three types of certification is one of consistency and coherence, since they all feature the same structure and improve our operational performance via the same logical process.

Do you believe that you will continue improving in light of the work that you have already accomplished in securing a third certification?

FF: Yes. This type of certification almost automatically strengthens the ties that an organization can have with its suppliers or local institutional players. Fostering stronger ties is one of the areas in which we will continue improving our performance. We will also raise internal efficiency by testing the different continuity plans several times a year.

What difficulties did you come across in achieving certification?

Philippe Nedoncelle: The main difficulty was gaining a clear understanding of the activities that are not related to R&D, our core business. We also had to prove to the entire workforce that certification would create value. Certification is our way of strengthening our processes and activities, and ensuring that we have a robust core business.

Speaking of which, how did you raise awareness among the teams?

PN: We started by organizing a HSE competition (health, safety and environment) relating to business continuity, which gave employees a close look at what they could expect with the new standard. Then we developed a series of online self-learning courses on our intranet site to allow everyone to read through our awareness-raising documents and test their knowledge by means of a quiz. A range of more specific courses for direct stakeholders was created to ensure that the approach was thoroughly understood by the people involved in drafting documents.

Certification has led you to set up an early warning team. What for?

PN: The team features a highly restricted group of people, comprising Mr Fourquin and myself, the building manager and the heads of the support functions, such as IT and human resources. The early warning team decides whether or not to escalate a given situation to the emergency task force, which in turn is responsible for deciding whether to initiate one or more continuity plans. In all cases where the early warning team is triggered, we send a report to Galderma’s executive committee to maintain effective communication with the company’s top management.

More generally, will certification be used as a communication and/or marketing tool?

FF: Not in terms of marketing, but to develop any relationships that we might have with our business partners and suppliers. For example, if we launch an invitation to tender, we will say that we are ISO 22301-certified. Therefore, if we receive bids from suppliers offering the same quality of service, we will be inclined to choose those who have or are planning to implement a business continuity policy. With respect to our professional healthcare customers, achieving and promoting our certification raises the quality and security of our solutions.

Encadré LeMag_Galderma

ISO 22301



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