In the medicines supply chain, it’s easy to focus on products and logistics. However, at Smartway, we’re proud of the people that play an important role every step of the way – from our leadership team to the committed employees on the frontlines of our operations.

For us, every day is made up of thousands of small contributions, made by people right across Smartway. In every moment, we act responsibly and safeguard the quality that our customers and their patients count on.

For Dhruv Patel, our recently appointed Chief Operating Officer, every day is an opportunity to recognise what we’re doing well – and plan for what’s next.

Starting with visibility and clarity

Dhruv’s day typically starts with a 9 am meeting to discuss daily tasks and receiving project updates. This is a chance for Dhruv to see how the departments that he is responsible for are working – and address their needs at every level.

“It’s important that these meetings aren’t just for managers. We try to get all the staff involved in representing their departments and teams regardless of which country they are based in, because that’s how you truly understand the challenges and tasks they’re facing and help identify opportunities.”

Dhruv Patel, Chief Operating Officer 

As well as this important briefing, Dhruv also reviews our financial position and KPIs daily. Taking a diligent, precise approach, it’s a way to make sure we’re staying in line with our targets – and exceeding them wherever possible. If we are not, action plans are built around them.

Engaging new stakeholders

Following the meeting, Dhruv typically spends time engaging with existing stakeholders, including our mission critical partners that help Smartway maintain its resilient supply chain. This will always include a review of market activity, so that we can respond to issues such as regional or national shortages, or dealing with a specific patient with unique requirements.

“As a team, we’re always striving to support our customers with their special requirements. We always need to be pre-empting these needs as much as we can, engaging new stakeholders for the business and building on our existing relationships.”

Dhruv Patel, Chief Operating Officer

Dhruv also spends time looking at new opportunities for investment or acquisition. This includes reviewing applications for new potential employees to join the Smartway team. His strategic outlook is a fundamental part of how we plan for future growth.

Embedding a culture of improvement 

As well as exploring and analysing these new opportunities, Dhruv reflects on the importance of improving our existing operations. Continuous improvement is a vital part of the Smartway culture.

“I believe that we can always improve, enhance and evolve what we do. We have proven that last year with our commitment to regulatory innovation. One of the greatest pleasures in my role is working closely with people across the business in different countries, understanding their individual concerns, challenges and aims, and helping them achieve them.”

Dhruv Patel, Chief Operating Officer

In part, this includes updates from other senior managers to ensure the warehouse is functioning correctly identify potential bottlenecks in our logistics and looking at how things are changing in the market. However, Dhruv also undertakes a meeting with one department head every day including those outside of the UK, which can be more nuanced.

“These in-depth meetings are a chance to zoom in and see where improvements can be made. It works out as a weekly meeting with each department head, including finance, so I can respond more quickly and effectively to what specific business areas require. Sometimes, strategic priorities can quickly change so I have to be able to make decisions to support those priorities.”

Dhruv Patel, Chief Operating Officer 

Connecting operations with the leadership team

Dhruv’s day typically ends with a quick catch up with our Chief Executive – a chance to reflect on the day, share valuable insights, and plan strategically for the future.

“One of our biggest strengths is a leadership team that shares a commitment to quality and patient safety, who really understand that it must happen at every level of the organisation. Communication sits at the heart of everything we do. We can only improve on what we recognise, understand, and share.”

Dhruv Patel, Chief Operating Officer