While every business strives for quality, Smartway has built its reputation on constant investment in driving quality for the benefit of every practitioner and patient. It’s embedded in the fabric of how we do business – and as part of that commitment, at least 10% of our workforce is made up of quality and regulatory professionals.

That’s why, for the Chartered Quality Institute’s (CQI) 2021 World Quality Week, we wanted to shine a light on the quality professionals and CQI members inside Smartway.

Through an open, drop-in coffee morning, we were able to have meaningful conversations about quality and, ultimately, build stronger working relationships right across the business in this important area.

What is World Quality Week?

The Chartered Quality Institute, is the professional body for quality management practitioners from across sectors. Every year, the CQI celebrates the quality profession with a schedule of events, webinars and workshops around a specific central theme. All of our regulatory team are proud members of the CQI as part of their commitment to continued professional development.

This year, the World Quality Week theme was on the relationship between quality and sustainability. Decisions made to enhance quality have a significant impact on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) – a stakeholder-centric way of doing business that considers how we affect the world around us and the communities we operate in.

At Smartway, we take our own impact seriously and recognise that quality is about much more than the medicines we supply. Achieving our highest standards of quality equally means acting responsibly and ethically at every stage of the process, from deciding who we chose to work with and how we move medicines around the globe. We ask ourselves the difficult questions all the time to make sure we reach the right decision.

Working together to drive quality

As a global business, we handle millions of medicines every week. It’s a time-critical process that doesn’t always allow people to slow down and consider more complex issues and the relationship between quality and sustainability. It is the why we build quality into our processes, so that it is second nature.

To mark World Quality Week, our regulatory team, led by Nicole Lyons, held an open coffee morning for all employees who wanted to understand what WQW means to Smartway and to discuss its importance to the business. As well as drinks, refreshments and time to talk to our own quality professionals, the session also included:

  • What sustainability means for Smartway
  • Quizzes on how quality can improve sustainability
  • Conversation-starting posters on sustainability processes
  • CQI webinars playing in our meeting rooms

The topics discussed were diverse, from the One Life, One Tree initiative to offset the carbon footprint of each employee to how our Expanded Access Programs can be compliant with UN Sustainability Goals. There was also an in-depth discussion on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. But, most of all, the session was an opportunity for all attendees to learn more about quality management within Smartway, our future plans and investments in quality and what they can do to help.

It was great to see the different departments get involved with World Quality Week. It’s not often we get a chance to meet in an informal environment like this, so it was great to see how many people wanted to participate from across Smartway. We received some great feedback from those attending and have already acted on some of the ideas put forward.

Nicole Lyons, Head of Regulatory Affairs 

Improving awareness across Smartway

At Smartway, we believe in continuously improving and reviewing everything we do. While our regulatory team takes the lead on quality, it’s vital that everyone plays a role in appraising and improving our processes at every stage of the supply chain.

Our World Quality Week session wasn’t just an opportunity to celebrate our Quality Management professionals – it was a chance for everyone to think about quality, sustainability, and how it affects their part of the business.

It was interesting to discuss quality from a different perspective – to see how it affects and benefits other aspects of the business that I wouldn’t usually get involved with.

Sharan Sanghera, Senior Procurement Manager