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Preparing our Teams for the Facilities of the Future

Lindsey E. Daniel, PE
Preparing our Teams for the Facilities of the Future

The ISPE Facility of the Future Conferences can feel like a crystal ball looking into the future . Year after year, speakers have presented what the future of the industry may look like, and then, in subsequent years, speakers will present how they have implemented that future. It is remarkable to see the future come to fruition and learn how others are navigating it. One of the greatest benefits of this conference is benchmarking with peers in the industry to ensure that what organizations are focusing on is aligned. Insights gained can also help professionals understand how their organizations can pave the way to provide benchmarks for the future.

Five years ago, a common topic in the pre-pandemic world was the speed of designing, constructing, and validating a facility. Once COVID hit, the conference shifted focus to new technologies and strategies to get to patients faster, on both the clinical and commercial side. Last year, there was a common theme around flexibility in facilities. And this year, there will be a focus on learning agility and the importance of people.

The half-life of technology is rapidly decreasing which means the industry’s ability to learn new technologies needs to be faster and more intuitive. Patients are at the center of everything, and their needs are always evolving. As new technology is introduced for the development, manufacturing, and delivery of products, industry players need to be open to thinking differently and developing new capabilities.

2024 ISPE Facilities of the Future Conference

Technology is disruptive and change can be scary. It is no secret that the way everyone operates in both their personal and professional lives is greatly impacted by the technology that continues to evolve. It is critical to understand the impact of these new technologies, leverage them for their benefit, and maintain awareness of their potentially negative impact. Technology is never a singular solution. It requires adoption by the entire organization and an intentional effort to learn new things. As that half-life continues to dwindle and there is a push toward pivoting and adopting new things, learning agility will also grow. But like most things, it is not happening fast enough. It is important to prioritize learning in an intentional effort and organizations must support this lifelong journey.

This year's conference will focus on Facilities and Work Force of the Future. Facilities are getting more complex with the introduction of cutting-edge digital capabilities, automation, and new AI platforms. This innovation is disrupting the industry and transforming businesses; it is reshaping existing jobs and giving rise to completely new roles. Upskilling today’s workforce is critical to ensure the industry is future-ready. Karine Stephens, Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy and Business Excellence at Takeda will share how Takeda is preparing for the future by transforming the organization to leverage data and digital through the investment and reskilling of their organization. Patricia Martin, Partner at Martin Equity, LLC, will give lessons learned in problem-solving, and in building teams and trust as employees and leaders adapt to rapidly evolving workforce needs. Dedric Day, Senior Director of Strategic Talent Partnerships at Eli Lilly and Company, will share how Eli Lilly is partnering with two community colleges to prepare their teams for its new highly complex and high-speed pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment. Other speakers will discuss their transformation and how they are preparing their teams. The workforce of the future will come to fruition in future ISPE Facility of the Future Conferences as the industry continues this journey to deliver more products to more patients and to build a better, more sustainable future.

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