Even before the President’s announcement on Friday, KCAS was receiving calls from customers and colleagues with concerns about the way the world’s recent health and safety concerns would affect business continuity. Rapidly changing updates over the last few weeks about the way everyone should handle these trying times have led to urgent discussions across virtually every industry. Furthermore, it has generated a number of questions about what happens if our industry becomes the next to be affected.
In particular, they have asked whether KCAS still has the capacity to continue working on their projects. We fully understand the concern, and why so many might be in doubt about the future of their projects. We wanted to take a moment and use this communication to assure everyone that KCAS is here for you now when you need us. Nobody knows what the next few weeks will bring, but we are planning to maintain that role.
We have always focused on planning ahead and learning to adjust when the business environment shifts. The current situation is shifting rapidly but we are actively assessing the situation to stay focused on our deliverables.
As things currently stand, there are three main reasons KCAS is confident in the face of these coming changes.
(1.) KCAS has a complete and thorough corporate COVID-19 plan in place already.
We have announced a corporate strategy to deal with the impacts this illness might have on our business. An internal COVID-19 response team covering all functions has been established to stay abreast of national & local developments and ensure policies are in place and promptly communicated to all KCAS employees.
First and foremost is our staff’s health and wellbeing. We are constantly monitoring CDC updates for any necessary changes that we should make on behalf of the teams. We have implemented a work from home policy for any job function that can operate off-site. This minimizes the number of staff in the building at any one time.
Universal precautions in the wet lab is a given but we have implemented a number of additional internal controls to help provide a safe and clean workplace. This includes training of management and staff to recognize the signs of potential contamination and how to deal with it. Additional cleaning measures have been implemented for our larger conference rooms and for all surfaces that may see higher than normal traffic, such as in the employee break room
Our updated process for external visitors includes increased security at our main entrance to give us a single point of control. In addition to a simple questionnaire, visitors will be tested for elevated temperature prior to entering the facility.
(2.) KCAS has capacity available to take on projects at short notice.
With these controls in place, we would like to emphasize that KCAS is open for business to take on your studies. We consistently work to ensure that workload does not exceed our known capacity and make resources available where we see a bottleneck. This allows us to commit to short lead times from quote signature to starting your work. We are in a position where we can take on new projects now if dealing with COVID-19 no longer allows you to execute work as you originally planned.
(3.) KCAS has a well-developed, tried-and-tested cross-training program, developed by over 40 years of industry experience.
KCAS can ensure business continuity as a result of a flexible staffing approach within our Operations team. Our scientific organization is split into smaller subgroups depending on the types of analytes they’re primarily focused on and the level of rigor the studies we’re supporting require. Our teams that utilize LC-MS/MS technologies support drug discovery, regulated small molecule and large molecule bioanalysis. On the more conventional ligand binding side we have teams focused on non-regulated and regulated assays as well as biomarkers and flow cytometry. However, the processes that the teams follow across disciplines have many common factors. We have taken this understanding to develop a cross-training protocol to guarantee the appropriate people are available to support the work that is needed.
We recognize that our employees value the opportunity to grow their skill set and increase their bioanalytical knowledge. This plays directly into KCAS’ strategy for developing an expert team of scientists who can apply themselves wherever the business needs them. Once a lab scientist is established within their allocated team at KCAS they will be given a structured growth plan with a path to more senior levels. Promotion is dependent on demonstrating additional skills beyond their daily role that will come from working in other teams. Each assignment last 8 weeks so there is time to gain a good working knowledge of other groups.
The cross-training program gives us a scientific team who are skilled in multiple disciplines. This allows us to have additional people available when timelines are reduced. It also gives a mechanism whereby people can cover if a medical issue reduces the availability of planned resources.
Globally, we’re seeing the emergence of an unexpected issue that can markedly affect our business planning. The challenge is ensuring that our business can continue with minimal interruption so that drug development can continue in line with our customer’s needs. The flexibility KCAS has built into our systems helps our preparedness for any change in business conditions. Despite the current disruption to many aspects of the global marketplace we are in a position whereby we can readily support your studies and consistently meet timelines to keep your drug development on schedule. We plan to update this communication regularly as the national and international situation develops.
If you have any questions, please use the form below. Additionally, you can reach out to me directly, or any other member of KCAS’ leadership team. Thank you.