Client Stories

Sterling Pharmaceutical Solutions Ltd is a Northumberland based, long-established contract manufacturer of pharmaceutical APIs. Founded in 1969 as the Sterling Drug API facility, Sterling has an annual turnover of approx. £50 million, employing approx. 450 people. To support their plans for growth, a business in Cary, North Carolina, USA has been added to the group since we started, with further thoughts on global expansion on the horizon.

Private Equity Investors, with a strong presence and background within the pharmaceutical industry, purchased Sterling in 2019 with a clear vision and design for the future of the business. That vision is for Sterling to grow from a £50 million turnover company to a £250 million turnover organization within a 5-year period, becoming a Top 10 worldwide Pharmaceutical manufacturer offering World Class services to customers. In order to realize and accelerate this vision, the investors and Sterling retained Freeman Clarke to review and manage all existing technology projects to ensure work continued at pace.

A part of the brief was to define a clear, multi-year technology strategy for current and future technology development to be realized rapidly, that also clearly communicated the concept of ‘World Class’ to staff and customers alike. This brief was similar to that of a previous Freeman Clarke client that had been procured by the same equity investors.

We started with a wide-ranging strategic review and a two-year program of work to address everything from a major SAP upgrade to infrastructure, telephony and document management, as well as a thorough review of the IT team structure, including the recruitment of a new IT Manager and the expansion and upskilling of the existing team.

Freeman Clarke, to date, have been able to resolve a number of technology issues as well as define, plan and kick-off significant infrastructure and technology projects. The most notable project is a significant upgrade of the end to end SAP R3 ERP to SAP S/4HANA within a 1-year timeframe. Other significant projects have included; a move from an Exchange 2010 on-premise solution to Microsoft Office 365; Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade; Implement a new cloud-based voice over IP telephony system; and a complete replacement of aging network hardware.

 “Through Paul’s outstanding work, Freeman Clarke have been instrumental in implementing industry best practices around the management, support and financial management of the IT function. This has included a redefinition of the role and restructure of IT within the business and building its profile so that it is now interpreted within the business as a true business partner providing real business benefits instead of the singular perception of only being a ‘Cost Centre’ department.”

Kevin Cook, CEO Sterling PSL

To find out more about how we could add value to your business, Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business.

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Graeme Freeman
Co-Founder and Director

Subscribe to our Business Insights

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You’ll now receive regular expert business insights.

Call us on 0203 020 1864 with any questions.