Sterling Pharmaceutical Solutions Ltd is a long-established contract manufacturer of pharmaceutical APIs. Founded in 1969 as the Sterling Drug API facility, Sterling has an annual turnover of approximately £50 million, employing around 450. To support its plans for growth, Sterling added a North Carolina business to the group, with further thoughts on global expansion on the horizon.
Private Equity Investors, Inc., with its strong presence in the pharmaceutical industry, purchased Sterling in 2019. Their vision is for Sterling to grow from a £50 million 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 this vision, the investors and Sterling retained Freeman Clarke to review and manage all existing technology projects.
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.
The work started with a wide-ranging strategic review and a two year programme 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, has 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 has 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 center’ department.”
Kevin Cook, CEO Sterling PSL
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