Bradley Lambert enjoyed his former life on the road as a technical business consultant. He traveled up and down the West Coast helping clients set up, configure, and troubleshoot Oracle and other database systems. But there was one part of the job that he didn’t like: the cost. He knew that most of his clients were paying more than $3,500 per day for his services and not even using their systems correctly.
Aiming to find a way to build real partnerships and offer more value, he spent an evening alone in his hotel room putting together a proposal to show clients how to better use software to drive results. His simple presentation the next day led to a job offer. Suddenly, Lambert was in the biotech industry.
It was just another in a series of twists and turns in Lambert’s academic and professional career. The native midwesterner earned degrees in statistics and actuarial science mathematics from the University of Michigan, where he was also a varsity member of four Big Ten swimming and diving championship teams and two US Diving senior national championship teams. Lambert took a job as a diving coach and started master’s level course work in computer science at Clemson University before pausing his formal studies there to earn Oracle database training and certifications.
Once Lambert found his home in high-tech pharma, he never left. “I didn’t have to move. Companies moved to me,” he says.
The company that first hired him merged with Biogen, which became Genentech, which became Roche. By 2020, Lambert had been with the organization for nearly eighteen years in progressive roles that involved managing complex IT and business system implementation projects, assisting business unit leaders in identifying future process automation needs, providing full IT support to drug distribution centers, optimizing multimillion-dollar product portfolios, and eventually managing large pharma tech biologic sites around the globe.
During his last few years at Roche, Lambert was instrumental in merging information technology and operational technology. “The integration and convergence of these two areas is critical. It’s happening in various industries but is happening very rapidly in biotech and there are big implications,” he says.
AGC Biologics, where Lambert now serves as vice president of global information technology, is a contract development and manufacturing company (CDMO) that builds end-to-end partnerships to help clients develop and commercialize life-saving treatments by tapping into AGC facilities in the US, Europe, and Asia. In the summer of 2022, when its leaders were looking to bring in someone who understands IT, knows the business, and comprehends its unique challenges, they hired Lambert. He’s leveraging his unique combination of IT, organizational development, business strategy, and leadership skills to introduce robust governance and increased levels of transparency as AGC matures and steps into a new era.
When Lambert arrived on the scene, the company had just grown from about five hundred to three thousand people. “All of a sudden, AGC was a major player, but one that was still in start-up mode without strong processes in place,” he says. “That is both a challenge and an opportunity.” Lambert knew he could set up the infrastructure and bring the appropriate prioritization and visibility into AGC’s work to help the company make informed business decisions.
He’s done that through standardization and digitalization and by applying a Pharma 4.0 framework to the world of pharmaceutical manufacturing. “Our aim is to simplify everything, harness technology, and automate manual processes to get products to patients better and faster than ever before,” Lambert says. Since AGC is a relatively young CDMO with no real technical debt, his team can also fix existing IT problems at the same time to leapfrog ahead of the curve as they implement best practices.
Lambert’s first few months at AGC were all about organizing and communicating. He created a five-year road map and worked to ensure all stakeholders understood their part in the plan. Now, he’s rolling out stage two: stabilization. That requires his teams to have their IT processes defined so they can best deliver solutions and support internal and external customers.
The next step involves scaling up services as AGC continues to grow. Lambert is standardizing global processes, streamlining production with an electronic batch record system, getting manual processes off of paper, implementing enterprise resource planning software, and getting one single lab management system in place for teams of scientists working in seven labs across three continents.
“Bradley is an innovative technologist who completely understands the power of a systems approach to digitalize and optimize business operations in life sciences,” says Vasu Rangadass, president and CEO of L7 Informatics. “This approach will eliminate siloed solutions, save the industry valuable time, and provide data and intelligence to companies.”
When it comes to leading teams, Lambert is known for his approachability. He wants each person to know their responsibilities and does all he can to help them push the limits and achieve great things. Back when he was a diving coach, he helped each athlete find the best way to spin and twist through the air and enter the water. His current role is surprisingly similar: he’s still introducing variables and making incremental process improvements to find the right repeatable process. However, in this case, Lambert and his team are hoping to help AGC score a perfect ten.
StratusG is a Seattle based biotechnology consulting firm with nearly three decades of experience. Specializing in IT Strategy, Commercialization (Creators of BioTechForce a quick start out of the box solution to support a biotech company’s commercial journey), IT Lifecycle and Validation, Quality Systems and GxP Solutions.
Psiog Digital is a technology advisory and services company that specializes in assisting global, large, and mid-market organizations across various industries enhance their value and amplify their influence by harnessing the power of technology.
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