Expert Insight: Meeting the needs of the global pandemic: Lessons from a private testing lab

Discover what it takes to set up an accredited COVID-19 testing laboratory and learn more about COVID-19 project delivery around the world

19 Jan 2022


Nick Bills, Dr. Tom Burr, and Enrique Wang, George Li, and Peter Pedersen from Haier Biomedical 
Nick Bills and Dr. Tom Burr from Source BioScience, and Enrique Wang, George Li, and Peter Pedersen from Haier Biomedical 

When the global COVID-19 pandemic struck, Source BioScience responded to calls for support from the UK Government by adapting its testing facility as part of its pathology service provision. The organization worked alongside its cold chain supply partner, Haier Biomedical, to meet its project goals.

In this SelectScience webinar, now available on demand, hear from a panel of experts, Nick Bills and Dr. Tom Burr from Source BioScience, and Enrique Wang, George Li, and Peter Pedersen from Haier Biomedical as they explore how Source BioScience worked with Haier Biomedical to deliver state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing facilities in the UK.

 

Read on for highlights of the Q&A discussion with the expert panellists, joined by Richard Jafrato, Hair Biomedical, or register free now to watch the webinar on demand.

Can you expand on who Haier Biomedical UK are and what your capabilities are?

RJ: We've been selling the brand into the UK market since 2008. Then in 2016, we were acquired and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Haier Biomedical Qingdao. We hold a large amount of stock in the UK, both in our warehouse and with logistics providers around the UK, which enables us to deliver very rapidly to important customers, very much like Source, who are reacting to market trends and needs.

In the past 18 months, we've been heavily involved with clients like Source BioScience, supplying equipment for COVID testing. We’ve also been heavily involved in supplying vaccine freezers, especially for NHS Scotland, who used our -80 under bench freezer for their initial Pfizer vaccine rollout across the whole of Scotland.

Obviously, we focus on fast-moving products to service our clients and their needs, but we do try to hold a good healthy stock of products for everyone's requirements.

What are your and the greater Haier Biomedical team's next steps to improve healthcare networks even further in remote, hard-to-reach and areas that have no, or irregular power supply?

EW: We have proved very successful in the vaccine cold chain for the last 10 years and have already supplied more than 100,000 vaccine fridges to more 100,000 places all over the world. We are also ready to further deploy our vaccine cold chain solution in 2022. This will be divided into several directions, such as vaccine cold chain logistics, blood collection, and others. We hope these solutions can promote, help, and support the healthcare installations in the very hard-to-reach areas. We also hope we can collaborate with our partners.

Over the last 18 months, what are the main challenges the Haier Biomedical team encountered at home and abroad, and how has Haier Biomedical overcome these challenges?

PP: Like most companies around the world, we've had challenges during the pandemic, and we will all continue to have challenges moving forward. We've had to realign how we do business and that means doing business from a different perspective. This means we can't travel to see our customers face to face. We've had to do things differently and create different channels and ways to meet our customers online, using different platforms and apps to make that happen.

In 2021, because of the pandemic, our business grew 100%, as did all of our competitors around the world in this field. Our teams right across Haier Biomedical have worked very hard during this time to continue to support our overseas distributors, teams, and partners that were delivering on behalf of us. By working as a team with our key stakeholders, and our partners around the world, we've been able to achieve our goals. Without teams and without unity, we will not succeed. With the help of the great relationships that our members have made around the world, we've been able to overcome the impediments of the pandemic. It's all about building relationships and keeping those relationships.

What support do you provide to your key partners, distributors, and stakeholders in the form of marketing materials?

PP: We work with many diverse markets, countries, continents around the world; we have customers in 160 countries, so, each individual market has its own perspective on what its needs are. We try to work with our stakeholders, partners, and different governments in each of these different markets to provide them with the materials and the tools to ensure that they're driving our brand. This is a win-win situation as we're providing those tools to improve their business, which in turn improves our business.

From our point of view, our stakeholders are our partners, they're part of the greater Haier Group family. We're providing the marketing tools, whether that's helping them with their websites, providing information through brochures, flyers, videos, working with our distributors to do online training, or by providing other tools to do with our products and services.

How does Haier Biomedical deal with the different regulations and requirements around the world?

PP: Because we have our partners and distributors in each country, we trust those partners to deliver us the information they require to ensure that we meet local authority rules and regulations and policies. Having that network across the world of a tight, hard-working team that Haier Biomedical works with - whether it's in the Americas, Europe, Africa, or within the UN group, it's about understanding what's happening in those countries or those particular markets.

Because of our strong relationships with key stakeholders, we get an early understanding of the policy requirements of their governments or the requirements of that particular sector. Having that close relationship with our partners ensures that we have a full understanding of what's needed in different economies or different countries. This is how we best overcome those impediments, by having that close relationship, or what we call guanxi, with customers of ours and end users.

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