Serving Our Customers Through a Pandemic

By July 21, 2020


Early on in the pandemic, Adam Beard, Waters’ Vice President of Global Services, wrote about how our employees were “Delivering Benefit While Supporting the Front Lines of a Global Pandemic” in a post on LinkedIn. Today, that critical work continues. 

Recently, we spoke to some of our colleagues from our global service and manufacturing teams that are making the work we do as a company possible and enabling the science of our customers. We asked about what their works means to them, what their challenges have been and how they deliver benefit.  

 

Michael King, Principal Clinical Technical Specialist 

Can you can give an example of how work is continuing amid COVID-19?  

Amid COVID-19 life is going on, babies are still being born and people still need monitoring of their therapeutic drug levels. I have been traveling to a newborn screening lab that tests babies for inherited metabolic disease. They were down a system and needed support. Resolving an issue at a newborn screening site always means something special to me. I help to make sure all those babies being born are healthy and/or diagnosed early so they can lead a happy healthy life. 

Between customer site calls, I work with my other Clinical colleges on Clinical Tech Support. This important function allows us to asses and assist a customer with a problem via the phone and with remote technology to resolve minor issues and gets them up and running in a matter of hours and not days. 

 

Angelique Dupont, Field Service Specialist in the Southeastern District

What has been your personal experience working in an essential role that’s contributing to the scientific community during this time? 

Working in an essential role has made me feel proud. When I was onsite, especially when there were more unknowns about the virus, I felt as though I was supporting many aspects of the community, whether it was directly related to the virus or not. I have been able to contribute to the success of customers; those that help patients in hospitals, the researchers exploring a COVID-19 treatment or vaccine and those that need certain pharmaceuticals in order to maintain health. Of course, there is some anxiety of exposing myself or others to the virus, but Waters has been able to provide me with the proper PPE to make me feel protected.

 

Patrick Gahan, Production Supervisor for MS Analsyer Assembly and Test 

What has been your experience working in an essential role that’s contributing to the scientific community during this time?   

This has been a proud time for us as we hear stories and reports from the Pharma industry and University’s purchasing our products to help develop a vaccine for COVID-19. When we tell these stories to our families it shows how we really are delivering benefit to combating this pandemic. 

 

 

Bruce E. Wilson, Principal Consulting Engineer – Global Service and Support – Separations 

What are some contributions you’ve seen that Waters technology and service are making to deliver benefit to society during this pandemic? 

Interestingly, SFC and large-scale LC prep have been used in this pandemic towards testing of the vaccines and new treatments. In the US, China and Switzerland ongoing use of this technology is helping with the war against COVID-19. 

The continuation of support for regulated QC business is also essential to making sure that our customers deliver consistent and quality products so that the pharmaceutical and food supply is sustained. 

What keeps you motivated during this time?  

Our customers are number one, getting them up and running ASAP during this crisis keeps us motivated. The Waters Field Service Engineers that are on the front lines every day – they are the ones doing the hard task. 

 

Emma Whelan, Technical Supervisor at ERA Laboratory  

What are some contributions you’ve seen that Waters technology and service are making in order to deliver benefit to society during this pandemic?  

Waters Wexford has done an extremely good job at publicizing the ongoing work related to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are posters displayed throughout the facility both in production and common areas which detail both instruments and columns that were made at the Wexford site and supplied to customers who are currently attempting to develop a vaccine! It’s amazing to think that Waters’ technologies are having such a significant impact on society and the potential to save thousands of lives. 

 

Justin Philippi, New England West District Service Manager  

What has been your experience working in an essential role that’s contributing to the scientific community during this time?   

Working in my role, it’s given me pride to know that we are contributing to the science that will resolve this conflict.  I have engineers on my team supporting customers who have been in the news for their work on treatments and vaccines.  It feels good when I discuss this crisis with family and friends, as I know my team and I are doing our part. 

What has been the most challenging component of this environment? 

As a field-based employee at Waters, I’m used to working out of a home office. I’m not used to sharing it though.  My wife has had to adapt to working from home most days, and my children, ages 9 and 11, are having to learn from home.  We’ve all learned to set a schedule to focus on work, while allowing for time to enjoy lunch together or take an afternoon walk.   

Keeping in touch with my team and colleagues has been a challenge.  Remote meetings and phone calls help us get the work done, but I miss the face-to-face interactions.  One duty I’ve picked up is distributing PPE to my team. I’ve enjoyed delivering it as it gives me a brief in person interaction to check on how they are doing. 

 

Claire Moran, Senior Quality Engineer at Waters Solihull 

Has there been a heartening moment that impacted you?   

The community spirit shown in Waters Solihull during this time has been heartwarming. People across all departments have stepped up. Different members of the team ran low on household items, so we helped each other out. I ran out of flour, the next day a colleague gave me a bag. A colleague ran out of eggs, next day there was a box on his desk. A colleague was running low on nappies for his newborn baby and the next day there was some given to him. I hope that the sense of community and goodwill continues to blossom when this crisis is over.  

What keeps you motivated during this time? 

There is a great team spirit in Solihull and this has helped create a culture of “We are all in this together and we will get through it together one day at a time”. This helps keep everyone motivated onsite.  

 

Sarah Smith, Southeast District Service Manager 

How is the work continuing amid COVID-19? 

We have had to think outside of the box with how we tackle certain projects. For example, a PM on a Mass Spec system that is a 4-hour drive normally can take 2-3 days for one engineer with overnight travel. We now split it up between 2 engineers and some testing is completed remotely before arrival to site. The pandemic has pushed us to come up with creative solutions to these types of challenges that we never would have thought of in the past.  

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.  What keeps you motivated?  

This is an excellent question because the answer is always evolving to adapt to the ever-changing world around us.  My daughter is my number one priority and as a parent I have tried to come up with creative solutions to have fun even during a shelter-in-place. Finding joy in the small things is now more important than ever. Ultimately, it all comes down to making sure that you still have a balance in your life.  

 

Liam Murphy, Warehouse Supervisor, Wexford Ireland  

What does “Delivering benefit” mean to you, especially during this time? 

Delivering benefit for me means to keep doing what we are doing and continue to serve our customers in the best way possible. I believe we deliver benefit through our efforts to keep the plant going and keep producing and shipping columns and instruments so that the world can carry out the appropriate tests to help combat this epidemic. 

Categories: COVID-19, Leadership