As a Chief Operating Officer, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to hone our team’s skills so we can deliver the best possible experience to our customers. Over the years, as new business opportunities have come our way at Biosero, we have expanded our headcount substantially. Bringing on so many new people has highlighted opportunities for us to grow in the ways that we engage with customers.
I am privileged to work with a solid group of individuals at Biosero who are strongly committed to our company’s success. From the pre-sales conversation through to onsite installation, our team works hard to ensure a seamless customer experience. The market is growing and the demand for automation to support innovations in drug discovery is increasing.
As we take on larger and more complex projects, one of our priorities is ensuring that all of our team members — from project management to applications to marketing — are empowered to navigate customer interactions successfully. To that end, we recently decided to offer internal training to ensure that everyone in our company feels comfortable working directly with our customers.
For that kind of work, we needed a real pro. Fortunately, I knew just the person from my days working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) – Steve Proia, former Chief Financial Officer and Director of Business Operations. At JPL, I had a front-row seat to his skill and expertise in working on projects with large clients. It was an easy decision to invite Steve to share his wisdom from that experience with our team at Biosero.
We felt it was important for everyone on the team to take part, not just the Project Managers who normally interact with our customers because a successful lab automation installation is a team effort. With so many points of personnel interaction, it was clear that everyone on the team would benefit from being able to speak the same language when working with customers.
Even the best-laid plans cannot account for every possible scenario. Sometimes project priorities shift, customers’ needs change, or the implementation of new infrastructure might take longer than expected. In all cases, clear communication is essential for ensuring that everyone understands what to expect. As part of the training workshop with Steve, our team also took a step back and re-evaluated our processes to set us and our customers up for the best possible outcomes.
Steve shared many valuable insights with our team during the workshop. Here are two that really resonated with me.
Defined roles: Understanding what each person is responsible for and what tasks they have ownership of simplifies things for everyone. Steve shared a really useful framework for clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member and of the customer, and why this is important.
Clear communication: As with any relationship, setting clear expectations about what your company can provide and communicating that with the customer will ensure a much smoother interaction and avoid misunderstandings. Also, as Steve noted in his presentation, “change is not a bad word.” Alerting the customer to changes in the project scope or statement of work in a timely manner can prevent problems down the road.
I believe that companies, like people, should never stop growing and improving. It’s so important to continually take stock of where your staff and customers are and identify areas where you can strengthen your capabilities. We are taking what we’ve learned from Steve and adding it to our processes. For example, we are drawing up a pre-installation checklist for customers that covers everything they are responsible for delivering before our engineers arrive at their facility. This ensures that our engineers’ time is maximized while on-site. We are also implementing processes that clearly identify each team member’s roles during projects to ensure clear communication internally and with customers.
I am excited about how these changes will benefit our clients. I am also tremendously proud of the team we have built — and are continuing to build — at Biosero. Our customers work on some of the biggest challenges in life sciences, and my commitment to supporting them is as strong as ever. As always, if you are interested in working with us, please reach out.
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