• Sector: Pharmaceuticals
  • Function: Manufacturing & Operations
  • Share:


Fraser Dove International partnered with a leading biopharmaceutical organisation specialising in the manufacture of plasma-derived and recombinant therapeutic products. Their products help physicians and medical professionals transform and save patient lives the world over.

The client required an experienced Operational Excellence practitioner that could ensure Operational Excellence (OpEx) principles were implemented throughout the design and build of a new manufacturing facility in Switzerland. A proficient innovation pipeline, combined with stacked order-books for legacy products, had placed great strain on existing manufacturing capacity, creating bottlenecks and threatening to disrupt output.

Despite our clients best efforts, the Senior Manager of Operational Excellence position had stood unfilled for 6 months. Until Fraser Dove was retained on the search, the organisation had been unable to fulfill the technical requirements and the language skills necessary for this project.


Discovery Briefing:

The first step in the Primary Search Process, the discovery briefing enables us to 1) clarify our clients market offering, their mission, values and culture and 2) define the core requirements of the role(s). It leads to the creation of a Search Matrix – a document outlining the skills, experience and competencies essential for success. It is used in conjunction with the job description to qualify candidates for cultural and technical fit.

It transpired that, in addition to relevant experience in Operational Excellence (OpEx) in a regulated production environment, the individual would also need in-depth knowledge of Lean and Six Sigma project management techniques, as well significant change management experience.

Talent Mapping:

Fraser Dove’s in-house research function undertook a Europe-focused market mapping exercise to develop a robust talent pool of life science professionals with experience in Operational Excellence (OpEx) in the bio-pharmaceutical space. Talent mapping reduces lead times, providing an initial ‘focus’ for the search while ensuring its geographic scope is sufficient to headhunt high-impact talent. It also yields insight into how best to approach prospective candidates, allowing the research team to hone their pitch before reaching out to the talent pool.

The research function delivered a shortlist of high-calibre candidate profiles with the desired experience, skills and competencies within three weeks, all of whom were invited to interview.

Primary Search:

Our Primary Search solution is an exclusive retained search for specialist and niche senior hires. It combines traditional executive search techniques – headhunting, networking and talent mapping – with next-generation search tools, targeted advertising campaigns and expertise in social media networking to supplement our extensive network of manufacturing talent.

The Assignment Lead, in conjunction with the research team, conducted a competency and technical based qualification assessment to match long-listed candidate’s against the Search Matrix. Outstanding candidates – those qualified against the skills, experience and competencies outlined in the Skills Matrix – were shortlisted and presented to the client for first-stage interview.

From this point forth, Fraser Dove managed the entire candidate-side interview process on behalf of our client, from scheduling interviews to post-interview feedback and offer negotiation.


The search was executed in just 9 weeks from briefing to offer acceptance. The successful candidate had the right combination of relevant experience, communication and leadership capabilities as well as excellent subject matter expertise. An added bonus; the candidate was also known to a member of the hiring team, meaning background and reference checks were completed swiftly.

The appointment of the Senior Manager of Operational Excellence will enable our client to ensure their new facility is constructed to best-in-class standards, taking advantage of the latest developments in pharmaceutical manufacturing techniques and ensuring all production lines are safe, efficient and can be scaled up or down to meet demand.


How we work

To find, qualify and shortlist the very best life science talent - high-achievers with the right mix of skills, experience, qualifications and competencies to not just excel in the role but ensure a good cultural fit - we must first understand our client’s business, their mission, values and culture.

Find out more

Got a question?

Get in touch

For more information about our search success stories, please complete the form below or call us on +44 (0)203 355 7050.