Client audits of production environments are an essential part of conducting business in the contract pharmaceutical services industry.

Sharp hosts on average 60-70 client audits annually with each one taking several days preparation. Each client would typically spend two days on-site observing processes and reviewing documentation. As the global pandemic loomed in early 2020 and Sharp’s facility network was closed to all visitors, it was clear we had to immediately adapt to ensure clients would continue to have visibility to production, as an essential part of their audit.

The solution was a blend of technology and ingenuity, including video conferencing, live camera footage and Sharp personnel acting as call hosts. The ‘virtual tour’ offered the transparency and reassurance that clients needed, while we continued to maintain the safety of our employees working at each facility. The virtual tour experience has allowed Sharp to continue to support new clinical trials and launch commercial products with minimal disruption. They are now – and are likely to remain – a regular feature of the ‘new normal’ at all Sharp sites, with our account executives and clients teams offering ‘virtual visits’ of production rooms so clients can see their products as they are run live.