IMA UK, is a division of IMA Spa, an Italian company that manufactures packaging and process equipment to the pharmaceutical industry. IMA UK provides customer support for clients in the United Kingdom and Ireland, ranging from installation, training and production start-up, through to breakdowns, modifications and maintenance projects. Its client base, includes the food and cosmetics, pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging industries.
A large number of pharmaceutical manufacturers, based in the United Kingdom, produce and market products in the United States and are thus regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since 2000, the FDA has taken a positive stance against companies that have not met agreed outstanding actions from previous audits.
The response has been swift and some of the world’s largest organisations have received extremely costly fines (running into hundreds of million of dollars), plus restrictions and controls on the release of products from their plants. The resulting effect to these organisations' operations can be catastrophic, delaying shipments to other plants and customers throughout the world.
Organisations such as IMA UK have responded positively to meet the standards by increasing vigilance, resources, and improving their quality systems in a consistent manner at all sites. This applies to Europe and other markets as well as the United States, in the global drive towards the harmonisation of regulatory standards. The knock-on effect to equipment suppliers and others, has been an increase in demand for validation and training.
To meet increasing customer demands for consistent, structured and documented training for its staff, IMA UK's response was to look for a supplier that could provide its technicians with the pre-requisite skills and knowledge.
IMA UK's approach was to identify an experienced industry provider of solutions rather than a traditional college. IMA UK contacted Industrial Technology Systems Ltd (ITS) and found that the company had a trainer with considerable experience in the pharmaceutical field. So a training course was designed based on the national standards for training, to meet the technicians’ needs. Courses were delivered to IMA UK's technicians over a two year period.
By attending ITS' Train the Trainer Course , IMA UK's technicians now have a better understanding of how people learn, including themselves, the personal and physical barriers that can affect learning and how they can take these into account whilst training. ITS' trainer ensured that the technicians' training, met the national standards, by assessing them during the last session, when they were required to train a colleague on a one-to-one basis.
IMA UK's technicians now understand that more emphasis and time needs to be allocated to the preparation and delivery of its courses. Customers are now made aware of these requirements during the delivery e.g. no interruptions, correct people identified and briefed, and the importance of practice and assessment before allowing the operators to work unattended.
ITS has enhanced the value of IMA UK's products and services, as its customers are far more satisfied with the training that is delivered ‘Right First Time’. IMA UK's customers learn and utilise their new skills far more quickly.
IMA UK's satisfaction in ITS' Train the Trainer Course is highlighted through the feedback received below and the following statement from IMA UK's Managing Director, "The skills of our service team are vital to the support of our customers.
Our work with ITS has made an important contribution to the development of these skills." It is also supported through IMA UK broadening the scope of the training to include their own Italian technicians.”