Interview with William Stockburn (Vice President and General Manager of the Enzyme Business for SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS in Europe)
As a group of companies, SEKISUI in Europe provides a vast array of innovative products and services, engages around 1,000 diverse employees and combines the strength of various great companies. One of these companies is SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS – with William Stockburn as Vice President and General Manager of the Enzyme Business in Europe. We met him for a personal interview and asked him about the company’s business as well as the importance of the cooperation amongst the SEKISUI companies in Europe.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your career at SEKISUI so far?
My name is Will Stockburn. I am the Vice President and General Manager of the Enzyme Business for SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS in Europe. I am located in Kent, where I started working as Senior Operations Director for Genzyme – which became SEKISUI Diagnostics in 2011. In 2016, I took over my current position, enjoying it so far.
You are working at SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS. What is the company doing?
SEKISUI Diagnostics in Kent produces and sells a range of different enyzmes, such as clinical chemistry enzymes, immunochemistry enzymes, molecular biology enzymes and biopharma enzymes. Most of these enzymes are used to produce reagents or tests that are used to help diagnose illnesses. For example, if you go to the doctors for a blood test one or more of our enzymes may be part of the reagent that is used to test your blood.
Our enzymes are also used by biopharmaceutical manufacturers – they carry out chemical/biological transformation to manufacture their own pharmaceutical drugs. It is our ambition to manufacture drug substances in the future as well.
What benefits do you offer to your customers?
We are committed to meeting our customer expectations for both products and services. We deliver the product to customers on time and in full. In case we have problems, we are communicating in a timely manner ensuring there are no surprises.
For our biopharma business we try to build solid partnerships and work with customers from tender through all stages of development, qualification and production
If you had one wish regarding your business, what would it be?
I wish we were able to offer a full manufacturing process to potential customers. There are so many opportunities and so much demand for this type of offering – I hope we will be able to offer this service one day.
What is great about working for SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS?
We have a strong set of core values which centers around people, personal responsibility, recognition, change/innovation and customers. For anyone working for SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS in Kent, we ensure that staff are trained to do their job, but we also look for opportunities for them to broaden their experiences and get involved in new areas or major projects. There is also a strong team ethos: Everyone works together for the company as a whole.
Personally, I try to create an atmosphere where anyone can raise a concern or a suggestion and they will feel ‘safe’ in doing so, knowing they will get appropriate feedback. Most of all, I would like to think that it is also a fun place to work where many strong friendships are developed.
How do you think the different SEKISUI companies in Europe could work together?
I am already supportive of the functional SEKISUI Europe meetings we have so far. I think we should have more of these as we have a wealth of experience and knowledge across our organization which should be shared as widely as possible.
What do you like most about your position?
I am strongly motivated by helping to set the future direction of the SEKISUI Enzyme business. I enjoy discussing and framing the strategy for the business, but I am also keen to ensure we deliver on our commitments and encourage all of the Kent staff to focus on delivering what our customers expect, both internal and external
What was the best advice someone ever gave to you?
If you want to progress your career at a certain company, you have got to show you are interested in the business. When you get exposure to senior managers, ask good questions to get yourself known by the right people.
What did you always want to say to your team/your employees?
Deliver on your commitments and try to improve something every day, so that each day you can leave work knowing you have done your best and made a difference.
SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS (UK) became part of the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group in 2011 — as part of the expansion strategy in the clinical diagnostics field.
SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS is headquartered in Lexington, Massachuttes and produces and distributes differentiated products, instrument systems and services that support the improvement of patient care worldwide. The UK office is based in Kent and the site manufactures high quality enzymes, proteins and substrates used in the manufacture of clinical diagnostic reagents and point of care devices. With core competencies of fermentation and protein purification, SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS is a leading manufacturer of diagnostic enzymes such as those used in glucose and cholesterol tests, which are important in the management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The UK office has also recently expanded its offering of high quality enzymes to non-diagnostics customers as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) producing biopharma processing enzymes and is developing cGMP capabilities to maximise the potential of this area.
Apart from manufacturing in Kent, SEKISUI Diagnostics (UK) Ltd., is also responsible for supporting the clinical chemistry and coagulation systems and point of care products in the EMEA region.
In Europe, the sales and customer service of clinical chemistry systems/reagents, point-of-care and rapid-rest products is also done by SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS GMBH in Germany. It also supports the distribution and sales of several SEKISUI Medical products to diagnostic companies in the EMEA region.
SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS is a diverse global company with extensive product development capabilities and broad product lines. Its global capabilities allow the company to meet the specific needs of a wide range of customers.
It is committed to setting and achieving high ethical, professional and industry standards and conduct business everyday according to these core values. Both the 120 employees at SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS UK as well as the seven employees at SEKISUI DIAGNOSTICS GMBH embrace teamwork, foster collaboration and value the contribution of each person in the organisation.