Will Rose, Contracts and Proposals Manager
“Since joining Aptus Clinical I achieve in a few days what used to take me several months”, says Will Rose, Contracts and Proposals Manager at Aptus Clinical. Will joined the Business Development team a year ago with no prior experience of the pharmaceutical or CRO sector. In fact, he had spent the previous 10 years working in the Defence/Aerospace industry, where a single contract could be worth several hundred million pounds and would typically take many months to negotiate. “In some respects, my role here is the same as I still support business development through bids, contracts and strategic planning. What differs is the fast pace and the determination to be agile and responsive to our clients. I also appreciate the greater degree of influence and responsibility to shape how things are done.”
Moving to Aptus Clinical from an unrelated industry has brought a different perspective and insight to the role that has helped in the shaping of the company’s processes and perspectives. “Having worked for very large organisations, I have seen the challenges that growth can present and often the evident problems, especially when it comes to organisational structure, are never resolved” says Will. “At Aptus Clinical we anticipate the challenges and shape the organisation to mitigate future risks. We ensure our infrastructure is robust and ready for the next stage of growth, being proactive rather than reactive.”
Now is a very exciting time for Aptus Clinical, as the company continues to grow rapidly and expand its clinical operations, commercial and governance oversight teams. “I like how responsive we are here; it is now normal for me to be working on multiple contracts and bids simultaneously, and to complete them within a few days. Everyone here is very engaged and I like working across the company with different teams who are keen to work innovatively and efficiently.”
A typical day for Will starts with a review of his To Do list to determine what needs to be progressed that day. “There is always new work or existing contracts that need to be agreed internally or with clients. Sometimes I will work on larger Master Service Agreements that need to involve legal teams from all parties. New bids arrive regularly that need to be costed and for these I will work with the co-founding directors, clinical operations and clinical development teams to finalise the proposal.” Another part of Will’s role is to monitor the status of existing contracts and amend or extend as necessary. He also writes and maintains the company’s SOPs and toolkits relating to the commercial and business development parts of the business, from time to time these need to be amended and new ones produced. “We try to operate as efficiently and consistently as possible so rely on numerous templates. We have recently implemented an integrated CRM and Project Accounting software tool across the organisation, this helps us track time and costs against budgets much more accurately and this data is then used to inform the cost models we develop.” Due diligence also takes up a fair amount of time, with either selecting and validating a new supplier or supporting a Client audit of Aptus Clinical. Will attends weekly business development meetings to understand what contracts and proposals support is required and, as Aptus Clinical is growing so significantly, recruitment is also something he gets involved in.
“I really enjoy my role at Aptus clinical. We work in small teams and its close knit but always welcoming to new starters. We all work well together and being on one site, in such nice offices, really helps foster good relationships and a team spirit.”
One of the greatest challenges of being the Contracts and Proposals Manager at Aptus Clinical is also the most rewarding. “In a CRO like Aptus Clinical the pace is much faster and so there isn’t the time to over-analyse every bid, consequently I look at each step in the business process and evaluate what really matters, then ensure I deliver the best for Aptus Clinical and our clients.”