Interview with Alexander Solodovnikov, Director, Project Management Statandocs
Published on 25 November 2020 by Anna Andriyanova
Adam Smith Conferences: How is your company dealing with the new reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Alexander Solodovnikov: Statandocs has been established in 2016 as a company for remote work, both with clients and employees. Entire company’s philosophy is based on the remote work environment, and all business processes, including IT-systems and project management, were tailored to the remote work. With that regards, we were quite well prepared to the new reality caused by the pandemic. We didn’t experience any disruption of operations, and vast majority of our activities remained unchanged.
Adam Smith Conferences: What changes have been made to the business processes?
Alexander Solodovnikov: Logistical limitations related to the removal of our clients from office to remote work, mainly resulted in the logistical delays, namely, exchange of wet-ink copies of various documents. Once the limitations and movement toward remote work became evident, we quickly changed our processes towards qualified electronic signatures and electronic document management. This allowed us to decrease the turnaround time for all signatures to 1-2 days from 2-3 weeks initially. We are glad to see that many of our clients and partners are moving in the same direction.
Adam Smith Conferences: What are the most pressing concerns for your company right now? What are the current challenges that you face?
Alexander Solodovnikov: The main uncertainty that followed the entire industry in 2020 was the future of EAEU regulations and processes of harmonization in general, given the delays and changes caused by COVID-19. It was really great to recognize that EAEU committees and working groups quickly adapted to the remote work and continue their activities – many important regulations were approved or updated in 2020. However, lack of on-site inspections and overall economic instability caused by COVID-19 limitations, inevitably delayed the harmonization processes, and, as some of our services including consulting, dossier generation and eCTD software are directly related to EAEU legislation, there was a lot of instability in this area.
Adam Smith Conferences: What are the biggest opportunities for your company in the current market? Where are the areas of growth or prospects for development?
Alexander Solodovnikov: We used the opportunity provided by lockdown to increase our presence online – including trainings, webinars, specialized courses and, of course, various conferences and forums that moved online as well. Despite the obvious limitations coming from the remote communications (for example, limited response and interaction with the audience), we took advantages from lack of travel / logistic limitations and substantially increased the geographical coverage and recognition of Statandocs. And this works in both directions – our clients and partners are no longer concerned about the geographical location – they are seeking professional advise and support and recognize us as a company that delivers and shares knowledge and expertise.
Adam Smith Conferences: Which topics and issues are most important to address at the forum?
Alexander Solodovnikov: We believe that the major topic should be the adaptation to changes in general. Various, sometimes quite unexpected, challenges may arise as a result of COVID-19 pandemic itself as well as from social and geopolitical instability, and, if one gets stuck in the rigid structure of business activities, this is a road to failure. Regulatory bodies react with new regulations and adaptation of current regulations and guidelines to the new reality, societal focus shifts strongly towards healthcare and related issues, industry should meet the demands of both regulators and society and provide solutions that will address them in the most efficient and rapid fashion. Multiple areas in pharmaceutical industry were affected – drug development, clinical trials, registration, market access and pharmacovigilance processes – and in all these areas, success will be with those who are able to change approaches and business processes intensively but wisely to maintain the entire product life cycle.