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Yuval Harpaz

Yuval Harpaz: Sharing Innovative Expertise for Two Decades

Technology is the application of knowledge to achieve practical goals consistently and predictably. The advances in technology have geared up everyone’s future. But to use technology appropriately, one needs the right amount of knowledge to apply it in the right way.

The pharmaceutical industry has seen a shift from its traditional methods to technological advances. With the growth in technology, different approaches and strategies were involved in delivering a better future for the industry.

Adapting to the changes and building up a better version of advancement, Yuval Harpaz has brought in new advancements with his 20 years of experience. Explaining his journey from the start till date, he has given a clear picture of how technology emerged he was able to manage it.

Being an effective leader, Yuval Harpaz, the IT Director at KAMADA, has supported the global expansion of the company. Business continuity is his main vision. With all the difficulties arising, he always made the process of continuation easy for him and his team. Facing all the challenges and moving ahead made him a true business leader.

Let’s get into detail with the story of Yuval Harpaz to understand how his expertise made him an effective business leader:

Stepping Stones to Success

Yuval Harpaz is a BA in Economics and Logistics from Bar Ilan University and an MA in Business Administration with a specialization in Information Technology and Marketing from Hebrew University.

For the past four years, he has worked as an IT Director for KAMADA, a commercial-stage global biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of marketed products indicated for rare and serious conditions. Began his career in 2002 as an ERP consultant at Oracle Software as a team leader and project manager for global ERP and CRM projects. He has over 20 years of experience with Information Technology Systems and cyber security.

In 2008, he joined Check Point Security and was in charge of a global CRM (Salesforce) rollout spanning 20 countries, 600 salespeople and managers, and 3,500 partners. He also conducted a development project of a unique mechanism for sales opportunities and a non-standard pricing model. Implementing a highly complicated algorithm for discounts and approval workflow across the global sales organization. The solution is working today.

In 2012, he joined Retalix Software as a global applications director, managing all business applications (ERP, CRM, BI, R&D, and Quality). When Retalix was acquired by NCR Systems in 2014, Yuval oversaw the entire applications integration project for two years until a full global implementation. In 2017, he was hired as the CIO of Danel LTD.

Danel is a large Israeli firm that specializes in nursing, human resources, and special needs populations. Danel has approximately 20,000 employees and 200 locations throughout Israel. Throughout his role, he upgraded the network and cyber security capabilities and implemented new ERP and CRM applications. Yuval joined Kamada in 2019 as an IT Director, establishing a new department to address pharmaceutical IT challenges in the areas of quality, cyber security, network infrastructure, support, and business applications.

KAMADA’s Mission & Vision

A leader in the specialty plasma-derived field focused on diseases of limited treatment alternatives, Kamada is engaged in the commercialization, manufacturing, and development of biopharmaceutical products, including six FDA-approved products. Kamada is a small to mid-size pharma company, but its IT challenges are comparable to those of the largest pharma companies. Yuval explained his role as an IT Director in Kamada, stating, “I must provide the growth infrastructure, support the Company’s global expansion, supply up-to-date applications to run the business processes, all under a very tight regulation and quality controls as well as ensure data integrity and Security.”

Approaches and Strategies

KAMADA’s IT department is part of the Company’s corporate headquarters; as IT Director, there’s a bigger picture of short and long-term needs that necessitates a dedicated IT strategy.

Yuval installs a “Keep Business Running” mentality in his team. As a team, they must ensure business continuity, allow continued plant manufacturing, quality, and lab functionality, as well as develop and implement new applications and capabilities. All the activities must adhere to higher mandated standards and address quality regulations while staying within approved budgets. Senior Management’s understanding of the IT importance is crucial to allow for sustained growth and achieving corporate goals; it is crucial that the IT short and long terms strategy be aligned with and support the corporate strategy.

Future needs, planned expansion, marketing activities, as well as new regulations and procedures, must all be considered in the IT strategic plan. KAMADA’s global expansion necessitates adaptation of based cloud applications as well as other new tools and procedures, which will allow the IT team to better support the company employees wherever they are.

Kamada’s Prominent Features

Kamada is a leader in the specialty plasma-derived field, with products indicated for rare and serious conditions in areas of limited treatment alternatives. Kamada’s  products are distributed in more than 30 markets worldwide. Kamada has long-standing commercial relationships with several of the largest plasma companies and leverages more than 30 years of experience to support its growth and expansion strategy.

Two Decades of Experience

Talking about this industry, Yuval claims that the pharmaceutical industry characteristics are materially different from all other industries he used to work for. The manufacturing plant’s IT support is available 24 hours a day, there is a procedure for each process, the documentation is highly focused, and finding solutions is in a very creative way to keep the business running while also promoting new cloud-based technologies.

In his previous roles, he built the landscape in three major IT areas: system and infrastructure, business applications, and cyber security. But things were different in Kamada. When he joined Kamada, he used to execute projects and activities based on his extensive knowledge and experience in these areas. Every company he worked for him. He has gained a lot of expertise in market operations, the company DNA, the firm’s unique characteristics, and the areas IT should focus on to keep the business running and implement new technologies.

Market Support and Leveraging for Plasma-Driven Protein Therapeutics

With business-focused applications, high-availability networks, and cyber security technologies, IT at Kamada enables sales, marketing, quality control, regular affairs, manufacturing, and R&D, as well as all corporate functions. The support Processes, team, and monitoring systems are all tailored to the needs of the business.

One example is pharmaceutical product serialization requirements - each manufactured product requires to have a unique serial number, identification barcode, as well as additional data to enable global Traceability. Due to systems complexity and different serialization requirements for each territory, IT solutions and support are required to be agile and adaptive. The team maintains state-of-the-art machines, supported network connections, as well as dedicated personnel and procedures to enable products to be distributed globally while meeting all serialization requirements.

Challenges Encountered

During the past year, Yuval had to reposition the IT department as a global support that supports the company’s expansion into new business initiatives and territories. Earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic posed other challenges, such as the need to transition from office-based operations to a hybrid one, requiring a company-wide ‘go-mobile” project and adapting security systems and protocols to allow for continued safe operation in the new remote settings, and all through successfully managing mandatory constraints on employees (including IT’s) ability to work from the office. Eventually, it became second nature to the IT team.

Global Outreach In Future

KAMADA continues its expansion and increasing its market presence in many other regions, and its IT department, led by Yuval, will continue to enable such growth and lead the company’s technological advancements.

Advancements as an IT Director

Many new technologies, cloud-based applications, enhanced cyber security threats, and business-changing needs are pushing the modern CIO to be the trusted technological advisor and one of the main business enablers. To fulfill such a role, a CIO should spend the first years of his or her career learning the three main building blocks (Infrastructure and Support, Business Applications, and Cyber Security) and gaining experience in IT roles from the bottom up until the CIO role.