As supply chains continue to feel the strain under the coronavirus pandemic, a Sunderland Engineering graduate is helping make sure medicine is still being delivered to patients around the world.

Florian Hildebrand is the co-founder and managing partner of Qualifyze, which uses a global digital network to help pharmaceutical companies manage quality and compliance in their supply chains.

“Having up to date, quality information on your suppliers is super-critical to provide safe medicines to your patients and it’s regulatory required,” Florian explained.

“Historically, companies had to fly around the globe to inspect and audit their supplier facilities, but due to the pandemic this was not possible anymore.

“By leveraging global networks and digital technologies, we were able to still perform these critical inspections for those companies by using local resources, removing the need for travel.

“We would also convert to digital ways of auditing.”

Covid-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to global supply chains, but Florian feels that he, and his team, have helped Pharma companies bridge the challenges.

“Obviously we are not the heroes in the pandemic,” he said.

“There are other people, especially care workers, nurses and doctors, who are the real heroes. Our role is only super small.

“We simply assured that the supply chains would still work but obviously it’s great that at least on a small level we had an impact.”

Florian, who is from Germany, has been nominated for a Study UK Alumni Award for his efforts in helping drug supply chains during the coronavirus crisis.

The 30-year-old graduated from the University of Sunderland in 2013 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

He believes studying in the UK equipped him with the skills he needed to lay the foundation of his success journey.

Principal Lecturer at the University’s School of Engineering, Dave Knapton, said: “I recall Florian joined the Mechanical Engineering programme on a one-year study abroad scheme.

“He enjoyed the programme so much and his time at Sunderland that he stayed with us to finish off his studies rather than return to Germany.

“As well as technical skills you may expect, there is a significant portion of the engineering programmes which prepare graduates for leadership roles.

“It is excellent to see that Florian is putting his knowledge and experience to good use.

“Recent events around the world have demonstrated the importance of robust and efficient supply chains for all sectors.

“We wish Florian and his colleagues at Qualifyze every success for the future.”

Qualifyze employs 37 people and has offices in Germany and Spain.