We are one!
Thanks to the efforts of all, Invetus is one year old. But more importantly we are one company. We set out to create a new organization that built on the strengths of the legacy companies. This was much harder than anyone could have imagined.
Recreating ourselves required change at all levels, and adapting to change can be confronting. But we have made significant progress towards our goal of transitioning from “research practices” owned by founders into an integrated, sustainable, profitable business owned by investors and managed by leaders.
Thank you all for your enthusiasm, dedication, adaptability and professionalism.
Our starting point was to agree on a Charter that defined why Invetus existed and the foundations on which the new company would be built.
We believe that animals enrich us. Healthier, more productive animals enrich us more. Invetus provides the evidence for this.
The charter emphasises the importance of animal welfare, and providing independent high-quality data using best practice methodology.
Invetus derives income based on our people, the partnerships we have, our processes and the priority we attach to our work.
The first year of Invetus has required focus on completing studies, integrating the businesses and establishing improved business management and governance.
We have a head count of more than 70 permanent and casual staff, of whom about a third have university qualifications – PhDs, vets, scientists.
To kick off 2017, our first year of operation, we held an “all staff” meeting in Armidale, where we worked together on a set of priorities for Invetus. This was an important step in building relationships, and understanding other parts of the business.
During the past year we have built a solid basis for ongoing personal development and performance management, for employees across all Divisions within Invetus.
The Armidale Research Centre has been restructured into three business units, so the Invetus Leadership Team now comprises 8 business unit managers. The Leaders have been allocated time to work on the business, and made accountable for profitability of their Divisions and for personal development of their staff.
Invetus has approximately 600 active customers, with a subset of corporate clients accounting for a substantial part of our income.
Invetus is continuing to diversify our customer base, particularly into the biotech and Medtech sectors.
There has been a major effort made to improve financial reporting and project management.
We are also implementing project reviews following each job to allow the lessons learned to be captured and acted on in future work.
Project management tools are being deployed that will allow management of studies at all levels, from daily tasks for individual staff to a consolidated view of the status of all queries and studies.
Improvements have been made to WRC including the addition of 2 group cat pens, a new Entomology Laboratory/Office space, a new tick breeding room, and a new storage room. WRC was audited by AAALAC this year.
ARC is establishing a BC1 quarantine area at the Cluny Road farm that will allow additional studies to be conducted.
The scope of work conducted in NZ is being expanded to include companion animal studies as well as production animal.
Our customers place a high value on timeliness. Project Management software will enable better reporting of project status and progress, as well as identifying potential “pinch points” such as QA and Statistics.
Staff want to develop their skills and learn new ones. This is being encouraged and will form one of the cornerstones of the Staff Development Platform that is rolled out for all staff in the coming weeks. We want everyone to develop their full potential and will allocate time for this to happen.
At times, we work in hazardous conditions and are reviewing our WHS procedures to ensure that risks are identified and appropriate mitigation is put in place. We want to safeguard our staff and our partners.
Invetus has made a great start, and we will now focus on making the business more efficient, while both growing income and minimizing expense growth.
The animal health sector remains cyclical, but is currently relatively buoyant. Invetus is succeeding in diversifying income from non-traditional areas, including a rapidly growing medtech/biotech sector.
We are a much bigger organization than we were 12 months ago. There are more people, and we do more work. We want to become a data driven organization, one that relies on evidence based management just as our clients rely on evidence based medicine.
Change will not stop. We must adapt to the new environment and new technologies or wither. Creating Invetus is ongoing and never-ending…