Q3 2021

33 | Q2 2021 Jul21567 Datod – Welsh for “unravel” – is a management consultancy based in the innovation hub at Tec Marina, Penarth, South Wales. Having earned the title of Best Medical Device and Project Management Consultancy 2021 – UK, we spoke to managing director, Dr Matthew Wictome to find out how the company helps healthcare businesses become more effective, efficient, and better able to meet customer needs in these changing times. With its moto of “Building Sustainable Change”, Datod specialises in delivering continuous improvement and change management expertise. Whilst applying process improvement techniques within traditional manufacturing environments is pretty common, what differentiates Datod is its ability to apply these approaches within highly regulated industries such as medical devices and diagnostics. In these businesses, Quality System expectations and the regulatory environment can make even simple changes quite onerous. It makes application of traditional approaches much more challenging. Ultimately, it’s about understanding the balance between driving innovation, but still ensuing control and continued patient safety. Being able to drive change within the constraints of a regulated environment using novel approaches makes Datod pretty unique. So, we asked Dr Matthew Wictome how this works in practice. He explained, “Datod is very hands-on. We have a long-term client in Barcelona who we’ve worked with very closely over the past year or so, not only offering advice to make their processes simpler, but also helping them build and document better systems from scratch and delivering training and development. We get to know our clients really well and they get to trust us. We offer a different approach. We don’t have any branded tools or software we are trying to sell. We don’t do a ‘hats and badges’ approach to business improvement.” When asked how Datod differs from its competitors, Matthew said, “A vast majority of improvement programmes fail, even within traditional manufacturing industries. Often the methodology has a blinkered view of organisations, seeing them as machines with inputs that can be controlled, and outputs that can always be measured. In practice, the world isn’t like that. Businesses are complex environments that are continually changing, now more so. We understand this. Also, uptake of traditional improvement methods has been historically low within regulated environments. We have a pretty good understanding of how to apply these approaches within quite stringent Unravelling Complexity regulatory environments to gain efficiency and make Quality Systems more effective and customer focused, but also managing risk. There is no reason why a business operating in a healthcare context can’t reap the competitive gains seen in other industries. It’s all about seeing your Quality System not as just a regulatory requirement, but a potential business strength. Key is understanding that having a Quality System isn’t just about satisfying a regulatory need. It also impacts all aspects of your business, including financial health and most importantly your customers’ direct experience of your products and services.” We asked Matthew about the particular challenges the industry is currently facing, and how Datod is helping to address them. “I see it almost as a perfect storm developing. On one hand, you have an industry that is innovating at a huge pace, brought on by increasing patient expectations and digital technology helping meet these needs. This is creating an environment of enormous change. Whilst on the other hand, you have increasing regulatory requirements – especially from Europe – which are becoming more stringent, brought about by some really concerning patient safety issues over the past few years. Healthcare companies are almost caught in the middle, asking ‘how do I innovate and rise to meet increasing customer expectations, but still remain compliant with increasingly complex regulations?’ The pandemic and impact of Brexit has also added other factors into the mix. Essentially, a healthcare organisation’s Quality System today now really has to adapt, become more agile, customer focused, and far more effective. That’s where we can help.” Against a back-drop of these issues, Matthew explained how his company’s culture is playing a part. “It’s all about building sustainable change. Change has to be built, same as a house, foundations have to be set down, bricks laid. There are no quick fixes generally. Key is to be a learning organisation. It’s not the survival of the fittest. It’s the survival of the most adaptable. Like all businesses, we have had to adapt how we deliver our support to our clients, adjust how we can do things remotely, be it training or direct support. “My advice is start today. It doesn’t neces- sarily need be a huge initiative. It could be something small such as applying some of our training material within your organi- sation. It will make a huge difference. But don’t stand still. You’ll be left behind.” So, what do the next few years look like for Datod? “On any level, business or even personal, change involves some degree of risk, risk but also opportunity. If Datod can help healthcare organisations improve and realise these opportunities, then the future is very promising, not only for ourselves but more importantly the patients we ultimately are here to help.” Company: Datod Consulting Ltd Contact: Matthew Wictome Email: matt.wictome@datod-consulting.co.uk Website: www.datod-consulting.co.uk