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About QIAGEN I Digital Transformation

The digital mindset is part of our DNA

28 May 2020

All local recommended safety guidelines followed at the time of interview.

In the age of digitization, growing businesses must digitally transform themselves to be available to their customers. The team at QIAGEN’s high-tech service center in Poland sees this as an opportunity to grow rather than something to shy away from, and has come up with unique ways to share information with our customers.
Mobile devices, apps, machine learning, social media – the availability of information anytime, anywhere and on a device of their choosing means that people have very different expectations today than even five years ago. Digitization has transformed our lives, from how we work, how we educate ourselves, how we shop and how we entertain ourselves. For companies like QIAGEN, the digital revolution offers up new ways to engage with our customers and to provide an improved customer experience, but also poses some challenges: How can we ensure our customers find what they need among the thousands of products and webpages hosted on our website? How can we ensure that the right product information reaches the right customer?

Rising to these challenges are the 500 QIAGEN employees, termed QIAGENers, working out of QIAGEN’s high-tech Service Center in Wroclaw. This digital hotspot, complete with colorful kitchens, busy workspaces, and comfortable common areas set up with the latest gaming consoles – has the familiar buzz of a startup atmosphere. It’s a place where passionate and hardworking employees from all over the world and areas of expertise – come together to turn QIAGEN’s digital strategy into reality.
How does the QIAGEN team in Poland plan on transforming a global company in the digital age?

A bridge between business and IT

Maciej Fojtar, a data analyst in Wroclaw, has made it his mission to redesign the company’s relaunch of its B2B online shop and streamline QIAGEN’s user experience. The Atlas Project essentially involves the complete redesign of the company’s website, including a few thousand pages and products, all of which need to be coordinated in order to work on different browsers and on mobile devices: a task that’s no small feat for his team of eight. 

Maciej describes himself and his colleagues as “a bridge between business and information technology (IT).” Maciej, along with the IT teams in Poland, play a vital role in QIAGEN’s ambition to move beyond traditional e-commerce and into a holistic digital future. “We no longer think in terms of digitalization for individual areas – we want QIAGEN to become a real digital company,” he says. His team has also been responsible for the launch of new online shops for Japanese and Chinese customers. “We worked toward creating a complete integration in our online shops, so customers can order and pay via WeChat, for example,” Maciej says.

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Maciej Fojtar - Maciej is an IT Analysis Manager at the interface of business and IT. He turns customer needs into software solutions together with his team of eight experts.
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“We have to know what customers need before they do. This way we can ensure the best user experience.”
Maciej Fojtar, IT Analysis Manager, QIAGEN

Finding solutions

In addition to the successful relaunch of the B2B online shop, new campaigns, such as QIAspace, an app which allows customers to check on their consumption of reagent use, were successfully developed in Wroclaw. Initiatives like the design of the “Place Order Again” button may appear to be a seemingly minor innovation, but heavy programming was required in its development, and the button has made it easier for customers to repurchase the products they use most at the click of a button which can save them time and frustration.

Building bridges between business and IT is by no means an easy task. Maciej says he starts the process by figuring out what people need so that others can program the right solutions. To do so, he and his team engage with stakeholders to find out the challenges they face and how soon they need a solution. They don’t wait for someone to come to them with a problem; instead, they proactively seek opportunities where they can make a difference. This work is about analyzing the existing processes, finding places to make key improvements, and always doing a bit more than expected, or as Fojtar says, “We are not afraid to do it differently.”

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Marianna Dudzinska - As a learned Biologist, Marianna is the Marketing Manager at QIAGEN Poland, where she uses her unique skill set to bridge the gap between science and user experience. 
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“We’re always looking at what, and where else, we can optimize. We motivate our employees to deliver new ideas, so we can become a digital company in all aspects.”

Marianna Dudzinska, Marketing Mangager, QIAGEN 

Connecting with customers

Despite its growth, the QIAGEN site in Wroclaw remains true to its startup nature. Marianna Dudzinksa, a Biologist turned Marketing Manager, and one of the first employees in this high-energy office is a perfect example. “The reason I became a manager in marketing is because working with people is what keeps me inspired and motivated,” says Marianne. The teams find ways to connect with customers and prove that reinventing and redefining their goals can serve to benefit the company, employees and customers.

According to Roland Sackers, CFO at QIAGEN, this sort of digital mindset is essential to the company’s evolution in the genomics space. “The milestones we are hitting on our path of digitalization are optimizing and transforming QIAGEN into a company with a digital corporate culture. We are open to change and have the courage to experiment with new technologies and approaches,” says Sackers. That includes more than 500,000 customers. “Through digital processes and platforms, we are able to work closely together and learn from one another even faster. This allows us to understand our customers’ needs and problems even better,” Roland Sackers adds. A digital mindset as part of an organization’s DNA offers benefits to everyone.

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QIAGEN’s digital accelerator is equipped with more than 70 specialists, including software developers, data scientists, and Internet of Things experts. This business unit helps the company realize their digital dreams – and has already vetted 40 unique concepts that led to 10 digital lighthouse projects. One such project was smart RFID refrigerators, which provide customers with essential data about their used kits and automatically place a reorder once a specified minimum inventory level is reached.
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