Material Handling Section Head

Website The Biovac Institute

The Biovac Institute requires a Material Handling Section Head to contribute to its mission of establishing local biological and vaccine manufacturing capability at its Cape Town based site. Being the only one of its kind in South Africa, Biovac strives to respond to the vaccine needs of the developing countries, specifically South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. This is a particularly exciting time for the company as it continues to grow, strengthen and build on its success and further develop its capabilities, products, services and market diversification.

The successful incumbent will report to the Supply Chain Manager.

The Key Performance Areas for this position include:

  • Accountable to lead the Material Handling section activities including but not limited to:

– Managing and leading the team to ensure the smooth running of the Material Handling Section.

– Ensuring that material handling processes are achieved within the agreed and budgeted time-                        period.

– Ensuring undisrupted, punctual and safe operation of staff functions and processes pertaining to                    material handling and the organizations operations.

– Managing the organizations vehicles.

  • Responsible to ensure that the Material Handling section deliver services and solutions in alignment with pharmaceutical quality system requirements.
  • Ensure compliance in accordance with the Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965 and the Pharmacy Act 53 of 1974, and the organization’s policies, procedures and other applicable laws.
  • Continuously build and support a sound quality assurance culture aligned to cGMP within Biovac.
  • Full responsibility for the receiving, storage and distribution of goods.
  • Ensure maintenance of the section plant and equipment relating to hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Ensure calibration and maintenance of the section is valid and escalate any problem areas to the department manager.
  • Manage internal customer relations, communication and service levels.
  • Manage the infrastructure, compliance, reviews and risk assessments for the section.
  • Participate in audits, investigations, risk management and quality review exercises.
  • Review processes and procedures with view to implement best practices according to relevant internal and regulatory standards.
  • Manage all warehouses (on and off site) and contracted space effectively and in accordance with GWP.
  • Ensure optimal efficiencies and cost control with respect to warehousing activities.
  • Provide cold chain expertise ensuring cold chain compliance for thermolabile materials received, in storage and during distribution.
  • Evaluate current technologies and associated systems to ensure cold chain compliance and implement improvements to cold chain shipping.
  • Evaluate and ensure that material handling capacities meet business needs at the required levels of quality and regulatory compliance.
  • Plan freight handling and location control by ensuring stock transfers as per planning requests.
  • Ensure stock transfer postings have been completed and that the stock management systems (electronic and/or manual) are accurate and up to date.
  • Manage the storage and movement of all vaccine stock, raw materials, components as well as international exporting of samples.
  • Effective stock control and storage by ensuring inventory management procedures are in place and regular cycle counts and stock takes are conducted, including the review of stock take records.
  • Reporting of the inventory on hand and other applicable reports.
  • Ensure internal and external stakeholders are kept informed with respect to inventory levels and operational activities.
  • Manage the vehicular fleet and the material handling equipment in the interest of the organization.
  • Ensure GMP aspects of all inbound activities are completed, review and complete all relevant documentation to GDocP standards.
  • Optimize the receiving activities by upfront planning of resources and evaluation of the incoming goods delivery schedules.
  • Ensure timeously preparation of area for receipt of goods.
  • Ensure GMP aspect of distribution activities are followed and completed.
  • Ensure filing and retention of records to ensure traceability.

People Management

  • Align section focus areas and outputs to the business’s objectives.
  • Conduct section planning and execute activities within own scope of accountability.
  • Adequate capacity planning and performance delivery in line with strategic, tactical and operational plans.
  • Role profiling, goal setting and performance management of supervisors and staff within the section.
  • Implement a knowledge management infrastructure within the section to ensure intellectual property is effectively maintained.
  • Growth, succession & retention of talent pools within the section.
  • Accountability for own and team’s personal and professional learning & development to ensure technical and leadership bench strength within the section.
  • Ensure accurate and documented delegation of ongoing operational activities in the event of key staff members’ absence in line with the related policies and SOP’s.
  • Conduct effective employee relations in accordance with labour legislation, company policies and procedures and address any performance and conduct concerns and risks timeously.
  • Ensure that Occupational and other risks related to roles within the section are defined and mitigated.
  • Technical Competencies required to perform this aspect of the role:
  • KPI Development
  • Resource & Capacity Planning & Management
  • South African Labour Legislation
  • Coaching & Mentoring of peers & staff

Business Management

  • Shared accountability for achieving the site’s tactical plans and mitigation of any risk to the site operation including workflow, ethics, quality, finances, regulatory compliance and other material company requirements.
  • Identify and continuously present key opportunities and synergies that will improve and/ or expand the operation within own and/ or other sections.
  • Lead or participate in section and/ or site wide projects.
  • Monitoring & reporting on key operations, critical numbers and key performance indicators that impacts the section’s short, medium and long term objectives.
  • Participate with the department manager and other senior and middle managers in proactively mitigating risks and find solutions where possible.
  • Conduct effective and comprehensive costing, budgeting and expense management for own section, taking all overlapping site activities into consideration.
  • Lead own section’s transition into commercial operations and mind-set as well as managing efficiencies, reducing wastage and contributing to overall profitability.
  • Develop and maintain 18 month rolling plan for own section.

Technical Competencies required to perform this aspect of the role:

  • Processes Development and Review
  • Intermediate proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power point and Project.
  • Metric & KPI development
  • Technical Report Writing
  • Operational Costing & Budgeting
  • Statistical Literacy
  • Coaching & Mentoring of peers & staff
  • Excellent understanding and working knowledge of Quality Operations and systems.
  • Detailed knowledge of pharmaceutical industry standards and guidelines in GMP, Quality and Laboratory Management
  • Pharmacopoeia methods, standards, guidelines and relevant agency recommendations on QC testing.
  • Documentation Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Environmental, Health & Safety Management
  • Statistical Trending & Data Analysis
  • Metric Development & Report Writing
  • Coaching & Mentoring of peers & staff
  • Review & Auditing Skills



  • B Pharm or equivalent.


  • Recognition is given to Prior Learning and practical experience.

Experience and Skills Required


  • At least 5 years’ experience in vaccine / biotech / pharmaceutical industry or equivalent.
  • At least 4 years’ experience in cGMP vaccine or pharmaceutical manufacturing.
  • Experience in manufacturing and/or materials handling (Stores, Warehousing and Distribution) within a pharmaceutical environment.
  • Business and operational planning and management.
  • Program and project management
  • Sound technical ability and hands on approach.


  • Working knowledge of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing related legislation
  • Experience in aseptic (sterile) manufacturing
  • Experience in having faced successfully local and/ or international quality audits.
  • Experience in general business management within a commercial environment

Generic Competencies

  • Planning, Organising, Execution & Delegation
  • Strategic & Holistic Thinking
  • Creative Problem Solving & Innovation Skills
  • Sustainable Stakeholder Management
  • Financial Acumen
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Action & Results Oriented
  • Assertive & Resilient
  • Adaptable in Responding to change
  • Negotiation and influencing skills
  • Proactive in mitigating risk
  • Clear, timely and effective communication skills both verbally and in writing
  • Analytical Ability

Other requirements

  • Local and international travel may be required
  • Own, reliable transport required for possible standby, shift and overtime work

All positions will be filled in accordance with our Employment Equity policy as The Biovac Institute is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress.

Interested persons to kindly submit their CV’s to by 14 July 2018.

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