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We sat down with Rob Treanor, our Vice President of Operations, to learn more about the inner workings of the team and how his time in the Royal Military shaped his early career, and guides his approach in his current role.


In May, Rob was selected as one of this year’s eight Gallagher Leaders Scrum winners! We are incredibly proud that he has been recognized as a 2024 top Business Leader, demonstrating his strategic mindset and commitment to developing a top-performing team. His focus on building a strong company culture and enhancing team performance exemplifies the leadership we value here at Sphere Fluidics.

What does your role involve at Sphere Fluidics and when did you join the Company? 

 I joined Sphere Fluidics in 2018 when there were less than 30 people at the Company. In Operations we look after Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Quality & Facilities. Whilst that remit hasn’t changed, the scale of the organization certainly has! 

How did your academic and professional journey lead to this role and to working at Sphere Fluidics? 

 “Ikigai” is a Japanese phrase which translates as a point where what you love doing intersects with what you are good at and work which has meaning. I think my previous roles all played a part in forming the person I am today and building the skills and experience needed in this position. 

Of note, the experience and training I received during my early career in the British Army was second to none. The 12 months of leadership training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was outstanding. My first job, having completed training aged 22, was to lead a Troop of 30 soldiers in a parachute-trained Regiment as we prepared to go to war. It was an incredible induction being entrusted with that level of responsibility at such an early age.

With hindsight, joining a team during the buildup phase of the deployment cycle was perfect because we were able to undertake the arduous training and preparation together as a team. We had therefore developed a trust, bond and understanding before we stepped foot inside hostile territory. 

I think there are some parallels between the military and Life Sciences. Both have a higher purpose which is to serve the needs of others which acts as a motivating and inspiring factor to achieve success. Reflecting on my time at Sphere Fluidics to date, I am fortunate to be part of a team who has built an exciting, high growth business with a world-class culture. 

How do the Logistics and Supply Chain teams cooperate to ensure operations run smoothly? 

Our customers deserve and expect a high level of service so it is right that our internal metrics reflect these high standards. I’m very proud of the fact that our whole Operations team is so focused and passionate about delivering great service. 

Have you ever had any major logistics or supply issues and how did the Company resolve them? 

There is a great saying in the military that “no plan survives contact with the enemy” meaning we always have to adjust to events as they unfold. All supply chains need agility and flexibility; the key is to have assessed where risk is most likely to have an effect and to have thought through how to react in advance. After that culture kicks in and, in my experience, if the team knows the mission and feels empowered to execute they will find a way to overcome the problem. 

Can you tell us a bit about the features of the new facilities? How has the expansion impacted how the Company innovates and collaborates? 

I love seeing teams coming together in the new collaboration spaces in ways we never could do before. The site has a premium finish and benefits from lots of natural light throughout as well as some fantastic views over Granta Park which is great for personal mood and wellbeing. 

Having flexibility to adapt the building was a key part of the design. We are already using spaces in different ways to how we originally intended with new labs up and running in a few days as changing business needs arise. 

How does the expansion align with the Company’s long-term goals and plans? 

Lots of what the company has achieved in the past two years has set the foundations on which to build an incredible business. We have carefully put together a great team in an aspirational building which allows everyone to do their best work. The result is we have an array of brilliant products underpinned by a leading edge technology. They key difference now is we can host our customers and key partners in an environment which is aligned with our values. 

Are there any plans to expand the Company further in the future, nationally or internationally? 

We already have customers in all major Life Science locations around the world. Getting closer to them is absolutely an aspiration so I expect there will be a much more international element to our business over the coming years. 

I mentioned that we had been busy building foundations over the past couple of years and one which I think will travel and scale really well is our culture. Our company values and behaviors allow us to attract likeminded talent into the organization and serve as a real USP which helps to differentiate us from the crowd.  

What do you think sets Sphere Fluidics apart in terms of its vision, technology, and impact on life science research? 

Our first generation of instruments were truly groundbreaking in the speed and ease with which they allow scientists to find rare and valuable cells. In our next generation of platforms things are going to get really interesting as we dial up the specificity and precision allowing us to push the boundaries of what is possible even further.  

Ultimately that means faster drug development timelines because our tools will have allowed customers to find the very best candidates resulting in better medicines. It promises to be an exciting ride. 

You were recently recognized as part of the 2024 Gallagher Leaders Scrum. Can you tell us more about that award and what it means? 

Gallagher is a top three global insurance company, meaning their business is all about risk management. Every year they select eight business leaders to be part of their Gallagher Leaders Scrum, with members selected based on their “track record of making pivotal decisions and making the right call to protect and grow their business”.

Gallagher has a longstanding relationship with Premiership Rugby and as a result, the former International referee Wayne Barnes and Simon Massie-Taylor the Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby are part of the panel. It was great to meet them and the rest of this year’s winners at the Premiership Final last weekend at Twickenham Stadium.

It is very flattering to be recognized as part of the 2024 Leaders Scrum. Ahead of the meeting, I was especially looking forward to participating in a day of interactive leadership workshops and panel discussions. There was also a one-to-one mentoring session which was organized with a renowned business leader – a fantastic development opportunity. The scheme aims to help winning organizations stand out from the crowd, so I am hoping to bring back lessons from the experience to the benefit of our wider team.


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