Bay Area-based Bulletproof Documentation Looks to Make a Name in the Life Science Technical Writing Market

Bay Area-based Bulletproof Documentation Looks to Make a Name in the Life Science Technical Writing Market September 21, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

SAN MATEO, Calif. – Since its founding eight years ago, Bulletproof Documentation has been providing expert documentation and project management services to the life sciences industry.

When it comes to developing documentation for a company, the writers at Bulletproof Docs have a keen understanding that they are part of something bigger than merely providing copy for a drug company—they’re part of a program to make a difference in the world. That’s a concept that is close to the heart of Bulletproof’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Alicia Woodfall-Jones.

“We’re all here to make a difference. Almost every customer I talk to, you hear about the patient. The patient is the focus,” Woodfall-Jones told BioSpace in an exclusive interview.

Woodfall-Jones cut her teeth in the life sciences industry, spending years working at Genentech . Woodfall-Jones started at the Roche subsidiary as a copy clerk, moved into manufacturing and then into documentation.

“I’m a product of starting from the ground up,” she said.

It was from her days at Genentech that Woodfall-Jones draws examples of company culture done right. She said the Bay Area-based company has a vital culture that values integrity and operates on a “high set of principles.”

Woodfall-Jones said there’s a high level of partnership with Bulletproof Docs’ client companies and a supportive atmosphere—for clients and employees.

“We value our customers greatly,” Woodfall-Jones said. “It’s more about the relationship. We’re in it for the long run and that boils down to doing the right thing for our customer.”

The core business for Bulletproof Docs is technical and medical writing, as well as project management services for its life sciences clients. Much of the company’s work centers on crafting manuals for companies, typically for various types of equipment the company uses, as well as conducting regulatory writing for a drug application or licensing. Additionally, the company handles quality assurance and remediation work for the life sciences industry as well.

Woodfall-Jones said the company has been successful at increasing efficiencies in companies. As an example, she said they were able to assist one undisclosed client to shorten the timeline for a New Drug Application from 18 months to 13 months. She said that kind of efficiency was a “huge cost-saving” for the client.

When Woodfall-Jones launched Bulletproof Docs, she realized skilled writers “do not exist in big numbers.” Documentation writing is a skill all its own, different than other styles of writing, such as journalism or fiction.

“I found a demand for skilled subject matter level experts who are excellent writers… The main thing with technical writing is it’s not about persuasion, but accuracy, simplicity and elegance. From a technical writing application, we need to make sure it’s easily understandable, there’s no mincing of words,” she said.

For the past few years Bulletproof Docs has seen strong growth—so strong that since 2012, Woodfall-Jones has had to step away from handling documentation needs to focus on administrative duties. The company is on a growth plan that includes moving into a new office, as well as a growing portfolio of consultants. Woodfall-Jones said the company is looking to diversify its clients as well. The company currently has six full-time employees on site, plus it contracts with independent writers.

“We’re looking at becoming a free-standing technical writing firm. We’re not looking to be a big box firm, but we want to own the technical writing space,” she said. “Over the next five years—we want to be the Kleenex of the technical world. We want to be the brand name.”

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