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How to Streamline Lab Operations with a Scalable, Agile Workforce

Lab operations should enable innovation, preserve productivity, and withstand change.

As has become evident over the course of the pandemic, clinical laboratories are particularly susceptible to disruption, and capable of resilience. From the supply chain shortages, skills gaps, to drug compound inefficacy in clinical trials, laboratory leaders have, and continue to face, varying challenges that threaten timelines and success rates.

In this climate of opportunity and uncertainty, the importance of a scalable and agile workforce is increasingly linked to business continuity.

In this article, I’ll explore:

  • The difference between onsite scientific service partners and outsourcing
  • The importance of agility and scalability in the lab
  • 3 ways onsite scientific service partners drive agility and scalability

The difference between onsite scientific service partners and outsourcing

Onsite scientific service providers (SSP)’s provide integrated onsite teams that work alongside existing core staff, enabling them to focus on their core science.

Outsourcing companies work at their own CRO/CDMO facilities to supplement the work of existing core staff offsite.

The key differences are related to agility and efficiency:

  • Onsite scientific partners benefit from onsite real-time communication and problem-solving
  • Outsourcing companies communicate via site visits, video calls, and tele-conferences
  • Onsite scientific partners avoid time-zone conflicts as they are in the same location 
  • Given the global nature of the pharmacological industry, outsourcing providers often require time-zone considerations and cycle-time allowances
  • Onsite scientific partners have direct access to IT infrastructure and resources, enabling instantaneous cycle times

The importance of agility and scalability in the lab

Drug attrition rates, or the percentage of drug candidates that drop out in clinical testing, are a key driver of risk in pharmaceutical development.

The further along the drug candidate is in clinical trials, the greater the expense and disruption. While 60% of inefficient drug candidates can often be identified and dealt with at pre-clinical stages, 52% of drug candidates that make it to Phase II clinical trials fail. By this point, the Phase II failed drug candidate has already consumed £600-700 million on average in drug development and testing costs.

Agile and scalable resource allocation is one way to overcome this core issue in the industry, enabling organisations to minimise the amount of wasted resources on projects, and bounce back from failed drug candidates.

3 ways onsite scientific service partners drive agility and scalability

Increased lab staff retention


Onsite scientific services take the pressure away from permanent staff, enabling them to focus on core science by picking up bench work, and other administrative duties in the laboratory. This model enables core staff to focus on the work that inspires them, improving engagement. Meanwhile, onsite scientific services manage the engagement of deployed staff, enabling them to cross-train, develop and work in the most aligned environment for them. This model enables onsite scientific services to retain deployed staff, while helping organisations retain their permanent employees.

Expansion despite headcount restraints


Onsite scientific services enable laboratories to expand their core teams under an OPEX budget, removing the headcount limitations that can often curb expansion and tie organisations to temporary recruitment models. This means that the laboratory benefits from a team of permanently employed external employees, where the issue of contractors leaving, needing to train new employees, all while compromising intellectual property and losing the time spent to train employees, is avoided.

Reduced risk


Onsite scientific services assume full responsibility of HR management for the employed lab staff, including payroll, benefits, holiday, performance management and on-boarding/off-boarding. This enables clients to avoid HR liabilities involved in direct employment, and swiftly scale according to project demands.

Fuel scientific breakthroughs with Synergy

Synergy has been partnering with scientific organisations across pharma, biotech and the wider life science industries for over 18 years.

Our team of industry experts work closely and collaboratively with our clients, building tailored solutions, then training and managing our teams of integrated staff to complete protocol-driven tasks that enhance your business efficiency.

Whatever your scientific goals, we’ll deploy the team that gets you there.


                                                                                                                 Click here to get in touch

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