For life science organisations, outsourcing key business processes to third parties is nothing new. Increasingly, however, businesses are handing over the reins to specialist providers — particularly those that offer onsite scientific support in a laboratory setting.
Previously, many of the big life sciences players outsourced laboratory services to generalist or non-specialist providers, which provided high-quality facility management services such as building management, catering, and housekeeping in addition to the science.
In the last half-decade, the predominant trend in the STEM outsourcing market has been an increase in the use of specialist scientific solutions providers. At Synergy, SRG’s dedicated scientific solution, we’ve met this growing demand to help scientific organisations scale their workforces.
Unlike traditional outsourcing providers, Synergy takes control of HR management and fully employs embedded teams of scientific experts to carry out both routine and essential scientific tasks — freeing up pharma and biotech organisations to focus on the innovation that makes them thrive.
In this article, I’ll explore some of the top-line benefits that outsourcing laboratory services to a specialist scientific solutions provider can bring to your organisation.
1) Flexibility and scalability
If your company outsources to a generalist provider, there’s a chance you may be offered a one-size-fits-all solution or receive more or less the same service as competitors (particularly if your supplier works with multiple businesses within the sector). Specialist science solutions like Synergy, on the other hand, work closely with clients to take stock of their unique pain points and create tailored solutions — combining the best elements of in-house R&D and external outsourcing activities to meet long-term scientific goals.
2) Control, governance, and compliance
Unlike non-specialist or traditional outsourced solutions, in which the third party has a degree of autonomy over project management, calling on a specialist science provider gives you full oversight over every lab process. With laboratories being subject to stringent regulation, having full control of the end-to-end process also ensures your laboratory remains fully compliant.
3) Reduced risk
At Synergy, we assume full responsibility of HR management for the scientists we employ (including payroll, benefits, holiday, performance management, and onboarding/offboarding), thereby avoiding the HR liability of direct employment. By ensuring task orders remain valid for the duration of a contract, we also eliminate co-employment risk.
Outsourcing to a scientific solutions provider addresses common headcount constraints.
With no increase of visible headcount, Synergy employees can be hired on an OPEX (Operating Expenses) basis as opposed to FTE (Full-Time Equivalent).
Outsourcing to a team of specialist scientific experts provides agile resourcing, leading to scalability of projects (i.e. increased productivity in the laboratory) and efficiencies of the managed structure (such as redeploying the trained workforce to meet business demands and focus on strategic priorities).
6) Cultural alignment
Often, outsourced arrangements can strain relationships between teams, particularly if the third-party solutions provider has vastly different organisational structures and workflows. With a scientific solution, however, onsite teams of expert scientists are fully embedded into your organisation. As a result, their motivations and values are closely aligned with your full-time employees to culminate in a harmonious laboratory setting.
7) Top science talent
Because specialist scientific solutions providers take over HR and recruitment functions, you’ll receive full access to their talent networks. At Synergy, for example, we manage the full recruitment effort and our time to hire (the time elapsed between first engaging a candidate and then accepting an offer) is typically six weeks or less.
All Synergy staff are hired on a permanent basis and come equipped with advanced IP and project knowledge, ensuring they are fully committed to each project. Indeed, our average retention rate is 4.5 years for scientists and 6.5 years for team leaders.
8) Skills and expertise
Calling on a scientific solutions provider like Synergy — and gaining access to our external talent pipelines — helps you address immediate skills and expertise gaps at your business. Aside from providing teams of onsite scientists and dealing with HR issues, specialist scientific solutions providers also offer technical leadership and governance.
At Synergy, for example, all our dedicated account managers and senior management team have a scientific background and a wealth of experience from across the sector. Having this experience enables the team to fully understand the complexity of your requirements and allows both parties to pick up on the nuances of each conversation.
9) Improved project delivery
The specific skill sets and organisational knowledge of embedded scientific teams addresses some of the common pitfalls of outsourcing, including potential issues with communication (e.g. language barriers) and quality control (e.g. accountability). Overcoming these obstacles speeds up the delivery of a project and frees up time for your people to focus on what they do best.
10) Cost savings
By taking charge of medium complexity scientific and laboratory administrative tasks, an outsourced team of scientists enable you to redirect your own workforce to ROI-generating activities. Moreover, many scientific solutions providers offer monthly fixed prices, making the use (and burden) of timesheets irrelevant. As such, outsourcing to science specialists can save you substantial capital in the long run.
Scientific solutions with Synergy
Synergy supplies, manages, and cross-trains talented teams of scientists, manufacturing specialists, and clinical professionals for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the UK and Europe.
We fully employ the required skill set and embed them into your environment — adhering to your standard operating procedures and giving you full visibility and control.
Want to find out more about what Synergy can bring to your business? Read about our partnership with Cignpost Diagnostics, the leading COVID-19 screening and testing service.
For more on the laboratory environment and the ever-changing world of science, stay tuned to the SRG blog.