Innovation Drives Operational Challenges that Impact R&D Productivity

December 21, 2017 | Posted by Team in Outsourcing Trends |

by Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Science Exchange
Originally appeared in the 2017 Fierce Life Science Innovation Report (download PDF)

Fierce LS Innovation Report

R&D productivity and efficiency are key measures for evaluating the success of biotech and pharma companies. In theory, investing resources into R&D to boost those measures should yield positive results. Unfortunately, recent trends suggest a less desirable outcome.

A primary driver of the R&D productivity decline is the prolific growth in innovative therapeutic modalities. The first siRNA therapeutics, CAR-T engineered cells, and viral gene therapies have all been approved by the FDA within the past 2 years alone.  This innovation in the biotech and pharma industry has enabled spectacular successes in the treatment of devastating diseases, but it comes with significant operational challenges.

In contrast to the well-known development process for small molecules, these new highly specialized therapeutics require exponentially more diverse and complex technologies and expertise.  So how do biotech and pharma companies access this evolving set of technology and expertise?  Increasingly, they have shifted to a reliance on an external R&D ecosystem.  By outsourcing, companies can manage fixed costs while accessing specialized technologies, particularly in complex R&D areas. As of 2017, nearly half of R&D budgets are spent on outsourced scientific services and the trend is increasing.

But, several challenges prevent companies from realizing returns on their outsourcing investments.

  • First: even though outsourcing represents a rapid path to new technologies, identifying relevant and qualified service providers is a time-consuming task that can take weeks or even months.
  • Second: contracts required to maintain confidentiality, protect IP, and ensure compliance can delay project initiation and add to transaction costs.
  • Third: R&D organizations may have thousands of individual scientists conducting tens of thousands of outsourced R&D projects each year. Maintaining visibility, monitoring performance, measuring success represent a significant management burden.

Science Exchange directly addresses these challenges and has demonstrated a significant impact on productivity and efficiency in R&D programs around the world.  The Science Exchange platform uniquely provides a marketplace of pre-qualified and pre-contracted outsourced R&D service providers to provide scientists with instant access to the innovative services necessary to advance today’s pipeline.  

Get help leading change at your organization: request a demo of the Science Exchange  platform.

Survey of Outsourced R&D Leaders Reveals Barriers to Innovation

December 17, 2017 | Posted by Team in Outsourcing Trends |

At our recent 2017 Science Exchange Outsourced R&D Leadership Summit, procurement leaders met with the Science Exchange team to discuss the challenges and opportunities they are facing as they seek to effectively accelerate innovation while mitigating risk in outsourced R&D.

Summit attendees responded to a survey asking them about specific aspects of their R&D outsourcing process. 72% of the respondents agreed that procurement was viewed as a “necessary partner” in an “arduous process”– neither standing in the way nor adding value. In the survey, we uncovered these ‘arduous’ aspects of outsourcing that posed major barriers to innovation.

Science Exchange Summit Survey Highlights fig 1

The bottom line: although outsourced R&D represents a source of expertise and novel technologies that researchers could tap in order to increase their R&D productivity, the barriers to onboarding new providers and the perceived risks to intellectual property are driving many R&D leaders to continue using previously contracted providers.

At our summit, procurement leaders discussed how technology platforms, particularly Science Exchange and its integrated marketplaces for custom synthesis and human biospecimens, could open up access to aggregated reviews of provider quality, streamline contracting, and protect IP — making it easier and faster to access emerging and novel service providers. With these resources, procurement leaders can become truly instrumental in driving innovation in R&D.

More survey results

See how challenging each step of the outsourced R&D process was perceived to be by outsourced R&D leaders:

Science Exchange Summit Survey Complete Results

 

Visit us to learn more about how Science Exchange can help you accelerate innovation through outsourced R&D.

Data Protection and Compliance

December 14, 2017 | Posted by Team in Outsourcing Trends |

Are Your Outsourced R&D Partners Ready for 2018?

Compliance Article

The latest news from Outsourcing-pharma.com investigates the compliance challenges being faced by companies, their information technology teams, and their outsourced R&D partners in light of the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR, which will go into effect on May 25, 2018, has been called “the most important change to data privacy regulation in 20 years,” and will impact most companies that handle personal data of EU citizens.

Although the regulation applies to many contract research organizations (CROs) and their clients, only 8 out of 40 top CROs have achieved EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework certification, which demonstrates adherence to GDPR requirements.

Outsourcing Pharma interviewed Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Science Exchange, which received Privacy Shield Framework certification earlier this year. Dozens of companies are partnering with Science Exchange to mitigate risk — knowing that, by outsourcing R&D through Science Exchange’s secure platform, they will be protected from fines and noncompliance, even if CROs are not compliant.

Andrew Gutierrez, CFCM, Science Exchange’s Director of Contracts and Compliance, adds his thoughts around the implications of GDPR on pharma, biotech and life sciences:  “With the GDPR compliance deadline imminent next year, companies based in the US and operating in the EU must have a strategy in place to ensure they’re prepared for the impact on data transfer processes, including with their outsourced R&D partners.”

“With the right plan in place, organizations can adhere to regulations and remain competitive, without disruptions to R&D programs. At Science Exchange, we reviewed our processes and quickly received EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework certification. These steps not only protect our customers and the outsourced R&D data transferred through our platform, but also save our customers significant time and resources they might spend ensuring compliance — or paying up to 20 million euros in fines for noncompliance.”

Be safe and GDPR-compliant – contact Science Exchange to request a demonstration of our platform and a free consultation with our compliance team.

 

Accelerating Innovation and Mitigating Risk in Outsourced R&D

October 25, 2017 | Posted by Team in Outsourcing Trends |

Science Exchange Summit 2017

by Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

Science Exchange recently hosted a group of procurement executives from multiple industries for our 2017 Science Exchange Outsourced R&D Leadership Summit. During the informative and interactive sessions, we discussed both the challenges and opportunities that organizations are facing as they seek to effectively manage outsourced R&D services.

From presentations by procurement leaders from major pharmaceutical companies on how they’re structuring procurement to enable innovation, to insights on how Science Exchange is pioneering new ways to make it easier to access innovation from our service providers, one of the key themes of the day was the potential for the procurement function to empower scientists to achieve breakthrough discovery. Here are some of my notes around the theme of innovation:

  • Procurement leaders can drive innovation, with the right tools. A pharmaceutical company procurement leader responsible for driving innovation shared that, in less than six months of working with Science Exchange, they had been able to increase their use of new, niche service providers by 11%.
  • Innovation can be hampered by complex processes. Natalie Foote, our Director of Service Provider Operations, presented with two of our service providers — iSpecimen and LabNetwork, a WuXi AppTec company– about new technology integrations with our platform. These integrations allow Science Exchange users to access the iSpecimen and LabNetwork marketplaces through a seamless access point on our platform — no barriers to innovation!
  • Flexible, agile procurement support helps drive innovation. During a panel discussion that I moderated, procurement leaders from three global pharmaceutical companies examined the need to more flexible and agile when it comes to managing R&D requests, and supporting the R&D business through an end-to-end process. They also discussed how their organizations must strategically examine the best mix of internal and external capabilities, core strengths and capacity when it comes to maximizing R&D innovation.

Another theme that surfaced during the Summit was risk mitigation, including the need to better manage confidentiality, data security and intellectual property (IP), and how to prepare for business continuity — whether caused by security breaches or natural disasters. My notes on the theme of risk mitigation:

  • Proactively mitigate risk. During the panel discussion, procurement leaders talked about the need to move beyond a “paper exercise” for managing risk, to a more proactive and rigorous approach to protecting their companies from data and security breaches and business continuity issues. One panelist discussed the drive for holding the business accountable for third-party risk oversight on a global scale, to move beyond that “check the box” mentality.   
  • Balance risk and innovation opportunity. Another panelist emphasized how important it is to strike the delicate balance between managing risk and enabling innovation, to ensure that businesses are protected without slowing down or blocking important scientific discoveries.  
  • Ask the right questions to assess risk. Our Director of Contracts & Compliance, Andrew Gutierrez, highlighted the need to ask the right questions in developing contracts and programs that will protect a company’s confidentiality and IP.He also talked about the need to verify how your data is being protected by your partners to ensure compliance with global regulations.

The Science Exchange Summit gave our entire team an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the needs of global procurement leaders, and our attendees gained insights to bring back to their own organizations, and a network of experts to collaborate with in the future. I look forward to continuing these discussions with our customers so we can continue to learn from one another and accelerate scientific discovery!

Learn more about how Science Exchange can help you — request a demo today.

Service Provider Qualification and Monitoring Processes at Science Exchange

October 9, 2017 | Posted by Team in Outsourcing Trends |

R&D organizations are rightfully cautious when selecting service providers. So much is at stake — reputation, intellectual property, pipeline decisions, regulatory approval, financial investments, and time. ISO 9001 Certified QMS Science Exchange

By partnering with Science Exchange, R&D organizations can finally rest assured that they are accessing a network of service providers that meets their most stringent criteria for quality and integrity.

Put your reputation into the best hands.

Every service provider on the Science Exchange platform is rigorously qualified and operates under pre-established legal agreements that protect intellectual property (IP), define confidentiality obligations, and ensure quality and compliance.

We stand by the unmatched quality of our ISO 9001-certified service provider qualification and monitoring processes. Our process verifies details of service provider compliance, reputation, financial standing, and staff expertise:

Provider Qualification & Monitoring Criteria  

Compliance Reputation Financials Expertise & Resources
  • Basic info (contact, billing, shipping)
  • Proof of certifications
  • FDA warning letters
  • USDA violations
  • Anti-bribery/Anti-corruption*
  • Social media
  • Client referrals
  • BBB complaints
  • Website verification
  • Facility/operations photos
  • Tax documents
  • Financial standing
  • Risk assessment
  • Employee headcount
  • Staff bios
  • Instrumentation
  • Detailed service descriptions
  • Validation data
  • Publications/patents

We require submission of compliance and capabilities information to help our clients determine whether the provider is the best fit for a proposed study. Information is either incorporated into the Science Exchange storefront for each facility or is stored within Science Exchange’s database. *Science Exchange checks against FPAC enforcement actions for anti-bribery/anti-corruption compliance.

Request a demo to see how our service provider quality management system protects our partner R&D organizations.

Science Exchange Survey Reveals Pain Points of Outsourcing R&D

September 18, 2017 | Posted by Team in Outsourcing Trends |

Contract review, service provider qualification, and security of intellectual property among major concerns for biotech and pharma leaders surveyed at 2017 industry conferences

PALO ALTO, Calif.– More than 100 biotechnology and drug development leaders who responded to surveys conducted during industry conferences earlier this year reported a wide range of barriers to the outsourcing of research and development (R&D) services, including the contracts review process, intellectual property (IP) security concerns, and service provider qualification. The surveys were conducted by Science Exchange, the world’s leading and most secure platform for outsourced research and development (R&D), during the 2017 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention and 2017 Drug Industry Association (DIA) Global Annual Meeting.

More than 75 percent of Science Exchange survey respondents ranked the following concerns as barriers (a significant barrier or somewhat of a barrier) to the outsourcing of R&D services:

  • Having contracts reviewed and signed
  • Security of IP;
  • Identifying service providers with required expertise;
  • Qualifying service providers; and
  • Negotiating pricing.

Time management related to R&D outsourcing was also reported as having a significant impact on these R&D leaders, with over 40 percent of those responding to the survey indicating they spent more than 20 hours to onboard each new outsourcing partner, from the request for proposal process, through contracting and start of the project. Finally, further demonstrating the impact of the time spent on administrative tasks related to outsourcing, more than 75 percent of survey respondents reported that the “hassle” of bringing on a new partner has previously led them to choose an existing vendor rather than seek out a more qualified option.

“The results of this survey echo the same concerns we heard from the leading biotech and pharma companies who now rely on Science Exchange to help them efficiently manage their outsourced R&D services,” said Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Science Exchange. “In review of enterprise clients’ experiences, we find that our Science Exchange clients save thousands of work hours each year on procurement, business operations, contracting and legal resources, and administrative tasks related to outsourcing — time that can instead be spent in discovery. It’s gratifying to see that we’re able to fulfill our goal to support the scientific discovery process by removing barriers to innovation for our clients.”

See how your organization could streamline outsourced R&D through Science Exchange — request a demo of our platforms for enterprise clients.

Navigating the Fragmented Outsourced Manufacturing Sector

May 30, 2017 | Posted by Team in Outsourcing Trends |

Contract manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is growing rapidly and has recently seen an uptick in merger and acquisition activity, such as Thermo Fisher’s bid to acquire Patheon.  Despite the consolidation, outsourced pharmaceutical manufacturing remains a fragmented market, as outlined in a recent report and summary. Discovering and qualifying outsourced service providers is already challenging, and the persistent fragmentation compounds the challenges.

Science Exchange has a unique vantage point for evaluating contract manufacturing services based on our diverse client base and the associated customer experience scorecard data we gather. In this post, we share our insights around navigating the complex contract manufacturing sector.

Demand for contract manufacturing services

The high demand for external manufacturing capacity and expertise is one driving force behind the proliferation of CMOs and CDMOs. According to a 2016 survey, biopharma organizations cite the need to improve quality as the primary reason for using contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs). Additional goals for outsourcing include reducing time to market, controlling costs, achieving supply chain diversity, leveraging regulatory expertise, and accessing specialized technologies, including those required for complex biologics manufacturing processes.

Competition between CMOs: Innovative manufacturing services

Competition in the marketplace is driving CMOs to develop innovative manufacturing technologies to capture new service categories — choosing a cutting-edge CMO partner can give a biopharma company advantages over its competitors.

Many CMOs and CDMOs have adopted process improvements to provide their clients with faster cycle times and more informed decision-making. These improvements include cloud-based computing, real-time risk-monitoring tools, and integrated quality-by-design during process development. Such process improvements are especially important given the ability of multiple CMOs to manufacture the same API. Nearly 90% of the volume of drugs sold are generic small molecule therapeutics, requiring high production capacity that may be provided by any number of CMOs.

Other CMOs differentiate themselves through specialized expertise – for example, they may be leaders in developing novel formulations, such as nanoparticles or lipid-based delivery systems. Some CMOs offer specialized regulatory certifications, such as CLIA/CAP, GLP, and GCP. Although cGMP compliance is not absolutely required for all CMOs, most reputable CMOs are cGMP certified.

Contract manufacturing of biologics and complex therapeutics: a growth opportunity

It has been challenging to outsource the manufacture of biologics, such as vaccines, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and cell therapies, and non-biological complex drugs. These fast-growing segments are faced with regulatory hurdles, a need for specialized drug delivery devices, and inherent risks involved in method transfer and ensuring consistent supply.

Despite the challenges of method transfer, technological improvements are facilitating partnerships between biopharma companies and CMOs in biologics pipelines. Emerging categories of therapeutics, such as cell therapies and antibody-drug conjugates, as well as novel formulations, such as nanoparticles, have benefited from specialized manufacturers. Even though some of these specialty drug products may require bespoke manufacturing processes, CMOs stay agile through integrated quality-by-design during process development and take advantage of connected single-use technologies for streamlined yet flexible bioprocessing.

Barriers facing discovery and qualification of manufacturing service providers

The demand for contract manufacturing, combined with the growth opportunities around innovation and biologics, have resulted in a marketplace with thousands of active CMOs and CDMOs. It can be time-consuming and difficult to identify qualified service providers with the right certifications to meet regulatory compliance requirements. Though many service providers are staffed by innovative, highly qualified scientists with experience in the biopharma industry, many service providers lack such expertise.

Because there are no clear third-party qualification processes or objective benchmarks for quality, and because biopharma companies lack the time to perform regulatory compliance audits of all the service providers in this fragmented sector, over 68% of biopharma companies use a preferred provider strategy for outsourced manufacturing. Relying on preferred providers may decrease the agility of companies to take advantage of emerging technologies.

For contract manufacturing to add maximum value to an organization, responsible teams should consider adhering to a defined sourcing strategy.

Checklist for a successful contract manufacturing partnership

To maximize the advantages offered by a successful CMO partnership, the procurement and external resource management teams of a biopharma company must ensure that their sourcing strategy includes:

  • Keeping abreast of emerging technologies and service providers;
  • Stringently qualifying service providers based on turnaround time, product quality, cost, and regulatory compliance;
  • Identifying service gaps and assessing value of existing preferred providers;
  • Streamlining the contracting process to enable rapid onboarding of innovative service providers;
  • Establishing contracts that protect intellectual property and confidentiality, to maintain competitive advantage and minimize risk;
  • Managing project milestones to ensure that projects are completed on time and as planned;
  • Keeping meticulous records so that methods can be transferred in house or to other service providers as needed.

Science Exchange  streamlines management of strategic manufacturing partnerships

Science Exchange, the largest marketplace for outsourced scientific services, enables biopharma companies to rapidly find and order cutting-edge technologies and services from a proprietary network of 2500+ qualified service providers, including many providers of contract manufacturing services.

Science Exchange’s Provider Management Team continually seeks to build its network by adding high-quality, innovative service providers with cutting-edge expertise in emerging manufacturing technologies.

Science Exchange’s dedicated staff scientists on our Sourcing Team help biopharma manufacturing teams find the best service provider for each scope of work, obtain multiple competitive quotes, and provide end-to-end project management. By using Science Exchange, manufacturing teams save hours or days per project that they would otherwise spend identifying providers, obtaining quotes, and managing projects.

Science Exchange mitigates inherent risks of outsourced manufacturing; all service providers on the platform are pre-qualified through a stringent vetting process and provides information on past performance, using an ISO 9001 Quality Systems-certified process.

Manufacturing scientists at top biopharma companies are already using Science Exchange to access hundreds of qualified specialty providers. The platform is enabling these scientists to order services from known and new manufacturing service providers, such as ImQuest, Almac Sciences, Recipharm, ChemPartner, Synovel Laboratory, Bioneer A/S, Solvias AG, WuXi AppTec, Lonza, and Piramal.

Contact Science Exchange today to discuss your manufacturing needs.

5 Tips for Building IP Protection into Your Outsourcing Strategy

November 16, 2016 | Posted by Christina Cordova in Outsourcing Trends |

With 2016 coming to a close, the trend of increasing extramural R&D continues with no end in sight.  According to a recent report by Grandview Research, the global healthcare contract research outsourcing market is expected to grow to $45.2 billion by 2022.  This is up from $27 billion in 2014, which translates to a compound annual growth rate of 6%+ over the next seven years.  The growth is attributed to factors such as increasing breadth of industry R&D, mergers and acquisitions, patent expirations, as well as government contracts.  For many companies, outsourcing is a critical strategy for obtaining access to innovation at every stage in the R&D process.  With rising investment demands and constrained resources, outsourcing has become a key approach in value-based, technology-focused drug development.  This increase in outsourcing also means an increase in sharing proprietary or confidential assets with service collaborators.  During the early stages of development, products under development may not yet be protected by patents and are particularly vulnerable to unknown legal loopholes.

In order to effectively protect rights over an IP portfolio, companies should employ a comprehensive and strategic outsourcing plan, with both legal and R&D IP stakeholders included at contract initiation phases.  More often than not, the development of that proprietary knowledge, whether it be in the form of new chemical matter, streamlined processes, or novel technologies, is intellectual property that collaborators have a hand in developing.  With so much focus on cost and time efficiencies as value drivers, IP can become an afterthought in the planning process.  How can companies benefit from strategic outsourcing without compromising their intellectual property?  

Here are five best practices to consider:

#1 – Execute a Strategy Designed to Prevent IP Loss.  

There are many ways IP protection can be compromised, particularly through lack of electronic security.  Business processes to prevent the loss of such assets (and loss of their value to the company) must be established before they are shared with a collaborator.  A data loss prevention (DLP) strategy should be created to cover the security and organization controls in place to manage access, storage and transmission of proprietary information.  The policies which stem from this strategy should outline access controls, IT system standards, data encryption requirements, and other organizational controls that protect information from unauthorized use. Many organizations use a walled approach to protecting IP, which reserves access to data, facilities, and IT systems only to select CRO employees on a granular, need-to-know basis.  Additionally, data loss prevention software can help detect/prevent potential information breaches or data exfiltration transmissions by monitoring and blocking sensitive data while in use or at rest in data storage.

#2 – Know your IP Assets.  You can’t protect what you don’t identify as IP.  This sounds simple but in practice can be quite complex, especially for companies with numerous concurrent research projects.  Project leaders and employees need to know the nature and value of the IP assets as much as they have to understand the value of the company’s other assets.  The value of IP requires managing it inside and outside the company with audit trails which detail who handled it and/or altered the information.  Employee training is a critical component here.  Key R&D staff should be educated on the basics of IP, notified of the controls in place to protect it, and informed about their role in the process – including mechanisms for reporting suspected breaches.

#3 – Protect Your Ownership.  Contracted research outsourcing generates IP, volumes of data, electronic records.  These records are often used to establish dates of invention and ownership of IP when in question.  Companies can lose their claim to the IP in question if data files were tampered with or lost.  Confidentiality agreements are frequently too risky to rely on as a sole protection protection of a company’s proprietary information.  Therefore, proper protection of intellectual property rights, documents and data must be prioritized in the planning stages of outsourcing strategy. Ownership of research data and technologies developed during the collaboration must be clearly outlined in all contracts.  In general, it is not uncommon to be provided only what’s known as a non-exclusive, royalty free, non-sublicensible, non-transferable license to the IP.  Not only can this can leave uncertainty in who owns the IP in the end, but also it does not confer ownership of the IP, only use of it.  Instead, it is important to endeavor to take a broad approach that assigns IP to the research buyer is best practice where possible.  For example, Science Exchange provides a standard fee-for-service agreement, which provides broad IP rights (including the deliverables)  to the sponsor/requestor of the service.  This allows the sponsor/requester to rest comfortably knowing that their IP rights will be protected.  Typically, the CRO is also required to maintain confidentiality for the period set out in the terms and conditions of the contract.   

#4 – Protect Yourself from Insolvency

Even as the outsourcing market matures, occasionally CROs may be unable to deliver on terms of a contract.  Often the contracts define such situations as breach, entitling the sponsor to terminate the arrangement. However, in certain jurisdictions, the clause may be rendered void so as to allow the estate to assign the contract to another CRO (or otherwise commercialize the contract) to the benefit of creditors. To mitigate the risk of insolvency, sponsors must at all times retain access to documents and data involved in the IP they seek to pursue ownership of.  That means maintaining data back-ups, as well as tracking chain of custody and time stamps for key entities, such as samples and experimental results.  Science Exchange offers clear, 1:1 communication and chronological documentation on all projects, which protects both parties from risk in the unlikely event of contract breach or refutation of results.

#5 – In Contract Terms, Less is Always Not More.

Thorough language in an outsourcing contract is the result of properly considering project requirements for quality, time, money, milestones, liabilities, and remedies.  Not only does this protect the contracting organization, but consolidating these terms into one master agreement with Science Exchange means the selection process for service providers is expedited significantly. This is just one of the ways Science Exchange can help companies set expectations early on that promote best practices in their outsourcing programs.

Outsourcing will continue to be a critical strategy for dealing with resource challenges, escalating internal costs and gaining efficiencies in the overall drug development process.  IP protection should be prioritized within any outsourcing strategy from the outset.  Organizations must work to build the business processes and culture to protect IP throughout the R&D lifecycle. Defining the administrative, organizational, and technical controls to protect your IP, combined with the proper contractual terms, can ensure long-term success in maintaining proprietary ownership.  Once successful roader strategic business alliances are built on this foundation, partners can pursue combined growth opportunities and a shared long-term operating vision, win-win for sponsors and CROs alike.

 

This article was written with contributions from Mary Beth Walsh

Provider Reviews: Net Promoter Scores

October 25, 2016 | Posted by Christina Cordova in Outsourcing Trends |

One of the best advertisements for a product or service is a positive review from another customer.  Reviews and ratings are so compelling and commonplace, they help guide our choices in car repair, travel destinations, and sushi restaurants.  We think customer feedback is also incredibly useful when trying to find the right scientific service provider.  For this reason, we began collecting Net Promoter Scores (NPS) from our clients and sharing them on supplier storefronts.  

What is a Net Promoter Score?  In 2003 Bain & Company launched a new way to gauge customer loyalty and satisfaction by creating a feedback survey with a single question: “What is the likelihood that you would recommend Company X to a friend or colleague?”  Respondents answer this question on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being extremely likely and 0 being not at all likely.  Based on their response, customers who provide feedback are placed into one of three categories:

NPS-en

  • Promoters (9 or 10) are very satisfied clients who would urge others to buy from/work with the business
  • Passives (7 or 8) are satisfied, but unenthusiastic about their experience
  • Detractors (0-6) are unsatisfied customers who would share negative experiences about the company

 

The total Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the number of detractors from promoters.  Identifying three key groups within a customer base allows for more targeted interaction with clients.  If someone marks a 6 or below, the company can follow up with that person and try to correct what went wrong.  

We took that idea and applied it to our feedback surveys for service providers.  Our rating system now includes detailed reviews contributed by other customers, as well as NPS information on each storefront.  We understand outsourcing decisions aren’t only based on price, but finding a service provider you can trust to conduct experiments vital to the success of your research.  In order to learn about our customers’ experience with a lab we ask the following questions:

  1. What is the likelihood that you would recommend (service provider) to a friend or colleague (0-10)
  2. How satisfied are you with the timeliness of the deliverables (0-10)
  3. How satisfied are you with the quality of the deliverables (0-10)

Integrating information like this on our platform is just one of the many ways Science Exchange provides industry insights that allow you to reduce risk when contracting with external service providers.  To read reviews and find the NPS information for a service provider, click on the Ratings tab on any storefront, as seen here.

Provider NPS image

Science Exchange empowers researchers to work with confidence and make informed outsourcing decisions across all industries. Search our Marketplace to choose from thousands of screened labs and feel free to add a review of your experience.  The unique feedback and NPS data you provide can help other teams find the right service provider for them.   

Find the right service provider for you and start your project today. 

How does Science Exchange rank service providers?

September 28, 2015 | Posted by Keith Osiewicz in Outsourcing Trends |

At Science Exchange, we want to make it easier to find the best service providers to help you with your project. Our product development team has built features such as a search box that displays results as you type, and search results that are filterable to help you quickly find what you are seeking. These features are powered by a core search algorithm that references important service provider-specific information to rank the search results.

Blog-search-1

Once you enter a search, the algorithm determines the relevancy of search results based on the keyword you entered. The algorithm then looks at the service provider storefronts that pass through this filter and ranks them based on a service provider score. This score is calculated by looking at the following features:

 

Responsiveness

Because we want requesters to hear back as soon as possible, service providers that respond to requests for quotes in a timely fashion have higher scores. We value providers who have consistently responded to their requests quickly. Plus, it is the polite thing to do. You are never penalized for declining requests. Declining a request is considered responsive behavior.

Productivity

The service provider that regularly and consistently completes orders has a higher score and will rank higher in the search results. Requesters are more comfortable working with proven providers. If you are a provider, learn more about sending your own quotes to help boost your productivity quotient.

Positive Recommendations

At Science Exchange, we offer people the chance to review service providers, and those that have many good reviews are ranked higher in the search results. However, we also take into account how long a service provider has been on Science Exchange. If you request a service from a lab, please write a review after the project is finished. If you are a service provider, please solicit recommendations from the requesters with which you work. You can also ask previous collaborators for endorsement; learn more.

New Lab Boost

We value our long-time Science Exchange service providers, but we also want to introduce new providers to the community effectively. Therefore, new providers receive a rankings boost during the first month after they join Science Exchange. If you are a service provider, take advantage of this boost by responding quickly to any requests and ideally completing projects so that when the boost goes away at the end of the first month, you will still appear high in the search results.

We will continue to optimize the search experience on Science Exchange. Check this blog regularly to stay informed of any changes.

 

About Science Exchange

We are transforming scientific collaboration by creating a marketplace where scientists can order experiments from the world's top labs.

Check the Science Exchange blog for updates, opinions, guest posts and the latest happenings at Science Exchange HQ!

Visit Science Exchange →

Subscribe to the blog
Never miss a post! Science Exchange blog posts delivered right to your inbox.
Thank you for joining the SciEx revolution!
Powered By WPFruits.com