Channeling Steve Jobs - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Channeling Steve Jobs
Service providers must focus on delivering a superior customer experience.


Pharmaceutical Technology Europe


The key to answering the second question is the ability to break down the functional silos that have characterised drug development. The different functional areas have traditionally "thrown the project over the wall" to the next sequential step in the development process, such as when the process chemists ship the API to the toxicologists for preclinical testing or to the formulators for drug-product development. An ISP focused on the customer experience will ensure that the different functional areas work closely together from the start in both technical matters and project management and scheduling. For instance, the ISP will have its medicinal chemists and formulators work together early in the process to identify and resolve potential solubility issues.

Further, the ISP will use its cumulative experience to anticipate and plan for problems the minute a new project comes in the door, or, even better, during the requestforproposal (RFP) process. While every project and compound is undoubtedly different, the breadth and depth of experience that most CROs and CMOs claim to have should enable them to know where to expect problems and how to account for them in the project schedule and commitment of resources, and to prepare the customer's expectations accordingly.

No doubt the key to achieving these objectives is for ISPs to establish multidiscipline project teams to evaluate and manage projects as they come through the door. The multidiscipline approach truly leverages the advantages of having all elements of the projects in the hands of a single provider. ISPs that do not use multidisciplinary teams are little more than loose confederations of independent service providers.

If questions one and two are answered successfully, dealing with question three should be much easier. If the ISP delivers on its promise, it will have no problem getting repeat customers and its reputation should spread around the industry. A positive scorecard of customer experience metrics should help convince new clients that they are choosing the right service provider for their projects.

CMO and CRO executives who have not yet read the Jobs biography will be well-advised to do so. While you may not want to mimic his management style, understanding his focus on the customer experience and how to achieve it will serve you and your company well.

Jim Miller is president of PharmSource Information Services, Inc., and publisher of Bio/Pharmaceutical Outsourcing Report, tel. +1 703 383 4903,



http://www.pharmsource.com/


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