Strategies in Outsourcing: Insourcing Emerges as an Alternative Model - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Strategies in Outsourcing: Insourcing Emerges as an Alternative Model
AMRI, a contract research and manufacturing organization, discusses its adaption of an insourcing model with Eli Lilly. This article is part of a special issue on outsourcing.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 36, Issue 8, pp. s40-s44

Personnel and project management

PharmTech: For an insourced relationship, the employees of the contract service provider work at the facility of the sponsor company. How is that arrangement managed in terms of the project itself and the employees? In having both sponsor company and contract service employees together at one site, how does project management in an insourced relationship differ from project management in a traditional outsourcing relationship?

Conway (AMRI): As employees of AMRI, all HR, benefits, safety, and other AMRI practices remain our responsibility. At the same time as we institute our corporate practices, our insourced employees also are obligated to layer over that the work obligations and corporate practices of our host sponsor. In establishing this insourcing relationship, AMRI has placed a senior leader on site to serve as the team leader and liaison with sponsor leadership. The team has been further partitioned into groups or sections under the direction of experienced leaders who function as project managers and group leaders. For significant challenges, these team leaders can tap into the broader AMRI leadership team as well as the sponsor's managers.

Performance metrics

PharmTech: What types of performance metrics are used in an insourced relationship and how do they differ from metrics used in a traditional outsourcing model? Are different or additional measurements put into play?

Conway (AMRI): Insourcing models enable a truly collaborative work environment. For example, in traditional vendor–client relationships, the vendor scientists work at one site and the client at another. With the insourcing model, a core group of AMRI scientists will work alongside the customer's scientists at the customer facility allowing for constant communication, idea-sharing, and problem-solving. This ultimately creates a real-time intellectual think tank with increased project productivity.

AMRI holds its scientists working at the customer site to the same stringent standards that are the hallmark of our reputation of quality. In addition, as part of the establishment of the insourcing collaboration, negotiators from both parties established performance metrics and set expectations, unique to this relationship, which are expected to be met.

Project work for insourcing

PharmTech: What type of projects lend themselves to an insourcing model? Is it appropriate across the continuum of drug-development and manufacturing services or is the model more suited to certain phases of development and related activities? What are the key factors in deciding whether an insourced model is appropriate?

Conway (AMRI): Availability of facilities and technologies that the insourcing scientists will need to access are key to the ability to establish such a relationship. The insourcing provider should have the ability to carve out work functions and conduct activities unique to existing functions, as well as provide supplemental capabilities to strengthen service areas that may already be in-house at some of these organizations. For example, a company may have synthetic chemists or biologists in-house, but AMRI may add more through the insourcing model. These groups would be separate, but not totally unique, in its core function to the customer.

AMRI's technical capabilities enable the company to custom build an insourcing model depending on the specific and ever-changing needs of any customer. The insourcing model affords our customers the ability to tap into experienced, highly trained discovery, drug-product development and manufacturing teams to help translate customer ideas to clinical candidates to large-scale APIs both on the customer's site and/or at any of AMRI's global locations.


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