The client and challenge
The client manufactures prescription pharmaceuticals in several therapeutic areas, including oncology. It was outsourcing its histology work for oncology drugs to a preclinical clinical research organization (CRO), but it found that the CRO model was costly and provided the customer with limited visibility into the work being completed. This led the customer to seek an in-sourced model that would help improve its return on investment.
To bring its histology work back in-house, the customer built an on-site histology lab, procured and installed the necessary equipment, and qualified the facility and equipment. The customer also developed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for its histology operation. However, it was unable to effectively and accurately forecast how much work needed to be done, so the customer did not want to commit to hiring an internal team or managing day-to-day operations.
The EASi solution
EASi developed and implemented a customized, in-sourced functional service program (FSP) to build and manage an on-site solution for this customer. This was accomplished through our pharmaceutical industry experience, a longstanding relationship through our parent company and local delivery capabilities. Our solution combined industry-leading recruiting power with the necessary program oversight and operational management to drive visibility, scalability, productivity and quality for our customer’s histology operation.
During the solutioning process, we engaged a lab supervisor to be dedicated to our customer’s histology lab. Our lab supervisor was immediately deployed to oversee day-to-day operation and assist in building the FSP team, which initially consisted of two histology technologists.
We also supported continuous improvement initiatives for the customer. Part of our continuous improvement process included ongoing employee development through a formal Performance Evaluation & Review (PE&R) process conducted on an online PLMS as well as ad hoc performance feedback on a monthly basis. Additionally, we provided our consultants with continued professional development opportunities such as attending histology conferences.
To maintain program stability, we employed several employee engagement strategies that drive retention and motivation. This included the continued development of our consultants, town hall meetings and opportunities for promotion. During contract renewal, we were able to promote one of our consultants to lab supervisor for our customer and bring new consultants onboard in about three weeks. As a result of these strategies, we maintained 100 percent retention through nearly three years and had no impact on operational effectiveness or management during times of transition.
According to the customer’s procurement department, the customer has realized significant cost savings through our FSP compared to its previous CRO model. Sample turnaround time, productivity and quality have all continuously improved over the course of our three-year engagement, which now functions as a shared service program for the histology processing needs of 10 departments and multiple customer location. This program was recently extended from the initial engagement for another three years.