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  • Kevin Cast

7 ways to optimize your outsourcing

Outsourcing — effective, reliable outsourcing that adds true value — continues to be a primary concern for pharma, both big and small. Whether you work for an organization with a full, multi-person outsourcing/procurement department, or one where vendor decisions are made at the individual team level, there are ways to ensure that your partners are the best fit for your programs and products.

An organization’s vendors should always function as trusted partners and their “tools” should be within easy reach. As you’re working on your budgets and strategic plans for next year, it’s vital to take the appropriate amount of time to assess which tools are at your disposal before making outsourcing decisions.

Colorful stack of arrows

In archery terms, a quiver is the toolbox that supplies the arrows needed to take aim, focus in on the target, and hit the bull’s eye. Because a properly stocked quiver is so important to program and product success, we advise our clients to begin new programs by asking their teams these seven questions.

  1. What’s your true target? This includes a deep understanding of patients, prescribers, payers and sales goals. Always aim first.

  2. What size pharmacy network makes the most sense? You want to maximize your brand’s presence while minimizing expenses. Don’t shoot all your arrows when you only need a few.

  3. Does your organization have the capacity to insource HUB/Patient Support Services? Even if you do, should you? What worked well for one product may not be the right approach for yours, and a vendor may have the capacity to dedicate resources in a way that your organization does not.

  4. What are the unique needs of patients in your therapeutic area? Are there vendors who specialize in understanding and overcoming the unique barriers your patients face? Unique targets need specialized arrows.

  5. Are you keeping your competition in scope? If you’re not first-to-market, there may be a lot to learn from those who blazed a trail before you. Does it make sense to avoid vendor-overlap, or can you make a case for borrowing expertise? It’s always smart to know what’s in your competition’s quiver also.

  6. Are you allowing for enough time to assemble the best partners? Contracting, onboarding, and training new vendors take time. A late draw of the bow can limit speed, velocity and momentum.

  7. What don’t you know that you need to know? As consultants, that’s where we help by bringing outside experience and viewpoints to the table. Our flexibility allows us to help as much or as little as needed to hit the bull’s eye on your target.

Good outsourcing can make or break brand success. Are you preparing for a product launch that could benefit from an outsourcing assessment?

Contact us today to learn how our team of experts in pharmaceutical outsourcing and vendor selection can use answers from the questions above to find the best partners for your next program.

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