Building better relationships based on partnership and collaboration creates more effective outcomes

In association with QuintilesIMS

Many relationships between biopharma and outsourcing suppliers are based around provision of services and assurance of supply, with relationship success defined by the achievement of metrics and key performance indicators. These relationships are often highly structured and reactive, with teams identifying problems when they arise and focusing on implementing a solution that meets a particular need. While this model has worked well for many organisations, there is much more that can be gained from partnerships between biopharma and outsourcing companies that more fully leverage the experience and capabilities of the supplier.

The future of outsourcing

Moving client-supplier relationships towards true partnerships will create a greater emphasis on problem-solving that utilises suppliers’ collective knowledge, experience, datasets and technologies. With a greater understanding of customer strategies and challenges, suppliers proactively share ideas and develop solutions to make high-impact contributions rather than just troubleshoot immediate challenges and escalations. As an example, at QuintilesIMS we seek opportunities to leverage our knowledge and data at a product and franchise level, to support companies in generating strategies and evidence that help maximise returns on key assets and enhance their competitive position.

Moving away from silos

Building these types of outsourcing partnerships can be challenging, as the growth of many organisations, including big biopharma companies, has created silos that restrict communication between different teams working on common products or challenges. This can result in duplication of effort or misaligned solutions being implemented to solve related challenges.

One of the major advantages of working in partnership with outsourcing providers is that they work across business groups within individual biopharma and across a variety of different biopharma (and in some cases, across a number of different industries). This allows them to bring an assortment of different approaches and best practices to the table and make connections across silos.

Making the most of the network

All biopharma companies have ecosystems of suppliers, and advances in technology are influencing how companies explore new ways of working and engaging with stakeholders, including physicians and patients. While these advances have many benefits, they are resulting in companies needing to manage relationships with an increasing number of specialist organisations in order to keep pace with innovation. A large and experienced outsourcing supplier can help biopharma companies manage and optimise their growing networks, getting the most out of existing relationships, making connections with a diverse set of evolving companies.

Connecting knowledge and technology

One of our key priorities at QuintilesIMS is to help biopharma companies benefit from the convergence of knowledge and technology to solve business challenges. Because we work across business groups and companies, we have a greater engagement and visibility to the kinds of challenges that our partners experience. We can therefore leverage our capabilities to provide solutions, as well as advise and support our partners as they leverage the capabilities of other companies in their networks.

Andrew Bentley is vice president, Head of Deal Centre of Excellence, QuintilesIMS. QuintilesIMS helps companies drive healthcare forward by creating novel solutions from the industry’s leading data, technology, healthcare and therapeutic expertise. To learn more, visit: