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The Benefits of Hybrid Outsourcing Models


Timothy King, executive director, functional service partnerships, explains how mixing models ensures outsourcing needs.

To meet our customers where they are and to help them bend the time-cost curve, PPD works in all sorts of “models”—they include hourly-based consulting, fully-outsourced studies (FSO), staff augmentation and functional service partnerships (FSPs). More and more often today, PPD deploys a combination of all of these models, the result customized for each client to meet their specific needs. In addition, PPD can employ a mix of operating processes: We work in our systems and standard operating procedures (SOPs), we work in clients’ systems and SOPs, or in a hybrid mix.

Clients often ask us: “Which is the best model?” In the past, the answer tended to be “Whatever you prefer” or, perhaps, whatever the salesperson talking to the client that day happened to be selling. And, historically, pharmaceutical and biotech clients tended to pick a model and stick with it. In the past, once a model was selected—everything done internally, everything outsourced or a hodgepodge of contractors—that model performed everything for a clinical study.

With each passing year, more of PPD’s clients, from large pharma to biotech, are choosing mixed or hybrid models across their portfolio of drugs or devices in development. With this approach, incorporating pieces and parts of FSP and FSO in a bespoke manner, PPD is driving quality, better cost controls, better efficiencies and faster delivery. Moreover, PPD works with clients to evolve the model over time.

For example, a very small client may just need a few full-time employees (staff augmentation) until they are ready to completely outsource a whole trial or trials. A client who has recently insourced their first oncology compound but does not have much internal oncology expertise may start off with FSO but then move to FSP as their internal expertise grows.

Mixed models allow PPD to use key performance and quality indicators (KPIs and KQIs), milestones and turn-around-times (TATs) to have operational data to uncover areas for improvement and efficiencies.

Our “one PPD” Defining Principle mindset supports this customized approach. We are showing our clients that they don’t have to commit to one model forever to cover all their (changing) needs. And we use operational data to drive model decisions, proving that each client can have a model that best fits their needs—FSO, FSP or a mix—today, and tomorrow as well.

Read the recent article “Flex Your Outsourcing Model to Maximize Drug Development” written by PPD’s Timothy King, functional service partnerships, for Contract Pharma.