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Patrick Harrington, Senior Business Development Manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific, shares his experience with clients that use secondary sourcing in their journey to commercialization.
Secure Your Supply Chain With Secondary Sourcing
What are some of the benefits of having the right partner for secondary sourcing?
The benefits of having a secondary supply source go beyond the mitigation of adverse events, natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic response, and any other events that could disrupt the supply chain. One beneficial aspect of having a secondary supplier is that you have a chance to compare and contrast quality and price against your primary supplier.
While conducting secondary sourcing analysis and testing, you can see the quality of our product, and you may be pleasantly surprised at the extensive range of product resources that you have access to through Thermo Fisher that your primary supplier does not. And when you choose us as your secondary supplier, we might also be faster. I say this with the understanding that when you work in the diagnostics space, time is of the essence and having a secondary supplier allows you to check with both of your suppliers and see who can provide what you need fastest.
The powerful thing about working with us is that we’re a significant player in the supply chain and manufacturing space. We have our global resources and supply chain process nailed down, which is why we often can get things to our clients faster than others who aren’t as established in this space. And this ability to get their assay kits out the door quickly makes our clients more appealing to their own customers.
Who needs secondary sourcing?
Secondary sourcing is a powerful tool for companies with contractual obligations to meet. Whether you’re supplying a clinical diagnostic lab and you have deadlines to meet or you’re working as a supplier for the government and you have an obligation to fulfill that contract first, you should always have a backup supplier— just in case. You do not want to be caught off guard if something unexpected occurs as this puts you at risk of losing that business or not fulfilling your contractual obligations. Therefore, having a backup to fill that gap is critical in your race to market. Anyone whose business requires consistency needs secondary sourcing.
Why do successful companies rely on secondary sourcing in the race to market?
Regardless of the reason, if your primary supplier fails to deliver, having an OEM partner that provides secondary sourcing means that you have a backup plan if issues arise.
Over the course of my career, I’ve heard of countless companies that have run into unexpected challenges with their primary supplier. They find themselves in a costly and time-consuming scramble to meet their obligations, leading to delays to market, issues with contracts, and ultimately lost business. For example, there have been a plethora of supply chain issues that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond COVID-19, there can be things like worker strikes, war, or natural disasters happening on a global perspective that are really hard to mitigate against.
Can you give an example of when secondary sourcing protected a company?
There was an instance involving a company that had a key cancer diagnostic component that was made abroad. They were trying to get a critical reagent diagnostic out to a lab to produce results for its patients. The manufacturer they were sourcing from had union employee issues, and their workers went on strike for more than 60 days during which nothing was produced. This significantly impacted their client, who had obligations to meet.
This client was in dire need of materials for their own kits as a result of not having a backup plan. COVID-19, a worker population that unexpectedly goes on strike, natural disasters— those sorts of things happen. And although they don’t happen all the time, when they do and you have orders to fill and contracts to deliver upon as an assay developer, you can quickly find yourself in hot water.
The situation can be completely different when you have the right OEM partner. This partner provides you peace of mind.
How does an assay developer determine which part of their workflow should have a secondary sourcing plan in place?
Secondary sourcing can benefit all parts of your product development journey. Having a “second pair” of eyes to review your workflow and identify points that could benefit from secondary sourcing is something we can help with. One example is with the real-time PCR (qPCR) consumables product area where we can assist with the timely acquisition of primers, probes, and master mixes used in PCR assays.
Thermo Fisher secondary sourcing in the genetic sciences workspace is also available in next generation sequencing (NGS), microarray, and capillary electrophoresis (Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis) technologies —not just from the instrument perspective, but also with consumables that run on these instruments. Being able to identify potential needs and then delivering solutions to them comes from the relationship we have with our clients, which is one of a true partnership.
Related: Four Things You Should Know About Customized OEM Solutions
Thermo Fisher Scientific as a Secondary Supplier
Why should I choose Thermo Fisher’s OEM and commercial supply team as my trusted secondary, or even primary, supplier?
As the world leader in serving science, Thermo Fisher has invested heavily in manufacturing across a global footprint. We have the infrastructure to make or source products and raw materials. We can leverage our size to get priority with raw material vendors. Partnering with us gives you greater power to get things done.
We’re also skilled at putting clients in touch with the right people within our extended organization and can provide dedicated support.
How do your clients benefit from using Thermo Fisher as their OEM partner?
Things go wrong in the world. You need to have a plan B that provides risk mitigation and allows you to meet contractual obligations. My clients who use Thermo Fisher as a secondary supplier are able to cross-check quality and price against their primary supplier. They also receive more flexibility on their commercialization journey because of this. Everyone needs a backup plan. We’re here for peace of mind, and we’re here to help before something goes wrong.
Related: How to Help Ensure Your Supply Chain Security
What are your clients surprised to learn or discover when they work with you?
My clients often discover that when you team up with Thermo Fisher Scientific, you’re experiencing something that isn’t just transactional in nature. My role as a Business Development Manager is to work alongside you and act as the orchestrator of events. My job is to cut out red tape where possible. Because when you succeed, we succeed.
Clients learn that in times of need, Thermo Fisher Scientific comes through. I can’t stress that enough—we are here for our clients and we love to make things happen. So, when you partner with us, you may be surprised at how hard we work to get to know your intricacies and internal teams. Our Business Development Managers get to know you far more than a sales rep ever would, and we’re dedicated to understanding your business.
It was amazing to witness the power of partnership in action during the peak of the pandemic. We were supplying materials and quickly getting things to our clients. Alongside our clients, we were moving fast so that the population could be a little bit healthier, a little bit more aware, and able to move towards normal.
Related: What Does It Mean to Be OEMpowered?
Secondary sourcing sounds like something I need in my journey to commercialization. When can I get started?
I would say not to wait a moment longer. We had clients that started working with us during the COVID-19 pandemic that needed to move quickly. These companies were getting government contracts in record time and needed large quantities of products, quickly. And we were able to fulfill that for them as their OEM and Secondary Sourcing partners. Teaming up with us can happen early on, or later down the line of your production— but for peace of mind, sooner is better.
Unlock the OEM Advantage with Thermo Fisher Scientific
Related Links & Resources
- Need secondary sourcing? – Connect with us
- Article: How to Help Ensure Your Supply Chain Security
- Article: Nine Questions to Ask When Considering an OEM Partner
- Article: Accelerate Your Innovation with Financing and Leasing Solutions
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