Newsletter Archive >> Fall 2008 >> Lancaster Laboratories Professional Scientific Staffing

Lancaster Laboratories Professional Scientific Staffing: a case study in successfully serving our customer

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Offering three innovative service models, Lancaster Laboratories provides extensive scientific solutions for clients’ drug development needs. Service models include: Fee for Service (samples tested at Lancaster Labs), Full-Time Equivalent (customer-dedicated teams at Lancaster site) and Professional Scientific Staffing (at client’s site under client’s quality systems).

As an example of how our Professional Scientific Staffing (PSS) model can work, let’s look at one of our projects located on-site at a major pharmaceutical company. The initial agreement was signed in mid July 2007; it covered 14 scientists to work in two scientific departments. Thanks to an intensive recruiting effort, the majority of this first team was recruited by mid August, and they were present on-site with the client after completing two weeks of orientation and training at Lancaster Labs. This initial orientation/training encompasses core technical, safety and regulatory topics (specific analytical techniques, instrumentation, GMP, documentation, ethics, safety and performance management), as well as job-specific training and is part of our normal procedure for new employees both on-site and off-site.

Soon after the start-up of our employees in the original two client departments, a third department approached us to provide a team of six scientists. Again, these scientists were on board approximately one month after signing of the Work Order. This was followed by a steady stream of requests throughout the next 12 months for both expansions of the original project teams and recruiting of additional personnel for new departments. Currently, a little more than one year into the project, Lancaster is providing staffing resources for 10 different departments on this site for a total of 56 budgeted positions.

While the growth of the project during the first 12 months indicates that the client is pleased with the implementation and the ongoing managing of the project, we do track our team’s performance using a set of predetermined metrics. Examples of metrics include:

Productivity (measured in turnaround time, number of samples processed, time spent on projects)

Quality (number of deviations/quality incidents)

Staff turnover

Safety (number of safety incidents)

These metrics are compiled on a monthly basis and discussed in a quarterly meeting with both client and Lancaster management. Our teams are consistently meeting or exceeding the targets set for them; an example is shown in the table below containing some of our metrics for a recent quarter.

The one (minor) quality incident involved performing more testing than was required on one sample. We passed internal quality and safety audits without observations.

This case study is one example of a project where Lancaster’s PSS model has been implemented successfully in a short amount of time and where our successful on-site performance throughout the first year of the project has resulted in a continuous expansion both within the original departments and into several new ones.

So what makes our PSS model so successful? Our success can be directly attributed to four factors.

  • Our People-The ability of our outstanding recruiting team to identify and attract top-performing, motivated and dedicated professionals to be part of our PSS team, including our first-rate on-site leaders who provide technical and managerial leadership to each of our teams.
  • Leadership-Our leaders’ ability to provide a working environment in client environments that is both challenging and rewarding to our staff, thereby reducing turnover rates and minimizing productivity losses.
  • Technical Expertise-We extend our proven technical and regulatory expertise to our client environments by starting with rigorous technical and cGMP training of our staff. In addition to our staff being equipped with technical skills, our leaders continue to support and oversee technical operations to ensure both quality and efficiency metrics are met.
  • Superlative Service-Our focus is our client’s success. Through proactive collaborative communication, our leadership ensures we understand our client’s expectations and strives to exceed them. We foster a service culture in our training, reward and recognition and performance management process so each employee takes ownership to deliver superlative service to our clients.

As a result of these key competencies, our clients are pleased with our results, and this has fueled our growth. We currently have more than 100 employees dedicated in client environments. We are available to offer services in the U.S., Ireland, Canada, and U.K.

For more Professional Scientific Staffing information, please contact Pharmaceutical Business Development at 717-656-2300.