Newsletter Archive >> Spring 2012 >> Great to Hear from You

It’s Great to Hear from You...

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by Timothy S. Oostdyk, Ph.D., president, Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories

Late last year we sent you a survey asking for feedback on our performance. This is the 8th year that we conducted a client feedback survey to ask you what we are doing well, and how we can improve. We sent the simple email survey to 1,524 clients; 395 of you took the time to respond. Thank you so very much to each of you who responded. These days we are all incredibly busy and bombarded with email, so I am really gratified that so many of you gave us feedback. And notably we received 307 specific comments, including praise, complaints, suggestions and areas for improvement. I really can’t stress enough how important this feedback is to us – at the end of the day, the opinion of those we serve is absolutely the only opinion that matters.

Continuous improvement is a vital part of our culture at Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories. The only way to be successful is to continually evolve to meet the everchanging requirements of our clients, the regulators and technology. In order to determine what changes are necessary, we regularly gather business intelligence, including client feedback, to determine the direction in which we need to focus our change. In addition, we participate in a third party survey on a biannual basis to seek input from the industry as a whole. The purpose of this survey is to evaluate how Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories is perceived by the industry and how we measure up against our competitors in the marketplace. We find all this feedback invaluable and share it broadly across our company. Some highlights from our most recent client survey include the following:

  • 98% satisfaction rate for overall service, with 69% rating us as exceeding requirements or outstanding
  • 98% satisfaction rate for proactive and professional customer service and communication, with 81% rating us as exceeding requirements
  • 98% satisfaction rate on technical performance, with 74% rating us as exceeding requirements
  • 96% satisfaction rate for business development effectiveness, with 93% rating us as exceeding requirements

The third party survey was sent to Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharm Internationalreaders, revealing the following results from individuals working for bio/pharmaceutical manufacturing and research and development companies primarily in QA, R&D and management roles.

When asked to rank Lancaster Laboratories among 11 other, well-known, contract laboratories, respondents ranked us #1 in:

  • Customer Service
  • Meeting Project Deadlines
  • (Fair) Price of Service

When asked which laboratories they would most prefer to do business with, respondents ranked Lancaster Laboratories #1:

  • More than 30% of the respondents identified Lancaster Laboratories as their #1 choice over 11 competitors.

This last point is particularly gratifying – the industry stating in an independent survey that we are the laboratory they would most like to do business with. This combined with all the other positive feedback and specific comments received is particularly motivating for our team. But just as important as the accolades is the feedback that identifies opportunities for improvement.

Upon compiling the results of the client feedback survey, our quality assurance, project management and technical departments joined forces to begin developing solutions to the constructive feedback provided. Process improvement initiatives under way include the following:

  • Modification of the exceptions process to facilitate additional QA and senior technical involvement to ensure strong, thorough investigations and effective CAPA
  • Enhanced project management tools and approaches with the objective to provide full visibility and communication/tracking of key milestones
  • Promotion of direct client communication with technical staff – ensure that our clients have ready access to subject matter experts
  • Improvements in the report and method revision process
  • Improvement in LabAccess search capabilities

We also heard that the ability to provide rush testing services any time you need them, particularly for raw materials, was extremely valuable to you and was a source of frustration when we were unable to accommodate the request. We are therefore in the process of adding significant additional staff to this area and have expanded our GMP review team to include second shift data reviewers to reduce review times and accelerate release of data. Our objective is to complete all GMP review of raw materials data within 24 hours of test completion and ensure available capacity for your rush testing needs.

Thank you again for your invaluable feedback. My request to you is to please keep your opinions coming, as our appetite to hear from you is insatiable. We’ll survey you again late this year, but please don’t wait until then if you have something you think we should hear or know. And feel free to call or email me anytime; whether it is feedback, ideas or concerns, I always highly value our interactions. There is no more effective and important way to shape our thinking about how to run our business than to hear what you think about how our business is performing and how it is being run.

If there is one thing that we want Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories to be known for it is great service. Anyone with adequate capital can build a great facility, equip it with great equipment, install a strong quality system, and hire highly talented people. But the magic is putting it all together in a way that creates an organization focused completely on delivering a phenomenal customer experience. If you think about it for just a moment, I believe you will agree that the truly great companies deliver an experience that creates a lasting impression.

I can sum up our objective in a very simple way – we want every single interaction with Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories to leave you feeling more positive about us than you did before you had the interaction. When we achieve that we’ve had a very good day indeed.