A true strategic partnership has benefits for both the sponsor and the contract research organization (CRO). The partnership is grounded in working together towards a common goal, and for both the sponsor and the CRO the success of one is the success of the other—with processes and talent evolving on both sides to produce enhanced clinical outcomes.
Such a partnership is very effective. It also takes a lot of work. It is an intimate, long-term relationship—and must be a two-way street, with both sides being equally invested not only in the immediate project, but in the partnership itself. Regardless of whether the teams work on every project together, they are in an ongoing dialogue about advancing their affiliation and jointly developing their organizations.
The result: Higher-quality work. Greater efficiencies. Cost savings. Commitment. And increased satisfaction for both the sponsor and the CRO.
Being a Partner, Not a Vendor
A more traditional sponsor-CRO relationship—even a preferred partnership—is largely a financial transaction. The CRO provides manpower, executing orders on behalf of the sponsor, no questions asked—and with little stake or interest in the ultimate success of the endeavor. A true strategic partnership takes the sponsor-CRO relationship up a notch. Partners work hand in glove towards a mutual goal, both fighting for success at every stage. That means working collaboratively, investing sufficient time in joint planning, being proactive, not reactive, and—possibly above all—working towards shared goals.