Functional Service Provider (FSP)

Premier Insight 248: Outsourcing: You’re Now Free to Do What You Do Best

A Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company wanted to free itself from day-to-day administration of data operations. A small biotech company wanted to focus more on innovation than on data management.

Both called Premier Research.

Pharma, biotech, and medical device companies are increasingly turning to contract research organizations to outsource a wide range of activities through functional service provider (FSP) arrangements. FSPs increase agility and drive down costs while offering cafeteria-style flexibility — giving clients wide latitude in choosing which services to farm out and which to keep in house.

Small scale to full service

Premier Research currently has about a dozen FSP relationships, ranging from companies seeking help with discrete projects to those doing large-scale outsourcing through preferred provider agreements.

The big Fortune 100 pharma company approached us about providing data operations services. The arrangement quickly expanded to include related technical and programming functions, including full operation of the client’s clinical data management system, help desk, and global support ticketing system — Premier Research ultimately taking on more than 20 unique services. The client significantly cut its transactional costs while retaining standardized processes and maintaining operational control.

FSPs offer many benefits. Key among them:

Buy the service you need, and nothing more. Staff up for workload peaks without paying a full-time workforce you don’t need during the valleys.

Cost savings
With no fixed costs, you pay only for what you need. And you save substantially on recruiting, training, managing internal staff, and myriad other expenses.

Clients maintain oversight and control at the level they choose. Some want to fully outsource, while others hire out a project at a time.

Do what you do best. Outsourcing non-core activities allows you to concentrate on what makes your company unique.

Success begets success and often leads to expansion in FSP relationships. Such was the case with the small biotech firm, which came to Premier Research for help with data management and programming. We soon became the company’s entire data operations department.

An extension of your team

Whatever the size of the client and the extent of the engagement, Premier Research puts a premium on partnership. We become ingrained as an extension of the sponsor company’s team, and heavy emphasis on communication means there are no misunderstandings and no surprises.