Bringing order to the outsourced manufacturing space

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2011

New market-research service hopes to quantify trends in outsourced CMOs, CROs and related services

That’s Nice LLC (New York), a small full-service agency with offices worldwide, is setting up a proprietary information service that will track industry awareness of providers of contract services, to be called Marcom Tracker and Brand Index. Marcom Tracker will be of value to marketing and business development managers at CMOs and CROs, if only to track the promotional activities of their competitors. Brand Index, meanwhile, is intended to be a measure of who the major players are in specific CMO services globally, such as product formulation, lyophilization, fill&finish or packaging. “This is new,” says Nigel Walker, managing director at That’s Nice, explaining that while there are many directories or compilations of service providers, there is very little available in syndicated market research that tracks the businesses by size, reputation or customer awareness. Bio/pharma manufacturers will be able to identify key organizations by type of service, geography and other criteria.

The Brand Index service will be updated quarterly. The first compilation shows that the leading brandnames among CMOs (alphabetically; the exact ranking is available only to subscribers) include:

  • 3M Drug Delivery Systems
  • Abbott
  • BASF
  • Baxter BioPharma Solutions
  • Baxter International
  • DuPont Pharmaceutical and Biopharma Manufacturing
  • GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
  • Roche Custom Biotech.

Another finding of the survey is that 85% of companies score less than 40% in overall awareness, meaning that most CMOs and CROs are not well known beyond their existing customer base. “Lower awareness suggests a narrow strategic marketing focus, rather than communication to a broader prospective customer base to ensure sustainability,” says the company.

The research data are compiled by monitoring and tracking promotional and business activity, as well as by compensated panels of industry professionals who will regularly be asked to rate the contract firms they are familiar with. Given the dynamic forces coursing through contract manufacturing these days, with major pharmas divesting specialized services almost weekly, even as new outsourcing providers enter from Asia, there could be meaningful insights to the trends in the industry.

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