In the continuous pursuit of providing increased safety and quality for products in the food market, oft-times companies are required to think out of the box. As part of this multi-dimensional thinking, growing numbers of food companies are weighing the options for integrating third-party on-site laboratories into their production process. To this sometimes complex question – “should we go third party, on-site?” – there is a very simple answer – “it depends.”
The very nature of this response begs the dialogue for more information and more understanding. Initially, some participants in the process are not comfortable with the answer. But there are a number of common drivers for moving to a 3rd party, on site independent laboratory service provider, including:
- Speed to Market – Producers need faster turnaround times for test results in order to meet demand and to remain competitive in the market place.
- Business Resource Focus – Many producers want out of the laboratory business – lab operations are simply not anywhere near a producer’s core business competency, producers indicate that “we manufacture our products better than anyone in our industry – but, we don’t have, don’t want to develop, and we don’t want to maintain in-house laboratory services.”
- Keep the Fox from Guarding the Hen House – More clients are requiring 3rd party independent laboratory data from a producer – data generated from collaboratively studied, industry approved and recognized transparent analytical test protocols.
Companies that are weighing the On-Site laboratory solution and the Solution Provider must build a true spirit of collaboration in order to achieve their objectives.
Seldom is there a single pathway in this matter – cultural change is required and long standing business process will be affected, necessitating the formation of a genuine partnering relationship between service provider and food producer. This is a very separate yet transparent commitment to providing quality product to the market in the shortest period of time with complete confidence in process controls.
Very often it is more than simply a cost per test or an estimated total annual spend that defines the true value proposition for on-site services. True value, as well as true cost, for on-site laboratory services are determined through collaborative review and understanding of the complete business process workflow.
Communicate – Understand – Collaborate – Integrate