In this panel, experts from Scientist.com provide an overview of the Marketplace, discuss sourcing challenges in value, evidence, and access (VEA), highlight supplier marketing services, and provide case studies for how the Marketplace can be used.
- A brief history of Scientist.com
- An overview of the Marketplace and its benefits
- Notable challenges in VEA
- Types of supplier marketing services available
- Case studies for how the Marketplace is used
This panel features experts from Scientist.com, including Patti Peeples, PhD, RPh, David Brown, MS, Brian Titus, BBA, and Matt McLoughlin, BSc, who each provide insights into Scientist.com and how the Marketplace facilitates faster science. Patti and David first delve into an overview of the company and its goals. Scientist.com first aimed to create software to connect buyers and sellers of custom research services and products to reduce the time and energy that goes into those types of interactions. Company goals include solving the bottleneck and difficulty of outsourcing, making it easier for suppliers to find new business, and facilitating faster science for researchers.
“That’s … an Amazon-like approach. It is a very easy system to use to … create those efficiencies.”
David explains that marketplaces are traditionally thought of in consumer-facing experiences. However, business-to-business marketplaces have grown quickly because they are solving complex interactions between buyers and sellers. From a buyer’s perspective, it is easier to request products or services, and from a seller’s perspective, it is easier to advertise expertise to the market.
“Our team can help make that connection and facilitate that commerce.”
Scientist.com initially focused on preclinical research, but due to the robustness of the ecosystem, adding new categories was a natural evolution. In particular, health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), real world evidence (RWE), and Market Access was a natural fit since the same preclinical challenges are present in this field. Since the Marketplace is very category-driven, the best supplier can be matched up to a researcher’s request either by artificial intelligence or the concierge team.
Patti next shares some common sourcing challenges in the VEA landscape. Data access is difficult for both buyers and suppliers, and procuring the right data source is notoriously challenging in VEA. There is a complex supplier base that can make it difficult to identify which solution provider has the best skills, expertise, product, or ability to source data; the Marketplace allows for an easier comparison across different requests for proposals. Long contracting times are also a challenge in VEA and across all pharmaceutical research.
“These particular challenges, while they are common to pharmaceutical research in general, are also particularly notable within the HEOR, RWE, [and] Market Access area.”
Several years ago, Scientist.com partnered with HealthEconomics.Com when expanding their delivery of services into VEA; this partnership led to an acquisition of HealthEconomics.Com last year. In addition to the Marketplace delivering VEA services, an extensive compilation of educational tools and resources is now available, as well as unparalleled business development (BD) opportunities from a supplier standpoint. More than 75 different VEA service offerings can be accessed through the Marketplace, and one click can initiate a request.
“No longer are you out there on Google or LinkedIn trying to figure out who the contact person is.”
David next explains that most people believe the main benefit of the Marketplace is direct cost savings; however, 90% of the benefits exist “below the surface.” These benefits include: personal time savings through efficient processes; indirect cost savings by making legal, billing, quality assurance, and compliance tasks easier; supplier assessment tools to facilitate quick decision making; servicing new innovations; and reduced time to market. Since getting legal consultation for every contract is a challenge for lawyers, businesses, and researchers, Scientist.com created a standard contract as a proactive solution, allowing buyers and sellers to create business and research on demand.
“I think that’s one of the most important things we’ve done for the industry, and it’s not even software-related.”
One of the final opportunities for higher efficiency is how billing can be consolidated; Scientist.com is a single location where buyers and sellers can give and receive invoices and payments. Based on data from more than 2000 projects, the average time between a request made to the system and purchase order was found to be 9.8 days. David also highlights that a concierge team composed of highly educated, experienced scientists is available to help buyers and sellers navigate this system.
“We take the Achilles heel of software and actually make it one of our strengths by having folks that are really, really, really overeducated customer service agents at the end of the day.”
Next, Brian explains that Scientist.com is a complementary BD channel that is not meant to replace any existing direct connections, contracts, or processes. With the acquisition of HealthEconomics.Com and InsideScientific, suppliers have access to a suite of different options to expand reach and create greater exposure. Brian stresses that with billions of potential customers online and utilizing search engines to find research services and products, it is vital to build a partnership to enhance online presence and develop marketing hooks. Search engine optimization, content blogging, white papers, case studies, email campaigns, and more can be used in a digital marketing strategy to raise brand awareness or drive more leads.
“It may seem like a lot to consider, and frankly it is, but as digital marketing continues to grow and dramatically increase, especially in the COVID age, now is the best time to start identifying and strategizing, and that’s why we’re here as an extension of your marketing and advertising team.”
Packages across Scientist.com and its associated channels enable suppliers to enhance their presence within and outside of the Marketplace; this could be in the form of webinars, wherein the Scientist.com team performs the administrative and technical legwork that is involved. Podcasts, interviews, sponsored blogs, and e-blasts are also great ways to share information about an organization and build a community.
In the final portion of this webinar, Patti shares some case studies of how the Marketplace can be used. The first case study provides an example of an onboarding process and how a buyer can quickly and easily connect with a new solution provider. The next study demonstrates how the Marketplace can be used to understand the potential capabilities of suppliers, compare their data assets, and select the most qualified supplier for the project. The last case study is an example of typical cost savings that are realized through this multisource process.
To conclude this panel, David summarizes the key topics that were discussed. Scientist.com’s Marketplace facilitates decision making for both buyers and suppliers. Time to contract is also reduced tremendously with a proactive approach, allowing work to get done more quickly and facilitating faster Market Access. Overall, the entire outsourcing operation becomes more efficient for both researchers and service providers.
- What are some common types of projects that are sourced through the Marketplace?
- What capabilities does Scientist.com offer to help a supplier maximize their visibility on the Marketplace?
- What’s the process if a supplier doesn’t know anything about the Marketplace but wants to register?
- How does the Marketplace work if a buyer has an existing MSA with a supplier?
- What does a buyer do if they’re interested in a project but they don’t see it on the service listings?
- Exactly what is the role of the research concierge?
President & Founder
The Peeples Collaborative
Senior Vice President
Compliance and Categories