Upsourcing vs. Outsourcing: Four Considerations when working with third-party HCP Engagement and Events Management Vendors

FLS AdminUncategorized

During these times, more and more Rx, BioTech, Diagnostics and Medical Device organizations are looking to outsource their HCP engagements and events management to third party vendors. However, at Frictionless we are not what you would call an “outsourcing” alternative, as we prefer to call what we do “upsourcing”. Upsourcing with Frictionless gives you access to a custom built team of highly qualified and skilled individuals. These are not gig workers. They are your teammates made up of experienced professionals who know how to plug and play the various services Frictionless has to offer.This collaborative approach allows us to handle numerous requirements, needs, and scenarios. Perhaps a business needs to scale up engagements and events to meet certain goals. Other companies simply desire to create more internal interaction to boost the company culture. Crucially, these events and engagements can be key driving forces behind improved documentation, internal processes, and business objectives.

If your organization is looking to either implement or transition your management of HCP engagements and events to a third party, here are four considerations to keep in mind.

1) What is the ideal partner for your organization?
Choosing the right vendor that can meet both your short and longterm business needs is critical. Start with the end in mind and identify what key deliverables you need from your vendors and work from there. Additionally, consider how a vendor combines the resources available to you with their software solutions. While no one technology solution can solve all of your issues without some additional client driven configuration, it’s important to understand how a vendor operates. Finally, size does matter for you and your company. Partnering with a larger vendor may put you at the bottom of the priority for services and attention. On the flip side, choosing a smaller vendor can limit your ability to scale up and adapt as your business needs grow and become more sophisticated.

2) What value does that partner bring to the table?
Every vendor has its own strengths and weaknesses. Your objective should be to understand which of their strengths plays into your goals, and which of their weaknesses might hinder them. For instance, larger vendors have a robust RFI/RFP process that they apply to every business they work with. On the other hand, smaller vendors might be more agile and capable of understanding specific client needs and adapting accordingly. Test what works for you. It’s important to trust that you know your organization’s needs and your vendor’s strengths enough to make an informed decision.

3) What is the experience of working with the vendor like?
A company can tell you everything it’s ever done and that still won’t be enough to tell you what they can do for you. That’s because a company is only as good as the people that currently work within it. Are your vendor contacts taking care of their end of the relationship? Do you feel a sense of ease and trust with them? Are they listening and providing the solutions you need? We often forget that we are the customer for each vendor. Just as you want to create valuable experiences for your events and engagements, consider your experience as a customer of the vendor.

4) Get specific with your questions
Many vendors have a stable of services—some that are applicable to you and others that are not. Find out what software solutions your potential vendor is using. Are they third party or developed in-house? Compare their answers with what your needs are. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and then ask for more clarification.The more you ask, the more detail and information you have to work with when making your decisions.

We cannot stress enough the need for asking detailed questions of your vendors, especially in the beginning of the relationship. Expectations need to be clear from the beginning. Every vendor is going to think they’re the right fit for your engagement. Only you will know if that’s true or not.