The partner effect.

The partner effect.
PDS Team values

The partner effect.

There are many interpretations of what makes a genuine partnership, whether it’s in life or in business. However, those that succeed are generally based on each partner’s ability to add value to the other in such a way that they create something more valuable than the sum of their parts, and often they become synonymous with each other. AstraZeneca (AZ), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (JnJ) are all examples of partnerships that have done just that, and as a consequence they stood the test of time.

It can be argued that some business partnerships are merely convenient associations drawn up to boost sales growth without adding real value to the end customer, which is who (as businesses) we should ultimately be focused on satisfying.

Partner effect key consideration

The Oxford English Dictionary describes; ‘the state of being a partner or partners: we should go on working together in partnership.’ Perhaps the key term in this phrase (that emphasises true value) is ‘working together’ – ideally to the greater good of all those involved with and affected by the partnership, which of course includes the customer.

In the world of professional services (outsourcing), the key to partnerships is ‘working together to add value’ (to be more than just doing a job that no one inside the client company has the capacity, expertise or wherewithal to deliver) and through building trust. Without these two critical factors, most partnerships will not prevail in the long term, but with them, they can flourish into something truly formidable.

There also seems a constant movement to globalise, streamline, and cut costs – or to put a different spin on it – maximise profits. Certainly there is much pressure on businesses to drive higher dividend for the shareholders. However, there is also a growing social conscience and a new will for companies to partner with the consumer to develop new and better products and processes, such as Dell’s Idea Storm, where consumers are encouraged to submit their ideas to Dell through an online portal.

In the world of medicines and healthcare, more and more rigorous regulations are being imposed globally, and perhaps rightly so, because patients’ lives are at stake; i.e., potentially all of us!

With the imperious route to the implementation of IDMP, unprecedented pressure now lies on regulatory and drug safety departments and professionals. These new ‘standards’ are proving difficult to harmonise, due to regional differences in reporting and data structures. For example, the FDA and the EMA presently have two entirely separate systems, which need to be aligned through IDMP, which will supersede the EU’s existing and already complex XEVPRM format. Add the other regions to the mix and it’s a highly complicated topic to say the very least.

There is no option here for interpretation of the rules and regulations; it’s either right or wrong. This is where experience and expertise becomes invaluable in helping companies through the minefield of updated regulations and processes that are intrinsic to the daily operations of drug safety. As IDMP is largely a drug safety issue, although (as mentioned in my previous post) it involves many business units, having the right partner with the right experience and skills, and the right cultural fit is paramount. Yes, IDMP is an evolving (and to some extent capricious) set of standards with a wave of ‘input’ from industry regarding its viability; however experience drawn from its predecessors (SPL and XEVMPD) is invaluable when seeking support to achieve compliance.

Choosing a partner to assist you through the IDMP process and comply with the deadlines (by July 2017, 2018?), will be an important choice to say the least. One key consideration should be whether your partner is able to add value to your business, beyond just managing the process of submitting a set of structured data.

To gain the maximum benefit, it’s wise to look for a partner with proven experience and one that offers a strong cultural fit. A genuine partner will offer you an informed opinion, which you can choose to act upon or not; however one who just simply goes through the motions is perhaps not going to lead you to the ‘grand prize’ – successful compliance in the future.

So, what is the partner effect, aside from two people ‘completing’ each other in marriage? Well, perhaps it’s another business that not only enhances your own operations through providing a niche skill set, but one that actually enhances your core business and helps deliver a better experience to the end customer as a result.

A jigsaw puzzle is incomplete without all of its pieces; no matter how small, each piece (or part) creates a value that is equal to the whole, because without it there is no complete picture. So the size of the partner isn’t the key consideration, it’s the value they bring to your business that counts.

About PDS

PDS takes a partnership approach to working with customers and our principle aim is to add value to our customers’ business. We work for a broad range of pharma companies from SME through to top five pharma and we are also one of Europe’s leading consultancies in xEVMPD, and of course we will continue to support our clients throughout the implementation of IDMP and beyond.

Back in 2005 the business looked very different. It began life as a patient information leaflet user testing provider based in Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK.

Over the years and in response to clients’ needs for drug safety support, the company began to add pharmacovigilance to its range of services, together with medical writing, risk management, regulatory affairs, EVMPD, XEVMPD and now ISO IDMP.

Helping you piece IDMP together

As our client base has grown, so has our range of services. We have also moved into larger office facilities and grown our team of highly trained individuals to ensure we continue to provide a world-class service.

To reflect the continued success and maturity of the business, we recently commissioned a new corporate brand identity and company website, showing just how we have grown and developed in response to the ever changing needs of our current and potential new clients.

The team at PDS will keep growing to meet the needs of our ever expanding client base and we look forward to discussing your drug safety outsourced requirements and of course, to partnering with your business in the near future.

For further information please read through our website.

Alternatively call us on: +44 (0) 1476 512 395 or email