How do you manage your contractor?

So you have awarded the contractor to a CMO/CRO.  Do you leave your contractor to it? Are you on the phone everyday?

What is the best way to manage a service provider?

How you manage your new contractor, really depends on the quantity of work and the importance/urgency of that work.

For a  piece of work taking only a few weeks that has low cost and low urgency, you might need only a couple of calls, or even wait until the work has completed, but for a larger project with greater importance,  such as manufacturing of your API, a more hands approach is needed.

When everything is running smoothly, a useful approach I have found is to agree communication with the supplier/test site as below:

1. Regular telecons once every two weeks

2. Regular Face to Face meetings once every three months.

This enables you to keep an eye on how things are going and deal with any queries/issues that arise. Also this will enable the contractor to focus on the job in had, rather than managing constant calls with you.

Getting the meetings in the diary is also very helpful. Both parties can plan for each meeting, ensuring clear agendas are agreed up front and that brief minutes or as a minimim list of actions are agreed at the end of each discussion.

When problems do arise, additional calls/face to face meetings can be inserted into the calendar as and when needed.

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By Dr Hanna Dickenson

Managing Director of Dickenson Consulting Ltd.
Biopharmaceutical/Pharmaceutical Project Management & Outsourcing/Contractor Management

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