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How Clinical Research Organizations Are Transforming in Today’s Environment—Part 2

Published By Wolfram Eberstein
How Clinical Research Organizations Are Transforming in Today’s Environment—Part 2

The Solution for CROs

The previous blog in this series discussed the increasing growth rates and related issues seen the Clinical Research Organization (CRO) space due to strategic partnerships, globalism, and market consolidation from mergers and acquisitions. This kind of growth inevitably presents challenges for CROs trying to generate data from fragmented, non-integrated systems. There are high-cost pressures to integrate processes and information systems, while optimizing resources to lower costs.

The industry is working almost exclusively on paper with the need to enter data twice to check for inconsistencies. As is the case with most mergers and acquisitions, technology and process incompatibilities are leading to divergent data storage and availability. Furthermore, integrations are non-existent between applications specific to CROs, like clinical trial management systems and electronic data capturing, and corporate systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and project portfolio management (PPM). The situation is resulting in significant inefficiencies, data inconsistencies, and process failures.

To remain competitive in a worldwide market, creating global data visibility and transparency while maximizing resource capacity has been imperative for CROs. This can be achieved only by first integrating processes and then integrating the systems that support those processes. CROs need to further advance and support best practice processes with state-of-the-art technology systems to appropriately utilize resources.

CROs depend heavily on resources (human and non-human) for both strategic and operational support and have a big impact on the cost of the studies themselves. Services Resource Planning (SRP) is an ideal application to optimize the use of resources and drive the cost of studies down, while enabling an organization to ensure:

  • More effective use of resources, such as clinical monitors, investigators, and research partners
  • Better communication and alignment across study sponsors, partners, and investigators
  • Improved resource budgeting and financial visibility between study sponsors and partners
  • Rapid response to changing circumstances that would otherwise consume resource time

Of course, organizational adoption of these processes and systems is an integral part of any new deployment and is supported by a SRP enterprise solution. SRP is purpose-built for project-driven organizations to enable optimization of global resource pools with best-in-class tools and techniques to increase revenue and maximize profits. For more on this topic, I invite you to read the IDC Executive Brief titled, Service Resource Planning: Systems for Effectively Managing a Project-based Business.

What solutions are working in your CRO? Share by leaving a comment below.

Related post: How Clinical Research Organizations Are Transforming in Today’s Environment — Part 1

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Written by Wolfram Eberstein

Wolfram Eberstein is managing consultant for the central European region at Planview. He brings more than 18 years of experience in project and portfolio management to the telecommunication and clinical research industries. Prior to Planview, Wolfram was the vice president of corporate project management office at PAREXEL® where he developed project management processes and governance and was program manager for rolling out an integrated ERP and project portfolio management (PPM) system to a globally diverse organization in six business units. Prior to PAREXEL, he held the general manager position for project management and development at Mobisphere and oversaw a joint development initiative of third generation mobile telecommunication equipment.