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Testing Trends: Responding to Market Needs
By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: October 14, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Weiss concurs that most contract labs offer some sort of priority or rush service. Jay LeCoque, CEO of Celsis International, a provider of rapid diagnostic systems and laboratory services, said speed is what it’s all about. “Our business is in helping our customers increase their speed to market. By offering ever faster tests that can reduce the time it takes to release a product for sale, we are helping our customers in the drive for improved supply chain management.” Better supply chain management means faster speed to market, and this also helps customers better manage relationships with their large retail chain demands, said LeCoque.
Businesses in general have been working to improve their understanding of supply chain dynamics, managing the flow of information, material and finished product to improve processes and increase profits. The beauty industry is no exception.
“We now understand that faster product release also means that our customers can reduce the amount of safety stock held in their raw materials inventory,” said LeCoque. “In addition, we help control the cost of a potential contamination by reducing the amount of product at risk that potentially may have to be disposed.” When there is a contamination, the benefits of rapid microbial detection may mean manufacturers don’t have to wait another three to five days to determine if their second batch is safe to release. LeCoque reports that customers who fully understand the significant financial impact of faster testing have implemented his firm’s technology the most quickly.
It has become clear to Ulmer, too, over the past few years, that the development and formulation of new products is a significant part of the cosmetic industry business model that can be shortened in time and made less costly through the use of improved screening models. He has several large clients using InVitro’s Irritection Assay System in house to screen multiple formulations in 24 hours, allowing them to take only the least potentially irritating formulations to human clinical trial much more quickly.
Helping customers increase speed to market is only one area in which testing labs are improving service to cosmetics marketers. From the downright practical to the more product- and service-specific, testing labs want to work with customers to improve service.