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Best Biometrics Team: In-House or Outsourced?

Posted on May 2019

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Up to 77% of biotech and pharma outsource portions of their analytics or production. There are many reasons to outsource, in source, or stay completely in-house. For biometrics teams, outsourcing can increase standardization while staying in-house decreases turnaround time.

Biotech and pharma often debate whether to outsource analytics. 

Benefits of outsourcing can include reduced costs, better standardization, or access to specialized equipment. Benefits of staying in-house include increased control and security. Some companies also choose to insource, hiring specialized teams for rapid turnaround times or skills transmission.  In this context, biometrics teams are no different from other specialized teams. Let's examine why…

Benefits of an outsourced team

The US has an estimated 50,000 vendors of contract analytical services and a 2016 study estimated 77% of biotech and pharma companies routinely outsource. The contract industry includes contract research organizations (CROs), contract manufacturing organizations (CMO) and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs). Collectively, the drug-discovery outsourcing industry is projected to reach $43.7 billion by 2026.

Companies may choose to outsource for several reasons:

  • Increased freedom: Analysis can be expensed instead of purching analytical equipment for experimental projects.

  • Cost reduction: Project costs can be reduced up to 20% when overhead is taken into account

  • Reduced risk: By restricting rigid costs from capital investments (i.e. real estate and lab equipment) companies can maximize variable costs (i.e. researchers and experimental projects)

Benefits of an in-house team

Outsourcing is often better for small or mid-sized companies than large ones. When large pharmaceutical companies weigh in reasons not to outsource they most often cite the term “control.” This means mitigating risk by keeping critical supply-chain steps in-house and keeping confidential compounds out of settings who might also be serving a competitor.

Some companies do insourcing instead, they have the equipment and supplies and hire specialized teams on a contract basis to achieve a rapid turnaround time, skills transmission, or scientific collaboration.  

Outsourcing vs. insourcing for biometrics teams

Biometrics is the science of rapidly identifying individuals by physiologic or behavioral traits and it is used to obtain clean data for clinical trials.  

Biometrics contractors tout data-integrity, reliability, and study-design as a reason to outsource biometrics. Certainly wearables,genomics,  and other novel identifiable methods of data collection involve specialized skill sets which may be more beneficial or cost-effective to outsource. However large companies may choose to retain control of personally identifiable information such as location data from wearables or genomic information used in clinical trials.

We conclude that biometrics teams are like other specialized teams on the drug-development pipeline. Outsourcing will still become a cost-benefit analysis. Companies will have to individually decide how to strike a balance between control vs cost-reduction when it comes to outsourcing.

In conclusion

There are pros and cons to outsourcing and insourcing. Individual companies must perform their own analysis to maximize their security while minimizing risk and expense.

A good recruiter can make the difference for a company that is on the fence about these processes, or changing directions. Whether you are looking to find a good contractor or to shift from outsourcing to an in-house team EPM Scientific can help.

EPM Scientific has a strong presence in both the US and abroad.  We ensure the best talent is in the right place at the right time to help promising products reach the market. Our process is fast, safe, and efficient.  If you are a US or international biotech company considering creating an in-house team or hiring an outside contractor with vetted KPIs, let us help you find the right connections. To be connected with a specialist recruiter, get in touch today.


EPM Scientific is a leading specialist recruitment agency for the Life Sciences industry. We were founded in 2012 to give companies and candidates peace of mind that the recruitment process is in experts hands. Today, we provide contingency, retained search and project-based contract recruitment from our global hubs in London, Berlin, Switzerland, New York and Chicago.

We pride ourselves in keeping our professional network up-to-date with any changes that will shape the future of work or affect the hiring process. Visit our website to discover more invaluable insights, including exclusive research, salary guides and market trends.

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