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Outsourcing of Call Monitoring Centers Varies Depending on Brand Size

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor
July 08, 2010

A study by life sciences consulting firm Cutting Edge Information has found that outsourcing of medical information call centers varies depending on brand size.

The study, 'Evolving Medical Information Call Centers,' found that pharmaceutical companies vary in their decisions to stay in-house versus outsourcing medical information call centers and in how much to spend on call center support for brands.
The deciding factors most often come down to the relative size of the brand in question and on executive preferences about investment based on the lifecycle of the brand, the study noted.
The majority of companies participating in the study employ a combination of internal and outsourced medical information call centers. About 30 percent of companies maintain only internal call centers whereas 15 percent report using outsourced facilities only.
'For medical information teams to deliver top-level service and represent their companies and brands accurately, they need well-planned headcounts, budget and a structure that encourages success,' said Jason Richardson (News - Alert), president of Cutting Edge Information, in a statement.
The study explores several key areas of medical information management and presents data compiled from seventeen surveyed companies.
In all, 85 percent of companies manage internal call centers.
Executives interviewed for the study noted that internally run call centers offer tremendous advantages, including easier quality control. In addition, established internal employees tend to become experts on their products; that expertise is difficult to outsource.
Participants also cited benefits for outsourcing call centers, such as rapid start-up time and cost, which includes reductions in capital investments and salaries.
Sixty-nine percent of companies employ at least one outsourced call center.
The study pointed out that because each type of call center offers benefits, a majority of companies now use a combination strategy. The general rule of thumb is that internal call centers support emerging and newly launched products, while outsourced contact centers take calls for mature products.
'This system works well because mature products tend to have fewer overall calls,' Richardson added.
He said that brand teams will also have had time to develop FAQs and scripts that cover most inbound questions, leaving less room for error than with a new product.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anil's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny