Lateral flow test (LFT) businesses that outsource their manufacturing do so for many reasons. But according to 2021 Global Shared Services and Outsourcing Survey, “Standardization and efficiency of processes” and “cost reduction” are the two main reasons for outsourcing. With 78% successfully achieving the former and 88% identifying cost reductions.
However, relationships with a contract manufacturer should run deeper than the necessary transactional elements, especially when working in competitive markets. A lateral flow contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) is a key partner in a business model – an extra pair of eyes for scoping opportunities while being the safety net in supporting success. They are essentially, a safe pair of hands.
Therefore, in this article we outline what a great LFT manufacturing outsourcing partnership looks like.
Excellence as standard
The most trusted outsourcing providers form long lasting partnerships with their client. They become an extension of in-house teams, offering specialist skills and know-how across all areas including test design, engineering, quality control, regulatory and compliance, commercialisation, and strategy – in addition to providing state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and machinery.
Teamwork is key for any successful client-CMO partnership, with both parties bringing their respective experiences and expertise. However, the contract manufacturer is entrusted with the baton to get the test over the finish line.
Developing and manufacturing quality lateral flow tests is niche and not always straightforward, requiring expert capabilities and know-how. This knowledge is built overtime by working with different sample matrices, targets, and test specifications across different markets.
This experience can lead to a ‘been there/done that’ scenario. For example, if a CMO knows that spotting or uneven flow occurs with certain membrane-and-sample-combinations, they will avoid them. This type of efficiency is invaluable for a client’s project team: there won’t be any unexpected expenses or delays.
Meeting forecasts requires precision via a combination of personnel experience and state-of-the-art automation. Also, manufacturing should be ‘top and tailed’ with solid procurement processes and international logistics capabilities.
Regulatory assurance is a vital part of a lateral flow test CMO’s offering. This ability to support clients with regulations saves time and shares the burden. Entering regulated markets can be complex, so knowledge of this area is ideal when navigating complex regulatory barriers.
The added extras as standard!
It would be easy to sing from the rooftops about ‘high customer service levels’ or an ‘ability to work to high expectations’ here: remember, these offerings should be the norm! A contract manufacturer should adopt excellence as standard and employ continuous improvement models to stay at the forefront of manufacturing innovation.
In essence, commissioning a lateral test contract manufacturer occurs to achieve the best for the test, stakeholders or to raise a brand’s profile via the supply of a quality test. Or indeed all of the above. Therefore, a CMO should enthusiastically grasp the responsibility placed on them with both hands! They should be just as passionate about achieving your objectives as you are.
After all they are there to help you!
The notion about the results and outcomes benefits offered by lateral flow tests continues to spread with interest in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 products growing.
A solid, long-term partnership with a lateral flow contract manufacturer that you trust is vital for meeting demand, volume and quality objectives. Optimum efficiencies from supply chain through to scale-up and routine manufacture are the cornerstone to achieve this.
The manufacture of lateral flow tests is niche, and accuracy and test quality are achieved with the right personnel, manufacturing equipment and infrastructure. The 3 key elements are standard in a manufacturing service. But a ‘great manufacturing service’ is underpinned by enthusiasm, passion, and an ingrained desire to work hard to produce the best lateral flow tests for clients and end-users.
About Abingdon Health
Abingdon Health exists to help ‘improve life by making rapid results accessible to all’.
Quality is at the heart of everything we do, and we passionately pursue our mission through investment in our colleagues and facilities and by working hard for our clients for the lifecycle of their product portfolios.
If you require a new or second lateral flow manufacturing partner or just want to outsource card or test strip manufacture to stay agile, Abingdon Health would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs.
Click ‘confidential LFT manufacturing consultation’ to speak with our team.