Member benefits

Pennsylvania Bio inks supply deal with Fisher Scientific

Chris Anderson
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PITTSBURGH—Fisher Scientific, a division of Thermo Fisher ScientificInc., announced in mid-April that it had inked a product and supplychain deal with trade organization Pennsylvania Bio, whereby membercompanies could gain direct access to the entire Fisher catalog ofproducts for the life sciences community.

"Our members look to us to provide them with benefits that will helpthem succeed and grow," says Dennis M. "Mickey" Flynn, president ofPennsylvania Bio. "Through this deal, Fisher Scientific will be able toprovide support to our members and we will be able to bundle all of ourpurchases to allow even smaller companies to get the favorable pricingof volume buyers."

As a part of the long-term agreement with Pennsylvania Bio and to makethe ordering process easier, Fisher Scientific is in the process ofcreating a Web portal where member companies can order and manage theirsupply needs.

While the program is available to all members, Flynn thinks the primarybenefit will be for smaller companies, where money is often tight. "Thelarger companies, many of them will already have an established supplyarrangement, but this should help many of our member companies managesupply needs while also getting access to favorable pricing."

Because of the wide range of products sold and individual needs ofmember companies, it is virtually impossible to know exactly how muchcompanies could expect to save via the arrangement with Fisher, butFlynn estimates a typical company could expect savings in the 15percent to 18 percent range.

For Fisher, the deal with Pennsylvnia Bio is part of a strategy thecompany is pursuing to provide supply services to as many differentregional biotech organizations as it can, says Elizabeth Woo,biotechnology industry VP for Fisher Scientific.

"We are always looking to expand our footprint and working with theseregional biotech organizations is an important part of our strategy ofdoing that," says Woo. "Pennsylvania Bio is arguably one of the topfive state associations. This is a marquee deal for us since they arereal movers and shakers in the industry."

From Fisher's standpoint, working with the state associations hasbenefits in two prongs. The first is the obvious benefit of simplyincreasing sales, but the second is one that perhaps may be years inthe making, according to Woo.

"We are constantly looking to increase the number of products in ourcatalog," she says. "Many of the companies that we will work with inthis kind of relationship are developing cutting-edge technologies andproducts which we hope we can then turn around and sell back to lifesciences researchers.

 "The model here is to cast a wide net. The success rate of smallbiotechs is in the single digits, but we are here to support thehandful that will succeed and perhaps build a long relationship withthem."

Both Woo and Flynn dismiss the notion Fisher may have had a home fieldadvantage securing the deal because of Fisher's Pittsburgh headquarters.

"That was not a driving factor in this at all," Flynn says. "What wasimportant is that they are a well-known, established company that isfamiliar to most in the industry and their catalog offers a muchbroader selection of products that our members can purchase."

Chris Anderson

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