3 Key Trends Shaping The CDMO Industry In 2024 And Beyond

By Cory Lewis, Chief Executive Officer and President, INCOG BioPharma Services

Transition Towards Customer-Driven Manufacturing

As the biopharma industry continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly important for CDMOs to transition to a “CdMO,” or a customer-driven manufacturing organization. This means putting the needs of customers at the forefront of everything they do, from the foundation of why the company exists to product development and manufacturing to quality control and customer service.

To achieve this, CDMOs need to adopt a customer-centric mindset that values transparency, collaboration, and continuous improvement. A couple of key ways to accomplish this are:

  • Design and build the facility and experience around the customer, first. This ensures that biopharma companies not only feel encouraged to work from your facility, but also provides the proper conditions and experience needed to allow them to quickly and easily collaborate with your team to deliver better outcomes.
  • Connect your customers with your executives. For a CDMO to truly become a “CdMO,” or customer-driven, the executives and leaders of the company need to be meeting and talking to the customers on a regular basis. Providing an Executive Sponsor program is an excellent way to help build transparency and continuous improvement between your customers and your leaders This direct line of communication to leadership makes sure that the needs and desires of biopharma sponsors are always being considered first, at the highest level of your company..

Ultimately, transitioning to a “CdMO” is essential for CDMOs looking to stay competitive in an increasingly complex and demanding market. By putting customers at the center of everything they do, CDMOs can drive growth, build strong partnerships, and deliver innovative products and services that meet the needs of customers today and in the future.

Agile Manufacturing in the CDMO Space

The CDMO industry is evolving rapidly, with companies seeking ways to increase agility and flexibility in their manufacturing processes. A shift towards agile manufacturing has started to emerge as a promising trend, enabling companies to adapt to changing market demands and regulatory requirements.

Agile manufacturing for life sciences is characterized by the ability of a CDMO to quickly respond to patient needs and market trends, while also ensuring cost-efficiency and quality control.

A few trends of agile manufacturing gaining popularity in the CDMO space are as follows:

  • Multi-Use Manufacturing Platforms: These platforms enable CDMOs to produce a wide range of products using a common set of equipment and processes from clinical to commercial programs. This allows for rapid changeovers between products, reducing downtime, and improving overall efficiency.
  • Flexible Facility Design: This approach involves designing and building facilities that can be easily reconfigured or expanded as needed. This allows CDMOs to quickly adapt to changes in customer demand or regulatory requirements, without the need for costly and time-consuming construction projects.
  • Data Analytics and Automation: By leveraging advanced analytics tools and automated systems, CDMOs can quickly identify and address areas of improvement in their manufacturing processes. This allows them to optimize their operations in real time, improving quality outcomes and reducing production costs.

Overall, the shift towards agile manufacturing is an exciting development for the CDMO industry. By embracing this approach, companies can enhance their operational efficiency, improve their quality outcomes, and deliver better value to their customers.

Embracing Digitalization: The Future of CDMO Operations

Embracing digitalization is becoming increasingly important for CDMOs looking to optimize their operations and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry. By leveraging digital technologies, CDMOs can streamline their processes, increase efficiency, and improve their ability to meet the needs of customers all while maintaining quality compliance.

One key area of focus for digitalization is data management. CDMOs generate vast amounts of data in their operations, from manufacturing and quality control documentation to supply chain management and customer service. By implementing advanced data management tools, CDMOs can gain greater visibility into their operations and make more informed decisions about how to allocate resources and optimize their processes.

Another area of focus is automation. By automating key processes, such as manufacturing and quality control, CDMOs can reduce errors and improve efficiency. Automation also frees up staff to focus on more complex tasks, such as process improvement and innovation, which drives long-term growth and success.

In addition to data management and automation, digitalization can also help CDMOs better collaborate with their customers and partners. By leveraging digital communication tools and collaboration platforms, CDMOs can more easily share data, collaborate on projects while maintaining data security, and provide real-time support to their customers.

Overall, embracing digitalization is essential for CDMOs looking to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry. By leveraging digital technologies, CDMOs can improve their operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive long-term growth and success.

About the Author

Cory Lewis founded INCOG in 2020 and serves as Chief Executive Officer and President. He has spent 20+ years working in the CDMO markets and has supported global biopharmaceutical customers by securing robust manufacturing strategies that led to the approval and launch of more than 50 commercially approved therapeutics.



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