ICS Inc. has intentionally decided not to provide any lab services / in-house testing – either for quality control (QC) or Stability (shelf life determination). This is even though the president of ICS Inc. is a former pharmaceutical & food chemist and lab manager who supervised a team of 6 analytical / QC chemists. For one reason, in our opinion, operating a QC lab would entail a massive overhead that would have to be passed on to all of our clients – either directly or indirectly. Therefore, that capital could be better dedicated to providing other (less capital intensive – more comprehensive) services to you.
Another critical reason for this decision not to operate our own lab is the potential conflict of interest – or at least a “perceived” potential conflict. i.e.: is the sales rep at the lab recommending various additional tests because it would be of value to you? Or, because the lab could use the extra revenues, and the sales rep gets a bonus commision? Instead, we would rather you spend a smaller portion of your financial resources contracting us to source applicable 3rd party labs on your behalf.
This is first achieved by our efforts to identify the minimum legal number of samples, tests, and products each year and identifying which ones are not absolutely required (unless recommended to ensure that the manufacturers are meeting their contractual agreements with you). By having us designate which tests are required (or necessary for Risk Management purposes), our clients are more assured that they are only paying for what tests are truly necessary – especially since we are not receiving revenues from the number or types of tests requested.
We also try to look out for your best interests by helping you find the most applicable commercial lab. This is achieved by using our established network of pre-qualified labs – all of whom we have absolutely no financial links with (i.e.: they do not provide us with any referral royalties for bringing business to them).
Instead, we find 2 or 3 labs who can provide you with the most comfortable mix between: turn-around time, appropriate accreditation(s), use of modern analytical equipment, competent analysts & data reviews, a separate QA department to verify accuracy of results, industry reputation and pricing (among other issues). We prefer to work only with a commercial lab which specializes only in analyses – and not dabbling in other client services (such as product or facility applications). These specialty labs routinely have “off-the-shelf” methods, which are already pre-validated. Therefore, there is a much less likelihood that you will have to pay the initial method development or validation costs, as well as waiting during the times required to set up those methods.
Why use a consultant? (vs. in-house)
Weighing the numerous pros & cons of bringing in a consultant vs. tackling it all in-house? Please see our web page “Why Use a Consultant” as part of that critical thinking process. Based in British Columbia, but covering all of Canada.