Labstat Blog

Tales of Tic Podcast Welcomes Labstat President Michael Bond

Listen to Labstat President Michael Bond on the Tales of Tic podcast.


Thomas: Welcome, Michael, to the podcast.

Michael: Thank you, Thomas. I appreciate you having me here today.

Thomas: No worries at all. Michael has over 20 years of experience working within large multinational organizations right across the healthcare and life sciences industry and is now the global president at Labstat. So, we’ll kick off the first question. Can you provide an overview of your career journey and how you got started in your field?

Michael: Yeah, I appreciate the question. So, you heard a little bit just in the intro of where I started my career. Fresh out of University, I was looking, as I finished my education in life sciences, I was a biochemist but finished my business degree and decided business was really the opportunity for me for the future. I was fortunate enough to actually find an opportunity with Thermo Fisher Scientific, a large global organization, a leader in science, and really that’s where I started my career learning about business, commercial marketing, clients, and really how to drive organizational growth. Spent a number of years there and then moved into the healthcare diagnostic spaces. You can probably see a little bit of a theme from early life sciences into the delivery of care. What I’ve learned over my number of years in my career is being in a regulated market obviously provides its opportunities but also challenges. So, that was a great experience supporting different areas in diagnostics, medical devices, health IT, life sciences, and cell therapy cell analysis. And then I find myself now here at Labstat as the global president in the TIC space, which is a really interesting space. We’re a very niche organization focused on tobacco nicotine research.

Thomas: Great. So, how has your background influenced your current approach towards the TIC industry?

Michael: It’s interesting. My early experience at Thermo Fisher actually started my knowledge of the TIC space. Early in my career, I led some very big contract negotiations with organizations like BV, Pon, and others, and that was my intro into that space. Sitting on the other side of the table but really understanding their business propositions and how they bring value to their clients. Fast forward, now here I am leading an organization in the TIC space. We are considered a CRO, a contract research organization, and we do a lot of interesting work across regulators like FDA, Health Canada, and the EU, but also for industry. What I’ve taken from my past experiences is delivering solution services technologies to support these industries. What I bring to this organization now is to change the dialogue around not just being great value, on-time delivery, broad services, but more so driving our organization around solution-based efforts for our clients. It’s not just good enough to provide a report; we need to understand intimately their business and bring better solutions for them.

Thomas: So, how do you motivate and incentivize your sales team to achieve their targets and maximize their performance?

Michael: This is always a good question. I started my career in sales, so I learned a lot about clients and how to drive relationships and value to the client base. What we try to do is ensure that we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach because no customer, segment, or person is hardwired the same way. We’ve taken a disciplined approach to segmenting our customers and our sales organizations. Inside sales, account managers, national corporate account managers, we ensure they have the right information for each segment to do the right things. Incentive plans are aligned with the behaviors we want to drive in each segment. It’s about making sure the data and information align with the incentive plans, driving behavior in the right places and the right approach for each segment.

Thomas: How do you balance the need for short-term results with long-term sales objectives?

Michael: This is a great question. Whether publicly traded, part of a private equity organization, or an owner-operator, you have short-term responsibilities and long-term strategies. The best way to do this is to have clear line-of-sight into what’s important short-term. Do you have leading indicator data and metrics to see if you’re winning in that space or starting to struggle? Similarly, with long-term, make sure you’re here for the long game. Clients need short-term support, but your strategy, efforts, and focus should deliver value over long periods of time. Have both leading and lagging indicators to support your efforts and balance both to understand if you’re going in the right direction, making the progress expected, and driving the outcomes desired both short-term and long-term.

Thomas: What role does technology play in optimizing the operational side, and how do you leverage this within your role currently?

Michael: This is a great question and at the forefront of everyone’s minds. In the last couple of years, we’ve invested in new ERP systems, new human capital systems, a new LIMS system, CRMs to manage contracts and customers through the sales cycle. We’re at the leading edge of trying to invest in technology across the entire work platform. Operationally, we look at how to leverage technology to drive consistency in our offering. We invest in automation to improve services, reduce costs, and maintain quality. Partnering with industry vendors to understand where the future is going in these spaces drives a lot of value for the organization. Infusing technology to take out labor-intensive activities allows smart people to focus on driving real value, knowledge, and expertise through our clients.

Thomas: How do you define operational excellence within the business?

Michael: Operational excellence is crucial to ensure we deliver a consistent, high-quality service to our clients. We focus on making sure every employee can see, deliver, and improve the flow of services to our clients, driving impact. This involves changes in methods, capabilities, automation, and how we deliver reporting, data analytics, supporting efforts across geographies for regulatory submissions.

Thomas: Can you discuss any recent developments, expansions, or significant milestones achieved by your business, Labstat?

Michael: Certainly. Labstat, historically a Canadian-based organization, saw an opportunity to drive scalable growth. We expanded out west in Canada, diversified our portfolio into dietary supplements and cannabis testing. Geographically, we expanded into North Carolina to service the US market and opened a site in the Netherlands to support our European-based clients. It has been exciting, a lot of work opening multiple labs worldwide, but the team has been doing a phenomenal job.

Thomas: Can you explain your current role within the business and overall responsibilities?

Michael: I’m the global president of Labstat, with full responsibility for the business. Outside of focusing on our people, I spend my time with clients and industries they serve. My responsibilities include strategy development, execution support, and building across the platform. This involves M&A activities, unique partnerships to bring value to the organization, and creating a great place for people to work.

Thomas: How do your responsibilities contribute to the overall success and growth of the business?

Michael: My role is about providing the necessary support, services, and investments for sustainable growth. Working with owners and private equity organizations to understand the strategy and investments required. Supporting our teams so they can access the key support required to build on the business is crucial. Making sure our people see this as a great opportunity for growth, creating a fantastic organization for them to develop their careers.

Thomas: What are some of the key challenges or obstacles faced by Labstat and similar businesses, and how are they being addressed?

Michael: Post-pandemic, challenges include employment, retaining talent, and keeping costs under control in high inflation markets. The potential commoditization of efforts in a market figuring out how to control spends is also a challenge. To counteract this, Labstat focuses on removing commoditization by providing better solutions. Balancing efforts to ensure the organization supports career objectives, creating an environment where people want to work is crucial.

Thomas: Can you share any specific mindset or mental strategies that have helped you overcome challenges and maintain a positive outlook?

Michael: I take a simple approach, a one-day, one-week, one-month, one-year, one-lifetime philosophy. If a problem or stress will pass in one day, apply the right amount of stress. If it’s one year or one lifetime, it requires more attention. Few challenges are one year or one lifetime, so take a breath, reflect, and apply the right mindset. I focus on networking, diverse networking in different segments, roles, and people, as successful people have a huge and diverse network. Lastly, the “Just Do It” mentality. People who succeed in their careers get things done, solve problems, and it shines through. Be one of those people.

Thomas: If you could look back and give advice to your 21-year-old self, what would it be?

Michael: Network, network, network. Invest in networking, a job you need to work on. Build a diverse and extensive network. The second piece is the “Just Do It” mentality. Be the person who gets things done. Shine by solving problems and completing tasks. It will get you noticed, and those are the individuals looked to for increased responsibilities and career opportunities.

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