Careers at Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s mission is to enable its customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer.
Thermo Fisher Scientific is a provider of biotechnology products. The firm operates four reportable business segments:
- Life Sciences Solutions – Provides reagents, instruments, and consumables used in biological/medical research, discovery/production of new drugs and vaccines, and disease diagnosis. Specific businesses are Biosciences, Genetic, Medical & Applied Sciences, and BioProduction.
- Analytical Instruments – Provides instruments, consumables, software, and services that are used for a range of applications in the laboratory, on the production line and in the field. Specific businesses are Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry, and Chemical Analysis.
- Specialty Diagnostics – Provides diagnostic test kits, reagents, culture media, instruments, and associated products in order to serve customers in healthcare, clinical, pharmaceutical, industrial, and food safety laboratories. Specific businesses are Clinical Diagnostics, ImmunoDiagnostics, Microbiology, Anatomical Pathology, Transplant Diagnostics and the Healthcare Market Channel.
- Laboratory Products and Services – Provides self-manufactured and sourced laboratory products and services. Specific businesses are Laboratory Equipment, Laboratory Consumables, the Research and Safety Market Channel, and BioPharma Services.
After graduating from Western University of Pennsylvania, Chester Garfield Fisher bought the stockroom of the the Pittsburgh Testing Laboratory. He then founded Scientific Materials Company in 1902. The firm supplied laboratory equipment and reagents to local industrial research businesses. Its initial equipment included pipettes, microscopes, colorimeters, burets, and dissecting kits.
In 1904 the company published its first catalog. In 1915 Fisher built a research and development lab. The next two decades saw the release of many innovations. These included the Fishber burner, an impoved version of the Bunsen burner; an electric-combustion furnace and combustion train; and an electrically-heated and thermostatically-controlled bacteriological incubator.
In 1925 Scientific Materials was renamed Fisher Scientific. By the early 1960s its inventory had grown to over 40,000 products. 1965 was a banner year for the firm – it generated $58 million in revenues, closed a million transactions with customers, and went public. In the late 1960s, the company diversified through acquisitions of firms such as Jarrell-Ash Company and Stansi Scientific Company.
The period also saw Fisher introduce more innovations, including the Differential Thermalyzer. In 1981 Fisher was acquired by Allied Corporation (later called The Henley Group), and established a biotechnology division. In 1991 The Henley Group sold a majority interest through a public stock offering. In 2004, Fisher merged with Apogent Technologies, a seller of laboratory products.
In 2006, it agreed to merge with Thermo Electron, a provider of analytical instruments and services. The new company was called Thermo Fisher Scientific, and it sold products under the brand names Thermo Scientific and Fisher Scientific, among others. In 2013, it purchased Life Technologies Corporation, making it one of the largest providers of biotechnology products in the world.
Benefits at Thermo Fisher Scientific
Business model of Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific has a segmented market business model, with customer groups that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at the following end markets: Pharma & Biotech (accounted for 31% of business in 2015); Diagnostics & Healthcare (25%); Academic & Government (25%); and Industrial & Applied (19%).
Thermo Fisher Scientific offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, cost reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It has been able to do so in part due to its many acquisitions. For example, in the past three years alone it has purchased FEI, Affymetrix, Alfa Aesar, Advanced Scientifics, and Life Technologies. This strategy has enabled it to diversify its capabilities and expand its portfolio.
The company reduces cost by providing many deals. It maintains a “Promotions” section on its website that provides free samples, free product offers, and sizable discounts as high as 50% off.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It is one of the top firms in the genetic testing and precision lab equipment markets. It has 51,000 employees in 50 countries and generates annual revenues of $17 billion. It offers five prominent brands: Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, and Unity Lab Services. Lastly, it serves more than 400,000 customers around the world.
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s main channel is its direct sales force. It also sells its offerings through third party distributors, catalogs, and its website. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in seminars, workshops, trade shows, and conferences.
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website provides a number of self-help resources, including product selection guides and tools, product documentation (technical manuals, safety data sheets), videos, webinars, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Despite this orientation, there is a personal assistance component, as follows:
- Training Services – The company operates Customer Training Centers throughout the world at which customers can take Application Training Courses. These classes offer enhanced knowledge of applications and instrument operation, and provide computer-based interactive training, hands-on lab experience, and the opportunity to collaborate with application scientists.
- Support Services – The company provides a variety of customer support services, including instrument services (maintenance plans as well as compliance, validation, and calibration services), custom services (one-on-one help), licensing and commercial supply services, enterprise services, financial and leasing services, and enterprise-level lab informatics services.
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products and delivering its services for customers.
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the raw materials it needs to manufacture its products. The company also relies on the following:
- Third-party distributors to assist in the sale of its products
- Entities that work with its business development and licensing team to develop and market commercial IP, technology, and new products; partners include companies and universities
- Companies that license its technology in order to develop their own products and services
Thermo Fisher Scientific’s main resources are its human resources, who include over 4,600 scientists and engineers that design, develop, and/or manufacture its products, and over 16,600 customer service workers.
It maintains important physical resources in the form of its global manufacturing facilities. Lastly, it places a high priority on its intellectual property, with over 4,000 patents.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of product revenues, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of cost of service revenues, sales/marketing, R&D, and administration.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has two revenue streams: revenues it generates from the sale of its products and revenues it obtains from the sale of services to its customers.
info: Marc Casper earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Wesleyan University and an MBA at Harvard Business School. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer and as President of Analytical Technologies at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
info: Mark P. Stevenson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and an MBA at the University of Reading. He previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Life Technologies at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
info: Peter M. Wilver earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at The Ohio State University. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Financial Operations at Thermo Fisher Scientific.
info: Stephen Williamson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of Wales. He previously served as Vice President of Financial Operations and Vice President, European Financial Operations of Thermo Fisher Scientific.
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