Shifting Supplier Space

Size affects strategy

The life science supply market is segregating into supermarket companies providing a broad range of reagents and consumables, players combining instrumentation and reagents in multiple well-defined application niches, and smaller companies occupying a single niche. For the large and mid-sized companies, it appears that growing ever larger is a prerequisite to remaining competitive. For the smaller niche players, product branding - as opposed to company branding - appears to be key.

"If you want to be a supermarket company, size is important," said Richard Cumming, vice president of marketing for laboratory products at Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Ltd. (Uppsala, Sweden). "And there certainly is a theme in terms of consolidation in the market - it's a reflection of the way things are moving."