Insights from industry

Discussing Market Expansion and Business Strategy with PerkinElmer

insights from industryDirk Bontridder & John LuckCEO & CCOPerkinElmer

In this interview AZoM speaks with John Luck, Chief Commercial Officer for PerkinElmer, and Dirk Bontridder, Chief Executive Officer for PerkinElmer. They discuss the acquisition, market expansion and future business strategies for the new PerkinElmer.

Please could you introduce yourself and your role at PerkinElmer?

My name is John Luck and I'm the Chief Commercial Officer for PerkinElmer. Recently we divided the company into four different operating business units under the LEAP structure (Leading with Entrepreneurship and Accountability for PerkinElmer). I now have global responsibility for the analytical instruments and customer enablement business. It's the legacy PerkinElmer piece, all of our analytical instruments, and then the services consumables that go along with those. 

With your extensive experience in the healthcare and diagnostic sectors, how do you view the strategic direction of the new PerkinElmer business post-acquisition now by New Mountain Capital?

It brought a really critical focus to that legacy PerkinElmer business. When we were part of the older PerkinElmer company, it was mixed in with the newborn screening business and cellular imaging, preclinical screening, diluting the focus needed for this business. Ever since the divestiture we have strengthened our foundation, and focused on the fundamentals of the business, meaning delivering our products in a timely manner at a high quality with competitive value. And now that we have reset that foundation, we have a very healthy pipeline of innovation that we're looking forward to launching out to the markets and our customers.

Market expansion is a key aspect of any business strategy. From your perspective, what markets or sectors hold the most promise for the new business?

In terms of traditional market expansion there, and you will see it here at Pittcon, there is a tremendous focus on battery technology. Everybody used to offshore a lot of the components for semiconductors, whereas the global economy has changed and we're seeing that trend now reverse with a lot of onshoring of the semiconductor industry. So, enabling countries to build the infrastructure and bring those capabilities back onshore is another massive trend. We have taken our offering and capabilities and expanded ourselves to cover the whole battery lifecycle when it comes to battery technology. Additionally, the environmental trends that we're seeing with PFAS and microplastics are also expanding.

Image Credit: JLStock/Shutterstock.com

So collaboration and partnerships can unlock new opportunities. What types of partnerships do you think will be most beneficial for the new business to pursue?

The partnership with the customer is always going to be the most important. Beyond that, we also have to partner with the industry as a whole and along with our customers, our partnership with regulatory agencies, who are looking at regulatory requirements to address different issues around food safety. Partnering with those regulatory agencies is absolutely crucial for us. We have a very strong history of helping those agencies understand the science and set those standards. It is an obligation as a community member to advocate for the science that goes into those regulations.

Given the focus on digital transformation across industries, how do digital technologies play a role in the new business strategy?

It comes down to customer enablement and the customer experience. When we think about how we're going to digitally transform ourselves in the future, having customers have access to the very best in terms of training, method development, and maintaining the uptime for their instruments are all areas that are ripe for digital transformation. Where the customers can engage with us on an as-needed basis to ensure that they get the very most out of their equipment and that they can carry on whatever their goals and mission is as a company. And we have the ability, we actually have a huge amount of knowledge base so now what we have to do is enable that in a digital platform so that it doesn't require a one-to-one interaction, but it can be there 24/7 regardless of where a customer may be located.

With a career that spans various roles and companies, what lessons have you learned that you think will be the most valuable in shaping the future of the new PerkinElmer business?

That if you have good people who are passionate about their mission and produce high quality products, that is the greatest service you can provide for your customers. That as long as you continue to be a value added partner for these customers, the rest will take care of business.

The PerkinElmer booth at Pittcon 2024 in San Diego, USA. Image Credit: AZoNetwork

Please could you introduce yourself and your role at PerkinElmer?

My name is Dirk Bontridder, and I've been the CEO of PerkinElmer for about a year now. I'm European, based in Belgium. I have quite some experience in the laboratory space and I love the healthcare sector a lot because it's a sector where you can make a difference for people, you can make a difference for society, where you truly can do good for the world. And if I can do that through science and a company like PerkinElmer with fantastic science, that's what is really driving it.

So as CEO, what are your top priorities for the new PerkinElmer business to ensure its growth and success under the new ownership?

Well, we have been on our own for about a year as an independent company. The first thing we have done is lay solid foundations to grow. So therefore, what we have done is created multiple work streams in which we are putting these foundations in place. One of them is the organizational design of the company. We made it more simple, we made it more organized, and we made it more focused. That's why we created five global business lines. These are Analytical Solutions, OneSource for R&D Labs in biopharma, Food Solutions, Environmental Solutions, and Pharmaceutical QA/QC. The other area we drive for is innovation. Innovation in our instrumentation, software, and connectivity of our instruments is critical.

Image Credit: Pavel Chagochkin/Shutterstock.com

You spoke about innovation and we know it's a cornerstone of PerkinElmer's legacy. Are there any innovative strategies or technologies that the business is going to focus on to stay ahead of the market within innovation?

Of course. Well, innovation is everything in our sector. For example, with PFAS, the regulations are getting more stringent, and the sensitivities of detections are going to decrease. So you have to innovate for that, and you have to make your instruments ready, but you have to make sure that the data that the instrument is filling out is actually also being used properly in the environments of your customers.

Another innovation, and I believe we have a unique service, is our OneSource Laboratory Services business. What it actually does is give scientific hours back to laboratories. A lot of instrumentation is very complicated - it needs to be connected, calibrated, regulated, people need to be trained, et cetera. OneSource provides a complete suite of solutions that allows technicians and R&D people in pharma companies to do their job properly and focus on the development of their drugs. 

Image Credit: AZoNetwork

Sustainability and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important in business strategies. How is the new PerkinElmer business going to incorporate these aspects into operations and product developments?

We have a product review board and one of the updates that came from the review board is that we have instruments where we took out the chiller and put in an external cooling engine, which is consuming less than 10 times the energy and not heating up the room so the user also saves on air conditioning, for example. We are trying to develop our instruments consuming much less gas, specifically toxic gases. We're also working to try and minimize plastics.

Another area where we work on an Environment Social Governance (ESG) solution, is transportation. In the past, a lot of PerkinElmer instruments were done by air freight. We are shifting this to a large extent to ocean freight, which is much more environmentally friendly. This required a change to the company, where we've built up a bit more stock and organized our logistics better in order to supply instruments to customers. Not only that, ESG is also about the equality of people. It's about creating an environment where people feel good and can progress themselves. Of course, with the carve-out, it's taking some time before we get our accreditations back, but we are planning to get back to the framework of the United Nations. 

What role will the new PerkinElmer business play in the global scientific community in the coming years?

A lot. We work with a lot of academia and governments together. We are constantly looking for new technologies that can improve our instruments and innovations. We have consultants and engineers who diagnose pharma laboratories so that we can create and implement custom solutions and help the R&D Lab to do more with less. That is an important driver for our investment in the scientific community over the coming years.

Customer needs are constantly changing. How do you think the new PerkinElmer business is going to stay responsive and relevant to customer demands?

Listening to your customer is critical and continuing to spot innovations is very important. So a company needs to be adaptable, needs to be agile in what it does in the world, and that's what the new PerkinElmer is doing. And again, we can do it even better because we are a standalone company now. And because we are a standalone company, we're not just a seat at the big board anymore. 

 

About Dirk Bontridder

Dirk Bontridder works at the forefront of healthcare technology as the Chief Executive Officer of PerkinElmer. With a career spanning over two decades, Dirk has become synonymous with strategic business leadership, entrepreneurial innovation, and the transformative power of building sustainable, collaborative customer relationships. Dirk was educated at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel from 1990 to 1995, where he earned a Master's in Computer Science, focusing on Information Technology. He furthered his education at the prestigious Vlerick Business School, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Administration and Management General from 1998 to 2000. 

Dirk started as a Software Engineer at Olivetti from 1995 to 1998. He then worked at McKinsey & Company, where he served as a Management Consultant focusing on strategy, logistics, high-tech, and banking from 1999 to 2004. As Director at PSA Hesse-Noord Natie, he focused on operational development and innovation management. He then spearheaded software solutions for container terminal automation as Managing Director of Cosmos. His entrepreneurial spirit and leadership were further evident during his tenure at Nova Hesse Stevedoring (NHS) as General Manager, where he was instrumental in managing conventional cargo stevedoring with a global outreach. As a Group Holdings Board Member and Strategic Committee member at Eurofins Scientific, Dirk played a critical role in steering the company towards unprecedented growth in the analytical testing services sector, cementing its status as a global leader in food, environment, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics product testing.

In March 2023, Dirk took the helm as Chief Executive Officer of PerkinElmer, where he applied his deep expertise in healthcare technology, biopharma, and food sectors. His leadership is characterized by a strong entrepreneurial background, solid financial management, and a visionary approach to building and growing businesses. Dirk's strategic acumen and dedication to fostering a culture of collaboration, training, and loyalty among employees has been pivotal in exceeding corporate goals and advancing the company's mission in healthcare technology and services.

About John Luck 

John Luck currently serves as the Chief Commercial Officer at PerkinElmer Inc., a global leader in the analytical and enterprise management sectors. With a deep-seated passion for innovation and excellence, John has dedicated over two decades to the field of scientific instrumentation and technology, significantly impacting sectors ranging from diagnostics and life sciences to food safety and environmental monitoring. He graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, minoring in Inorganic Chemistry and Mathematics. He then went to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he honed his skills in Corporate Finance from 2010 to 2012, blending his scientific expertise with acute financial acumen. 

John's career began at PPG Industries, where he spent eight years in various roles, including Senior Sales Executive for APAC & LATAM and Product Marketing Manager. Transitioning to Thermo Fisher Scientific, John began as Regional Sales Manager and eventually became Director of Americas Process Instrument Sales. Significant achievements in sales channel management, corporate strategy, and non-organic growth initiatives across North America marked his tenure at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

In 2015, John joined PerkinElmer Inc., where he has since played a pivotal role in transforming the company's commercial strategies. Starting as Sr. Director of Sales for Analytical Solutions, he quickly demonstrated his leadership and vision, eventually becoming the Vice President and General Manager for the Americas. In these roles, he led the sales, service, marketing, and revenue operations across diverse markets, including diagnostics, life science, and applied markets.

As Chief Commercial Officer since September 2022, John now oversees a team of 3000 commercial employees, demonstrating global responsibility for sales service, marketing, and customer operations. His leadership is characterized by a commitment to leveraging diversity and delivering comprehensive solutions to meet the intricate needs of customers in academic, applied food, environmental, and bio/pharma sectors.


 

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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