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Are Managed Sensory Services right for your company?

Most everyone has heard of Managed Services for IT or Financial Services in which some aspect of a company’s daily operations, functions, or processes are outsourced while the client maintains the functional oversight. Managed services can be applied to almost any business need including Sensory Evaluation.

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Before Managed Sensory Services existed, some companies operated their sensory departments, particularly their descriptive panels, using internal employees. The benefits of using employees included proximity to the Sensory Department, less cost, less time to train, as well as bringing more sensory expertise to the bench. That option, however, was not always sustainable. Employees had other primary job responsibilities, thus more time was needed to complete projects, or there was the inconvenience of higher withdrawal rates. Some companies tried to use the contract model; however, contractors working directly for the company had a maximum number of annual hours that they could work based on labor laws. This meant that just as a panel was coming up to speed, they would need to be retired and replaced. Time and money would then be spent recruiting and training new contractors on a regular basis. This also was not a sustainable option.

Since being introduced in 2009 Managed Sensory Services has provided custom-designed, contract-based programs in which all or portions of the daily operations of sensory testing are managed by Sensory Spectrum, either on the client’s site or at one of Sensory Spectrum’s offices.

Sensory Spectrum’s goal for client site services is to bring a trusted and vested interest in your company and your Sensory team’s success by having an on-site sensory team with world-class capabilities that fulfills some or all your daily descriptive, discrimination, and consumer testing needs. We provide a strategic partnership allowing your Sensory Scientists more time to focus on high priority strategic projects that will advance business goals. And our trained panels supply the quality, valid, and reliable data which provides the knowledge needed to help make confident business decisions.

Is Managed Sensory Services right for your company? Ask yourself the following questions, then review some of the solutions we can provide. In the case of any of these solutions, HR and personnel administration within the areas of recruiting, hiring, training, and maintaining employees and panelists for both client site and At-Spectrum services are handled by Sensory Spectrum and are taken off your already full plate.


Common Problems and Solutions

Does your company understand the need and benefits of Sensory Evaluation but doesn’t have the facilities or the budget to house a department internally?

Sensory Spectrum offers At-Spectrum services in which the ongoing oversight and logistical management of a specific sensory testing function is operated at one of Sensory Spectrum’s facilities in NC or NJ.

Sensory Spectrum assumes complete responsibility for test execution including facility, supplies and employees.

Some applications include:

• Descriptive panels

• Discrimination panels

• Sensory quality control/Quality assurance panels

• Consumer qualitative

• Consumer quantitative

Does your company have the basic foundations of sensory testing but wants to take the department to the next level? Do you want your Sensory Scientists to focus on strategic projects and have the day-to-day sensory testing operations taken care of without adding headcount? Do you want your Sensory Scientists to have up-to-date knowledge on methods, trends, data analysis, etc.

Does your company have the facilities for foundational sensory testing but not the headcount budget to operate it?

Along with sustainable, customized solutions, some other top advantages of Sensory Spectrum’s Managed Sensory Services include:

  • Predictable monthly and annual expenses

  • Competitive advantage with access to Sensory Spectrum’s entire team of experts

  • Program Director establishes a relationship with the client to truly understand ongoing department needs.

  • Reliable and exceptional customer service and execution

  • Proactively explores and identifies program enhancements

  • Agile to adopt to changes

  • Training at reduced cost


Laura Donovan is a Director of Managed Sensory Services, Program Management, at Sensory Spectrum, Inc. Laura oversees custom designed contract-based Managed Sensory Services at CPG company sites in which all HR, personnel administration, and logistical sensory testing operations are managed to allow client Sensory Scientists to focus on bigger, more strategic projects.

Laura previously managed US and global Sensory and Consumer Product Insight departments for foods, beverages, and cosmetics. With Laura’s passion to empathize with consumers to understand their needs and desired product and emotional experiences, together with her 25+ years of experience on the client side, allows her to naturally step into the shoes of Sensory Spectrum clients to proactively ensure the on-site programs are meeting, or exceeding, their needs and expectations. Laura’s client experiences also allow her to provide a strong ability to anticipate emerging business issues as well as offering ideas for program improvements or innovative methods.

Outside of work, Laura keeps in touch with her three successful adult children who often accuse her Labrador Retriever of being the favorite child. Along with meeting new human and dog friends while taking multiple daily walks throughout the neighborhood with her husband and fur baby, Laura enjoys walking on the nature trails and spotting all kinds of birds, reptiles, and wild animals. Laura also spends her free time reading and writing family stories as keepsakes for her children.


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