Covid tests produced to date
of company's global revenue in 10 months
As Covid-19 turned their customers’ lives upside down, Thermo Fisher built a new testing business that went from producing zero to 10M PCR tests per week in just 6 months. Within 10 months of its inception, the new testing division came to account for 25% of the company’s global revenue. How did they do it?
What Speed at Scale Looks Like
- Executive teams rallied to slice through bureaucracy, tossing out typical finance-enforced spending limits and enabling “borrowing” of hundreds of team members from across the company to enable early stages of scaling
- Built new accelerated hiring process to bring in 1,300+ new employees, doubling the division’s workforce to scale with the opportunity
- Temporarily walled off the team with a companywide message: “The Covid teams are doing something important for us and for the world. Please leave them alone to do it.”
- Acquired Mesa Biotech, a small maker of rapid testing devices, and immediately scaled up its manufacturing and commercial capabilities, increasing sales volume on those products by 10x in less than a year
- Became a leader in Covid testing worldwide, and set an ambition to achieve similar feats of scale in other areas in the years ahead
"We literally went to: A day is a week, a week is a month, a month is a quarter, and a quarter is a year. And we rebuilt all of the business planning processes on that time cycle."
Here’s how to build one.