So many of our clients have their own sensory panels or want to build their own panel, but building and managing sensory panels can be a burden on already-overworked research teams. That’s where a panel operations partner comes in, but how do you choose the right one for your organization?
Here are a few thoughts on what to look for in a sensory panel management company:
Industry Experience. For what industries does the company have panel management experience? Clearly, the panel company should have experience conducting sensory research in your product category or experience that is obviously transferable to your category.
Panel Experience. Does the company have experience in recruiting, training, managing and monitoring these panels? Some companies can manage the panel but have not recruited for it; others can manage the staffing but do not provide thorough monitoring to ensure accurate results.
Approach. Managing client-site panels is a balancing act. The panel operations partner should welcome the insight and experience of the broader project team and be flexible in their approach, while maintaining a strict adherence to protocols and principles.
Creativity. Will the panel partner be proactive in employing innovative approaches to uncovering insights in the product category.
Operations. Will the day-to-day operations be seamless and efficient? Some important considerations:
- Single point-of-contact
- Supervised by an experienced sensory researcher
- On-site panel leader
- Ongoing communication with project teams
- Community building training and exercises among panelists
- Continuous improvement initiatives
Ready to look for a panel partner company? Give us a shout!