“It was a perfect match because they process all of the plasma samples that we would ship. So, we draw the blood from the subjects, we process those samples, [and] those samples then were getting shipped to Delaware. And Delaware saw that and opened up the communication and said, ‘Why don’t we become a big CRO? Let’s offer more than just processing and drawing of samples and bile analysis. Let’s get all of the other bells and whistles that clients need,’” Bourg says.
QPS now has sites in India, Austria, China, Taiwan and the Netherlands and in multiple cities in the United States. Globally, QPS employs more than 2,500 people. QPS Missouri has more than 100 employees in Springfield and a 30,000-square-foot research facility with 240 beds. Recently, the company leased a second building, this one at 11,000 square feet.
Bourg says some of the research participants have been working with QPS Missouri since the company’s early days. “Some have been doing studies for 20 years,” he says. “They trust us, and we trust them. That’s why we continue to keep our business here in Springfield.”
Bourg considers classic Ozarks values, like trust, a fundamental part of QPS Missouri’s culture. “If a client calls me, and asks me a question about a certain product, certain drug or certain way to run a study, my answer would be a free answer,” says Bourg. This attitude is part of cultivating the relationship, he says, and it often pays off in future business.
But even as QPS Missouri remains deeply rooted in 417-land, it’s part of a global organization, and that scope requires a great deal of flexibility. “You have to be ready at a moment’s notice for a phone call at 2 a.m. because you’re talking to someone in China, and you have to have people on the ground in those countries,” he says. “You cannot grow if you’re not on board with them and their time zone. You have to be incredibly flexible.”