Member Spotlight: Q&A with MarathonLS

Jun 01, 2023

Every month, MassBio spotlights a member company and the great work they’re doing to advance the life sciences industry and support the patients we serve. For June, we spoke with MarathonLS CEO Rob MacDougall. Rob founded Marathon Life Sciences in 2018 after working in the life science and pharmaceutical industries for over 20 years. Rob’s experience and knowledge in product distribution, service management and business development allows him to lead a team of passionate, creative individuals eager to make the jobs of laboratory professionals more concentrated and improve the lives of patients.

Tell us about your organization, its mission, and current initiatives

MarathonLS is a Boston-based laboratory operations support partner enabling the race for innovation. We do this by offering our customers tailored solutions through our lab equipment service, vendor managed inventory (VMI) program and software, and a vast portfolio of plastic lab consumables and equipment.

We understand the critical work being conducted in labs and we are committed to ensuring that these labs are never disrupted due to equipment breakdowns and supply chain challenges. MarathonLS is focused on providing our customers peace of mind through our 24-hour response time, in-stock products, and transparency and clear communication. We are continuously innovating to deliver solutions to our customers to address unmet needs in the marketplace. MarathonLS is able to offer your lab customizable support to ensure your lab is running efficiently at all times.

How does your organization’s activities help patients now and into the future?

MarathonLS ensures labs do not miss a step in their race for innovation. Marathon understands that critical research and innovation is being conducted by our customers and so it is our mission is to ensure these laboratories are always running efficiently. Marathon’s service team regularly performs preventative maintenance on lab equipment and educates lab professionals on the importance of equipment upkeep to mitigate disruptions throughout research. They also maintain the fastest response time in the industry on emergency repair requests to further ensure these disruptions do not occur. Marathon’s newest initiative, Marathon Pacer, is a full-service vendor managed inventory program that works alongside lab operations teams to streamline procurement through on-site and off-site support, software and brand agnostic product offerings. Pacer customers have not had a single product stockout since implementing Pacer.

Marathon is backed by a team of individuals who are agile and flexible to adapt to a dynamic industry that literally save lives. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the life sciences industry today?

Prioritization of resources. With so much opportunity on the horizon, prioritizing resources such as personnel, equipment, funding, and time in a biotech lab is extremely complex and difficult. Because all of the work biotech labs do is critical to patient wellbeing, it is hard to prioritize resources based on importance. In other industries, it is easier to assign more resources to high-priority projects and fewer resources to lower-priority project, but what do you do when these projects are all priorities?

What’s next for your organization / what are you focused on in the coming year?

MarathonLS is in a phase of innovation and rapid development. We have introduced several programs to holistically serve our customers with lab products, asset management and inventory control. The newest introduction to Marathon’s offerings has been Marathon Pacer which is our tailored vendor managed inventory (VMI) solution, which provides transparency, flexibility and predictability. It also aligns with the objectives of all key stakeholders including: operations teams, scientists and finance teams. Within the next few months, Marathon will be introducing a portfolio of lab equipment and is committed to transitioning our portfolio of consumables to be made in the USA with over 70% already transitioned. We are constantly listening to the feedback of our customers and recognizing gaps in the market. From these insights, we are continuously building solutions to make it easier for scientists to conduct their work.

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