Letter from the Editor

Contributed by:

Taren Grom, Editor

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

PUBLISHER Lisa Banket EDITOR Taren Grom CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marah Walsh DIRECTOR OF SALES Darlene Kwiatkowski CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Virginia Kirk Denise Myshko Elisabeth Pena Kim Ribbink Deborah Ruriani Lynda Sears Copyright 2002 by PharmaLinx LLC, Titusville, NJ Printed in the U.S.A. Volume Two, Number Five PharmaVOICE is published eight times per year by PharmaLinx LLC, P.O.Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Postmaster: Send address changes to PharmaVoice, P.O. Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. PharmaVOICECoverage and Distribution: Domestic subscriptions are available at $106 for one year (8 issues). Foreign subscriptions: 8 issues US$220. Contact PharmaVoice at P.O. Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Call us at 609.730.0196 or FAX your order to 609.730.0197. Contributions: PharmaVOICE is not responsible for unsolicited contributions of any type. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, PharmaVOICE retains all rights on material published in PharmaVOICE for a period of six months after publication and reprint rights after that period expires. Email: tgrom@pharmalinx.com. Change of address: Please allowsixweeks for achange of address. Send your new address along with your sub scription label to PharmaVOICE, P.O. Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560. Call us at 609.730.0196 or FAX your change to 609.730.0197. Email: mwalsh@pharmalinx.com. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The post office will not forward copies of this magazine. PharmaVOICE is not respon sible for replacing undelivered copies due to lack of or late notification of address change. Advertising in PharmaVOICE: To advertise in Pharma VOICEplease contact our Advertising Department at P.O.Box 327, Titusville, NJ 08560, or telephone us at 609.730.0196. Email: lbanket@pharmalinx.com. www.pharmalinx.com THE FORUM FOR THE INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE Volume 2 . Number 5 Send your letters to feedback@pharma linx.com. Please include your name, title, company, and business phone number. Let ters chosen for publication may be edited for length and clarity. All submissions become the property of PharmaLinx LLC.

Letters

Customer relationship management — what does it actually mean? Depending upon the organization, this business strategy can have multiple connotations. At its very core, a CRM philosophy mandates that a company shift all thinking and processes to transform itself from product focused to customer centric. CRM can help companies increase profits and sales by better understanding who their customers are, which ones are driving the greatest profits, what their highvalue customers want, and how to sat isfy them. This fundamental change within the life sciences industry would mean significant organizational restructuring. Pharmaceuti cal companies are typically formed around silos — brands, therapeutic categories, divi sions, etc. CRM would mandate that com panies begin to implement horizontal busi ness structures, processes, and systems across their vertical holdings. All agree that this realignment will not be easy, in fact, it may be impossible to implement enterprise wide, but industry experts say pharmaceuti cal companies have to begin to share data, learnings, and processes to better serve and identify their core customer groups. Recent technological advances can help to make this transition easier. However, CRM should not be viewed as an IT initia tive, but rather as a business strategy that must be embraced at all levels of the orga nization — starting in the boardroom down through the call center. According to a recent research poll con ducted by HarteHanks Inc., onethird of top executives, representing a crosssection of vertical industries, currently implement a CRM strategy. More than four out of five companies implementing and building CRM solutions rely on the support of exter nal software providers or consultants to help move the companies to customercentricity. Seventytwo percent of those polled expect to invest a minimum of one year’s time into the development of a CRM process, with 36% reporting that their initial efforts already have been completed. With a vast portion of the business world planning to implement — or already implementing — a CRM strategy, it’s not a question of whether the pharmaceutical industry must follow suit, but how soon. CRM requires a customercentric busi ness philosophy and a commitment to sup port effective marketing, sales, and service processes across direct and indirect cus tomer interaction channels, or touch points. The pharmaceutical business model is com plex and requires sophisticated models and processes to integrate the multitude of cus tomer touch points within an organization. Pharmaceutical companies are very good at identifying and communicating with physicians from the salesrep level. Physi cians, however, are more than just pre scribers. They can, and do, have many dis parate roles, from clinical investigator to thoughtleader to spokesperson. Physicians are not the only customer a pharmaceutical company relies on for data. In the pharmaceutical industry, CRM requires the capture of data within all chan nels and with all stakeholders, including, but not limited to, healthcare professionals, patients, medical researchers, wholesalers, pharmacists, payers, patients — virtually anyone involved in the process. The challenge for pharmaceutical com panies is to link all of these different touch points in one customer record to drive growth through customer loyalty, persistency, and compliance. Taren Grom Editor C CRM requires the cooperation of all stake holders within anorganization for thecapture and analytic use of data to be successful. 3 PharmaVOICE J u l y / Au g u s t 2 0 02

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