Posted by  Hugh Cox  Published on  1 May 2015
  • Data Strategy

In my previous post, Will Merger-Mania Create New Era of Data-Driven Innovation for Pharmaceuticals? I looked that the recent rash of M&As in the pharma industry, and the opportunity that the industry is missing out on by not properly consolidating and cleansing its data.

In this post, I wanted to provide 5 tips for quick data wins during mergers and acquisitions, focused on the pharma sector.

My first piece of advice to the leadership team of any company undertaking a merger or acquisition is to focus on quickly creating value from the massive volume of data that is sitting in disparate systems, i.e. customer relationship management, clinical trial databases, patient medical records, physician communities and much more.

By getting a grip on this data you’ll be able to achieve a full, holistic view of your business reality, across both companies, and will be able to start to truly put data at the heart of your M&A.

The first goal here is to establish a data task force consisting of senior business and IT leaders from the two companies and all relevant internal organizations.

The main role and responsibility of the task force is to work collaboratively across the companies to identify, prioritize and manage the exploitation of data to support short- and long-term business goals. Only then should decisions be made on employee and IT system rationalization.

Here are five quick data wins the task force should consider implementing as soon as possible. In doing so, stakeholders including employees, customers and shareholders will be assured of the benefits of a consolidating industry. The fruits will be seen in the creation of not just innovative business and operating models for companies, but much needed drugs to tackle diseases:

  • Improve Employee Productivity: Understand your new enlarged workforce in order to deploy employees onto high value, data-driven innovation projects;
  • Increase Profitability: Find quick savings in a matter of weeks by obtaining a single, consolidated view of key suppliers and spending across high expenditure categories;
  • Strengthen Customer Loyalty: Create a unified picture of all customers including history of accounts in order to reduce typical churn associated with merging sales organisations;
  • Mitigate Supply Chain Risks: Understand your risk profile by visualizing potential supply chain risks such as which companies could go out of business tomorrow;
  • Reduce R&D Costs: Accelerate the time to market of new drugs by making relevant data available to communities of scientists in a collaborative online environment, ensuring open innovation.

These tips can be used throughout any M&A, as data forms the lifeblood of any successful organization – placing data at the heart of your business decisions, you can mitigate risk, as well as put in place strong plans for growth.

How do you think data will impact the pharma industry in particular? I would love to hear your thoughts, please don't hesitate to get in touch!