November 16, 2017

TGaS Summit Analyzes Healthcare, Pharma Operations Trends

November 16, 2017. E. Norriton, Penn. The TGaS® Advisors 2017 Fall Summit, “Becoming Indispensable Business Partners,” brought together 180 clients representing more than 50 companies, the largest Summit in TGaS history and what may be one of the largest ever gatherings of commercial operations executives in the biopharma industry. The day-long invitation-only event, held recently at the Philadelphia Marriott, featured breakout sessions in the firm’s client solutions: Executive Commercial Operations, Commercial Analytics & Insights, Digital and Multichannel Marketing, Field Operations, Incentive Compensation, Learning & Development, Market Access & Reimbursement/Pricing & Contract Management, Marketing Operations and Medical/Regulatory/Legal. 

Health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn led off with a discussion of “The Evolving Landscape for Healthcare Consumers, with Implications for Pharma and Life Science Companies.” Sarasohn-Kahn is an advisor to organizations at the intersection of health, technology and people and founder of HealthcareDIY, a consumer health portal, THINK-Health and the Health Populi blog, 

Breakout session highlights: 

Executive Commercial OperationsThe group discussed the future of supporting both the sales and marketing initiatives as the impact of digital health creates challenges and opportunities. One leader presented on how “best in class” commercial operation teams are “indispensable business partners” by making sure they have an equal seat at the table within their organization. Vendor Management Best Practices were shared, including leveraging a strong collaboration with procurement to grow and establish strong partnerships with vendors. 

Commercial Analytics & Insights: Leaders representing small, mid-tier and large companies focused on the continuing evolution occurring within this discipline. Although a key challenge cited by most attendees is recruiting top analytical talent, leaders cited the growing competition for all skills. The group engaged in lively debates on organizations being data-driven or intuition-driven, and how some organizations are merging sales and marketing analytics in order to achieve a truly unified analytical voice.    

Digital & Multichannel Marketing: Leaders of Digital Centers of Excellence (DCOE) spoke about planned changes for the year ahead and successes thus far in 2017. Their roles continue to evolve as they focus more on becoming indispensable business partners, drive future-forward analytics strategies and embrace micro-targeting, data integration and content optimization.

Field Operations: Field Operations leaders shared their experiences, discussing challenges with Field Reporting, Alignment of Sales and Brand Analytics, Future Issues and Creating Strategic Partner Relationships with Vendors. Participants explored common issues, shared best practices and identified practical solutions they could leverage. 

Incentive Compensation (IC): The Incentive Compensation breakout session discussed “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” of incentive compensation adjustments. IC network members shared best practices on how their respective companies handled IC adjustments in response to recent natural disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and California. The afternoon session focused on how companies can generate and maintain enthusiasm for incentive compensation plans throughout the year by treating plans like marketing campaigns.

Learning and Development: Participants explored the world of online simulations and how these can be leveraged to elevate the training experience. The group also examined current trends in leadership development and key account management and discussed future-focused solutions.

Market AccessPricing and Contract Management: TGaS presented top-line Future Issues of Market Access, evolving into a discussion on policies and risks of value-based contracting.  Analytics, including developing strategies to fill data gaps, creating meaningful analogs, aligning and defining the “true value” of contracts across stakeholders and measuring incentive compensation, were key topics. Better ways of structuring contract negotiation teams, managing transparency reporting responsibilities and tracking contract offers were also discussed. 

Marketing Operations: Top Ten Marketing Operations Industry Trends were reviewed, followed by deeper dives on agency management, speaker program trends and innovation, agency optimization and decoupling and label update management. Over 20 hot topics submitted by attendees were also discussed. Participants commented on such topics as benefiting from a broadened perspective and coverage of Marketing Operations functional needs, constant networking and best practices.

Medical/Regulatory/Legal: The MRL Summit highlighted opportunities companies explored to achieve transformational change in their MRL review capability. These included assessing the scope of materials for review, level of review, length of approval, greater process efficiencies and metrics that drive accountability. About 75% of participating companies have or will implement changes they anticipate will lead to significant business impact, including speed of review and cost savings.   

About TGaS Advisors 

TGaS Advisors is the leading benchmarking and advisory services firm for commercial organizations in the life sciences industry. With a roster of top 50, emerging and precommercial life sciences companies, TGaS provides robust comparative intelligence and collaborative network membership services. The team includes more than 60 experienced professionals, most with senior-level experience in the life sciences and related industries.