Biotech sees improved data quality and insights into commercial operations after switching to cloud-based commercial data management solution, STRATA
A global biotech company dedicated to improving patient lives by offering alternatives to biologic medicines in oncology, ophthalmology, and other fields.
Developing biosimilar medicines is not just a business, it’s a mission. Safe, effective, and affordable alternatives to brand-name therapies can make a world of difference to patients and healthcare providers alike. But biotech companies must be adept at bringing products to market—both maximizing access to lifesaving treatments and recouping their R&D investments.
This biotech company recently introduced a biosimilar that helps prevent infections in people undergoing chemotherapy. It sells to healthcare providers, including inpatient and outpatient departments, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), and group purchasing organizations (GPOs). That makes for a complex account hierarchy—a challenge the company struggled to master during its first year of commercialization.
“Our sales data wasn’t lining up,” says the senior director of commercial operations. “We didn’t have visibility into how much we were selling at the individual account and territory levels—and there were serious data quality issues.”
The company’s commercial efforts were stymied by duplications and inaccuracies in the data, due to a master data management (MDM) solution that couldn’t accommodate the complicated relationships among accounts. For instance, the company might have a contract with a GPO representing several hospitals and departments across multiple territories. Those same hospitals could show up in other contracts, either through a direct sale or as part of an IDN. This led to mistakes in sales compensation and made it difficult for commercial leaders to make decisions about sales strategy.
“We have 125 sales reps in the field. Not only do we need to pay them correctly, we need to give them effective marching orders,” says the senior director of commercial operations. “To determine which accounts to target and how to capture more market share, we need a reliable, single source of truth with a clear view of sales penetration into each account.”
A year after bringing its oncologic biosimilar to market, the company switched from its previous data management platform to STRATA, a cloud-based, integrated commercial data solution from Acorn AI, a Medidata company. The STRATA solution provides a clean, accurate view of commercial activity at every level, making it easy to see how much product the company moves and where. “STRATA delivers full visibility into our commercial operations, allowing us to analyze market share, identify target accounts, and better understand our customers,” says the senior director of commercial operations. “It has completely changed the way we make decisions and makes us more effective at communicating our strategy and performance.” STRATA was configured with specific business rules to map the company’s complex hierarchy of customer accounts and the Command Center feature was implemented to allow the company to audit and adjust the data. Through a single front-end interface, the Command Center feature provides visibility and operational control over data—with diagnostics, user management, and the ability to upload large files. Where commercial leaders could see only total sales numbers in the past, they can now track, analyze, and report on sales at the account and territory levels. Thanks to a seamless integration with the company’s CRM and the third-party logistics (3PL) system, STRATA keeps accounts, sales activity, invoicing, and inventory aligned—without the slow, inconsistent data refreshes that caused data quality problems in the past.
SMARTER DECISION-MAKING AND MORE ACCURATE SALES COMPENSATION
With the flexible, reliable STRATA solution for MDM and sales incentive compensation, the biotech company solved a laundry list of 13 challenges related to account duplication, poor data quality, and overall system performance and reliability. Not only can commercial leaders make smarter decisions about sales strategy and better communicate their plan to investors, sales reps can execute on the plan more effectively.
“Reps in the field now have the intel to prepare for customer meetings properly,” says the senior director of commercial operations. “Walking into meetings with accurate numbers and contract details, they’re much better positioned for negotiations.”
It’s also good for the small team of four people responsible for managing the data. With help from Acorn’s manual data stewardship service, the team can keep account data clean with much less work. “We eliminated thousands of duplicate accounts with STRATA,” says the senior director of commercial operations. “The solution alleviates a huge burden for team members, who used to spend a good portion of their time tracking down account information and correcting the data.”
As the biotech company looks to launch new compounds in the coming year, STRATA provides a solid foundation that will help make their commercial efforts successful from day one. And the company has full confidence in STRATA’s ability to support its needs.
“Thanks to extensive industry expertise and proactive support from our local team, we see Acorn AI as a partner, not just a vendor,” says the senior director of commercial operations.