Successful medical device companies use CRM and KM
7 June 2006
London. A new strategy review from healthcare consultancy
HBS Consulting concludes that poor information and cumbersome processes can
seriously hamper the sales and service operations of medical device
companies. The report, Customer Relationship Strategies in the Medical
Device Industry — The Role of CRM and Knowledge Management, shows how
the winners in this field are implementing systems and strategies that give
them a clear competitive advantage in many key areas.
the dynamics of purchasing are changing dramatically. Clinical efficacy is
no longer the sole driver of choice. Increasingly, pricing, as well as the
need to meet guidelines and conform to protocols, hold sway. Clinicians no
longer keep the keys to the coffers. The new gatekeepers are administrators
and committees that manage purchasing agreements and heed the organisational
needs of national healthcare systems.
New realities must be met with new
strategies. In this case, the twin
disciplines of customer relationship management (CRM) and knowledge
management (KM). The HBS Strategy Review shows, in detail, how the most
successful companies are implementing new CRM strategies to leverage their
knowledge and customer relationships.
For many companies the knowledge
they need exists within their business. What they lack are the resources to
capture it, manage it and capitalise on it. Leading companies, such as
Siemens, have put in place systems that seek to detect new trends in
customer preference and purchasing habits. Powerful analytics of this kind
can only become a reality when data is warehoused in a central repository to
which all parts of the organisation contribute. When all the business units
who need it have access to this information, in real time, the benefits
begin to accrue dramatically.
Such competitive advantages, the report
shows, are not just a matter of software and systems. It details the changes
in corporate culture that are required to take full advantage of CRM and KM.
The report also places emphasis on methods of identifying the barriers
within the enterprise, which prevent the adoption of appropriate strategies.
It stresses that improving knowledge and relationship management requires a
'champion' of the process who acts upon a clear and direct vision, based on
goals that can generate a visible return on investment.
The bottom line
for the companies who get it right is the ability to deliver an improved
customer experience, to accelerate innovation, to predict the course of
change, to drive down costs and to increase revenue.