Organon Laboratories Ltd

Company: StayinFrontCustomer: Organon Laboratories LtdSubmitted by: MCC InternationalDate: May 2003Organon Laboratories Limited competes in the £10 billion UK pharmaceuticals sector alongside over 250 rival companies. In order to compete effectively, Organon has transformed the way its field sales operation conducts its business, using a Customer Relationship Management system based on Visual Elk from vendor StayinFront, to orient its sales and marketing processes around the customer.Based in Oss, The Netherlands and formed over 75 years ago, Organon is today the largest Dutch research based pharmaceutical company and the largest pharmaceutical business unit of Akzo Nobel. The company employs in excess of 10,000 people and is active in more than 100 countries, with its own affiliates in 55. The company’s international reputation rests on its core expertise in the field of women’s health.

Some of its best-known brands in this field include Livial, Marvelon, Mercilon, Puregon, and Implanon.In the UK alone, the organization has 210 field-based sales employees responsible for marketing the company’s range of products, divided both geographically and by product portfolio.

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Understanding the Business Process

The UK pharmaceutical marketplace is information rich in comparison to many other business-to-business markets. Sales, customer and strategic planning data are all available. Companies can identify what health authorities and hospitals intend to do, as many publish their strategic plans.Product sales figures provide the vital data required for companies such as Organon to profile and understand their audience and deliver effective marketing communications programs to them.

For Organon, an effective Sales Force Automation solution was identified as an essential prerequisite for the creation of a sophisticated customer relationship management application.

Interim Electronic Territory Management

Alison Meek, Business Intelligence Manager, Organon Laboratories, states “Organon operated an Electronic Territory Management System or ETMS, which had been in place for several years. But we were facing an uphill struggle in recording – and reporting back – data to Head Office from the sales force. The existing solution faced resistance amongst the sales teams as a result of technical problems with the program, as well some antipathy towards IT in general.””We recognized the vital importance of capturing data for the organization as a whole, without which we could neither profile our customer base nor effectively communicate with them through our marketing campaigns,” she continued.

“Business intelligence of the sort we need, can only become a strategic weapon when business users are able to obtain answers, and make decisions in a timeframe consistent with the requirements of a dynamic and agile enterprise.”Organon had identified a substantial gap in its market data and from early 2000, set out to identify a way to record key customer, call and budget information. It was hoped that the new solution would improve the effectiveness of both user and management decision-making.”There is an increasing requirement to have this information to hand to enable real time decision making, right across the enterprise. The field sales teams play an essential role in data gathering,” commented Alison Meek.

Organon identified a number of key objectives it wished to attain as a result of the proposed implementation:

  • Improve levels of planning based on increasing the coverage and frequency of calls to target customers.
  • Improve the effectiveness of budget use by measuring the percentage of budget spent on targets such as doctors.
  • Get 100% of key profile data recorded for all customers visited.
  • Reduce time spent on administration.
  • Improve market research results by providing data on customers and sales activity.
  • Provide data to assist the marketing team in its communications process.

Global Players

Organon, being part of Akzo Nobel, is a global player in the pharmaceuticals market, with operations worldwide. The UK business unit reviewed several CRM systems, along with systems currently deployed throughout the group and a CRM solution already operational in its Canadian operating company.That solution was Visual Elk from one of the leading players in CRM solutions for the Pharma sector – StayinFront.Visual Elk’s architecture allows companies to rapidly configure a system to meet immediate business requirements, and then modify the solution quickly and inexpensively to adapt to changing needs.Visual Elk’s architecture consists of two distinct components, the application shell and the model.

The application shell provides the framework for enterprise-wide functions, and includes profiling; call management, segmentation, mail merge, integrated diary/calendar, and integrated report manager. The model can be configured to support an organizations’ unique processes. In addition, the model may be continually and rapidly reconfigured as a business’s requirements change. “Several factors made Visual Elk the obvious choice,” stated Alison Meek, Organon. “The prime factor being that this is a highly intuitive system, one that is easy to use.

Since we faced a degree of resistance to IT in the field, we believed that this could provide us with the ideal solution. The ability to tailor the design to our business needs, and offer a future analysis tool was also essential.”

Mapping Business Processes – Rollout

A pilot was started in July 2000, with a key element being Visual Elk’s ability to not only map the existing business processes within the organization, but to automate them. Following the pilot phase, Organon began rollout in October 2000, supported by a program of training for its field-based and Business Intelligence personnel.Alison Meek stated, “The key business driver behind the implementation was the desire to gain user acceptance because from this point all other objectives could be attained.

“Today all 210 sales staff are conversant with Visual Elk, which resides on their laptop computers. Visual Elk integrates seamlessly with the company’s other line of business applications, feeding data into its enterprise-wide data warehouse, where it can now be extracted and analyzed.”In the past, the company has experienced silos of information. Data stood in isolation, providing us with a disparate picture of the market and our customers,” continued Alison Meek.Today, the field sales team can either enter data at the end of the working day or in the field.

The use of laptops and other mobile communications solutions makes it easy for them to supply the required information to head office.

The Business Benefits

Organon is already reporting some major business benefits. An immediate improvement within the company is communication. For the first time, sales force automation has enabled Organon to track its sales and marketing efforts more effectively.The system is already being used and accepted by over 75% of the field sales team for target identification and contact planning and recording.

What began as a sales force automation project has effectively evolved into a customer relationship management solution.States Alison Meek, “The aim is to ensure that the customer does not think that there are product silos within the company. The entire sales and marketing process should have greater transparency since all data should be linked and activities tracked for effectiveness.”One objective is already being attained. Acceptance of the Visual Elk system is high amongst users and the goal of securing 100% of sales staff using the system has already reached 75% within six months. For Organon this is vital in its quest to secure improved data accuracy.

Two key factors have affected user attitudes; firstly, the ease of use of the system, and secondly, a dedicated Help Desk facility based at StayinFront’s Uxbridge offices.

Key factors for success

A number of key factors for success have been identified by Organon following implementation. These include:Sales force automation is enabling Organon to track its sales and marketing efforts more effectively using Visual Elk.Critical success factors for the project were defined around improved customer communication, knowledge transfer and better co-ordination of sales forces.A working group of end users and managers identified the needs of the sales force, planning information requirements.

Visual Elk was piloted before rollout, leading to a number of critical changes. Visual Elk’s unique mapping capability will enable Organon to avoid what StayinFront terms ‘technology drag’.Training was carried out at team level thereby ensuring user buy-in.


With Visual Elk now rolling out throughout Organon Labs UK, plans for future deployment are already being considered.”One of the key business drivers behind the adoption of new applications is our IT department, which is keen to explore the opportunities presented to us with Palm based devices,” continued Alison Meek.

“There is a well founded belief that by adopting smaller units we can further increase compliance amongst the field sales teams. I am sure that given the choice of a laptop or a PDA our sales teams would opt for the PDA”The ability to analyze call data alongside sales data within the same environment is fundamental to measuring ROI. Panorama will enable us to do this, and we are now considering developing in this direction.StayinFront’s Pocket Elk, which fully integrates with corporate Visual Elk, is designed for mobile business professionals such as Organon’s remote field sales force – who may not have access to laptop or desktop computers and it delivers a wide range of capabilities. This includes sales and field force automation, customer management, order entry, merchandising, customer service, and sample tracking to users of handheld personal computers (HPCs) and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).Panorama is a powerful data analysis and decision support tool specifically designed by StayinFront for non-technical users.

Through the use of intuitive Drag, Drop and Drill technology, Panorama can be used to quickly and easily analyze sales, marketing and financial information from any ODBC database. Panorama can be delivered as a Windows application or through a browser, via the Web.