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Francesco De Rosa, with vast experience from the international pharma industry at various prominent positions within sales, brand and business managing, gives the background to one of his first experiences with Opticom International Research: “At the time, I had taken over a very important Pfizer brand with a five-year legacy of declining market shares and I needed to get a 360 degree understanding of the decision-making process within the growth hormone therapy area” he explains and continues: “My scope was clear: bend the trend!”.

To gain this crucial understanding, Francesco turned to Opticom, a company which had previously delivered very good and useful results in projects for another pharmaceutical brand he had worked with. In the project of close co-operation that followed, Opticom conducted about 100 qualitative interviews with parents, paediatricians, and nurses to understand their different needs and reasoning within this therapy area.

The research discovered many “leaks” that delayed children’s access to treatment as well as large regional differences. Based on Opticom’s comprehensive analysis of the patient journey and treatment rationales, Francesco was able to change his company’s strategy, including a relocation of resources, better aligned to the customer landscape, as well as to improve communication around the value of treatment. In addition, the team could optimize its different support tools to physicians, nurses and parents, in order to facilitate earlier diagnose and better compliance.

Furthermore, Francesco and his colleagues came up with an improved treatment device to deal with an issue rated very important among respondents in the survey: Ease-of-use.

He describes the direct impact of this new, very valuable market knowledge: “Thanks to the new insights we designed a new device for the treatment of growth hormones deficiencies among children in order to meet the single most important factor in the choice of treatment: Easy-of-use of the device. This resulted in a patent available in more than 100 countries worldwide”.

As a result of the new strategy, the brand soon turned decline into growth and has been continuing this positive development ever since.

According to Francesco, the generation of updated customer insights is key to their business. Understanding both traditional and non-traditional stakeholders, their needs, as well as the patient journey and the decision-making process is fundamental in forming a successful business strategy.

In these situations you need a consulting company with a strong focus on quality, and with a thorough process for both research as well as analysis that delivers real and actionable results. That is where Opticom comes in as a very valuable partner with the staff’s vast knowledge and experience of the pharma industry:  “They are methodical in their understanding of customer needs and in making sure that the setup of the project, from the very start to result implementation, is consistent and with a great focus on details and delivery” says Francesco, who would definitely engage Opticom again to gain strategic insights and/or to facilitate optimized communication.

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munksjo

Munksjö has the aim to be a global leader in high-quality specialty papers, providing customers with a unique product offering for a large number of industrial applications and consumer-driven products. In developing its strategy and business planning, customers’ experiences and input are extremely important in order to ensure decisions are taken that really are of value to Munksjö’s customers and which will result in a more favourable competitive position for the company.

Jan Åström, President and CEO, Munksjö Oyj

“Customer focus is key to succeed in the process of reshaping ourselves following the merger with Ahlstrom’s Label and Processing business,” says Jan Åström, President and CEO of Munksjö Oyj. “At the end of the day, our customers are those who pay our salaries. Their evolving needs and challenges, as well as our competition, mean that we must continue to improve if we want to stay ahead.”

To involve customers in this open dialogue about Munksjö’s current performance and future position, Opticom was engaged to develop a plan and design a model for gathering and analysing customer input and measuring customer satisfaction. A global, company-wide survey was conducted covering all business areas: Decor, Release Liners, Industrial Applications as well as Graphics and Packaging. Customers provided positive feedback and highlighted clear strengths, as well as suggestions on where improvements could be made and how they would like Munksjö to develop.

To further increase internal motivation and commitment, Opticom and Munksjö organized a series of workshops with representatives for the different business areas covering a wide range of functions across the organization in order to make the most of the input customers provided. In total, more than 80 managers from across the globe were involved in reviewing customer feedback and creating ideas on what can be done to ensure customers will be even more satisfied with Munksjö in the future.

“I am impressed with the high level of engagement we have seen from all participants and the impressive list of actions that have come out of all workshops ranging from quick-wins to important long-term strategic initiatives,” Jan Åström concludes. “Our employees have helped us in taking customer suggestions and translating them into specific actions that we can use to make sure customers will continue to see us as a preferred supplier. Opticom’s method has given us insight into which actions would be of greatest value to our customers and which our organization would like to prioritise.”

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caris

Many believe personalised medicine is the future for health care. Caris, a pioneer in this field, specialised in personalised cancer diagnostics, discovered that although many agree that this is the future, it is hard to present the service and discuss how this future would fit today’s practices. To overcome this challenge and discuss the whole issue as a common challenge that needs involvement from different stakeholders in health care, Caris engaged Opticom to conduct Future Labs in a number of cities across Sweden.

Caris Molecular Intelligence provides oncologists with the most relevant, clinically actionable and individualised treatment information to personalise cancer care for all solid tumours. While traditionally in the Nordic countries tumours are checked for about 3 or 4 biomarkers, Caris’ solution routinely checks for 70 biomarkers, including those normally only associated with other solid tumours. By doing so, Caris’ Evidence Engine can suggest the drugs that are most likely to be effective for this particular patient, based on the biology of the tumour as well as its global database of the most recent relevant scientific evidence.

Jonas Nylander, Nordic Sales and Business Development Director, Caris Life Sciences

Valuable that participants let go of their usual role
“We decided to organise these Future Labs with Opticom to be able to discuss in a structured way how a hypothetical introduction of our service, that seems to be so far away in the future, would be done and to get a good dialogue in a good forum where it is allowed to be creative and be future-minded,” Jonas Nylander, Nordic Sales and Business Development Director at Caris Life Sciences, explains.

“I think the most valuable part of the method is that, since it is called Future Lab, you create a think tank. Just the title of the meeting allows participants to let go of their usual roles and all the usual barriers can be set aside for a moment. When we discuss the question with one person at a time, the entire debate gets stuck from all sides because everyone refers to someone else. But when we can agree that this is interesting to look at and considered to be the future, which oncologists and pathologists do agree on, while politicians think it is interesting and the patients ask why can we not have this today already, then we can start to discuss how we can reach this future sooner or how we should adjust so that we can also make this a reality in the future in Sweden. Then we can get a good discussion about questions that are relevant already in today’s situation. When a think tank like this starts to discuss the future, they are actually discussing how we can implement the future already today.”

Companies invest too few resources in researching their markets
“I believe companies invest too few resources in researching their markets, not only quantitatively, but especially qualitatively. Many underestimate the value of having this kind dialogue and discussing with the market in a structured way. They just think that doing research provides us with information we already had before we started. To communicate with different stakeholders in this kind of format where the context is quite different from the usual ways we interact with them also contributes to moving forward on the important questions in a very good way. In the normal context, people may get defensive, but in this situation they are asked to consider the product or the service and become part of developing how this can be implemented. There are many companies who just see this as a given and just say why do I need more market research? But this type of projects do not just have the purpose of getting more information, they also aim at changing the way these issues are discussed.”

Positive feedback from participants
“We also got comments from several participants that they thought it was very interesting to get this time and to set aside time in their busy schedules to sit down and take the opportunity to have a meeting where they can discuss the future for cancer treatment and diagnostics with oncologists, pathologists, politicians and patient representatives. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from participants. The most stressed professors we know, who travel a lot and always have lot going on, they have indicated that they considered it valuable to take this time and sit together with others and discuss these questions even though they took time from their evenings, their personal free time, to do this. They may not have expected it to be this valuable beforehand, but have told us that it really was valuable afterwards.”

“All in all, I would say it was well invested money! Conducting Future Labs like this can contribute to changing the dialogue and discuss solutions from a new angle, as a common problem that we need to solve together. The future in health care is a joint problem or a joint challenge, so it is good to discuss it as a common challenge instead of as a company that is trying to establish a service on a market,” Jonas Nylander concludes.

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Sobi

The international width that Opticom provides is very valuable for a company like Sobi, as we are working globally, offering products on some 50 markets worldwide. That is when you need a true global player to co-operate with, a local market research company present in just one or two markets have more difficulty providing us what we need” says Charlotte Ungerth, Global Brand Director at Sobi (Swedish Orphan Biovitrum). Continue reading

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Neuro

The neurology field is facing increasing demands; such as a fast-growing population, increase of ageing patients and major advances in neuroscience. Thus, wide changes are needed in order to meet the care challenges for patients with neurological diseases. In Stockholm, a new private concept is now being shaped; providing care and serving as a complement to public neurology care. Looking for a partner in market analysis and strategic consulting; Neurology Clinic Stockholm turned to Opticom as an advising partner in the start up of a neurology specialist centre, which will be moving into new facilities at Sophiahemmet during the autumn of 2012. Continue reading

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