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Board M.I.T. Delivers Sales Force Intelligence and Analytic Planning Applications for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

  • July 01 2002, 1:00am EDT
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In November 2005, the company name changed from Orenburg to Board M.I.T.

REVIEWER: Paolo Pogliani, vice president information technology for GSK Italy.

BACKGROUND: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, with a powerful combination of skills and resources that provide a platform for delivering strong growth in today's rapidly changing healthcare environment. Headquartered in the UK, with operations based in the U.S., GSK is one of the industry leaders, with an estimated seven percent of the world's pharmaceutical market. GSK has leadership in four major therapeutic areas - anti-infectives, central nervous system (CNS), respiratory and gastro-intestinal/metabolic. In addition, it is a leader in the important area of vaccines and has a growing portfolio of oncology products. The company also has a consumer healthcare portfolio which comprises over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, oral care products and nutritional healthcare drinks, all of which are among the market leaders. GSK has more than 100,000 employees worldwide, with more than 40,000 in sales and marketing - the largest sales force in the industry. More than 42,000 employees work at 107 manufacturing sites in 40 countries and more than 16,000 are in R&D. GSK Italy is a market leader operating both in the pharmaceutical and in the consumer healthcare markets. With 3,000 total employees, the sales force of GSK Italy comprises 1,300 reps structured by five business units. Sales in 2001 were ¤856 million (90 percent pharmaceutical) for a 6.8 percent market share. The Management Intelligence project with Board M.I.T. started at the Verona facility where GSK Italy has its Italian headquarters and R&D labs.

PLATFORMS: 4 bi-processor servers for Board WebServer (1,500 users) - Windows NT 4.0; 1 bi-processor server for Board LanServer (approximately 200 users) - Windows NT 4.0.

PROBLEM SOLVED: M.I.T. supports product managers in the planning process - specifically their forecasting, budgeting and three-year plan. It also supports functional managers in monitoring costs and in creating economic and financial plans - specifically for their forecast, budgeting and three-year plan. Additionally, the product provides Web access to market data (IMS) and salesperson target variance analysis, fully integrated within the GSK company portal. This access is personalized based on individual management and geographic responsibilities.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: After an initial test period, the users expressed full satisfaction in terms of performance, analysis depth and information availability. In the future we plan to adopt Orenburg's new Board M.I.T. v4.7, which will offer a high-speed, multitier remote architecture to provide distributed access to the Sales Planning environment. In addition, its integrated peer-to-peer (P2P) technology should promote a higher interaction between managers.

STRENGTHS: Board M.I.T. allows the management of large volumes of data with simplicity and low costs. However, the biggest strengths are the simulation support and the flexibility in adapting the multidimensional model to our ever-changing business needs. This was proven in the field when we had to review the Intelligence processes following the 2000 merger of GlaxoWellcome with SmithKline Beecham.

WEAKNESSES: The current LAN version, during peak times, generates a high traffic on the local network. It does appear, however, that this will be remedied with the release of v4.7.

SELECTION CRITERIA: I have been familiar with Board M.I.T for a long time and have always appreciated the uniqueness of the toolkit approach. The combination of this with the expertise and methodology of SDG consulting were the key factors in our software selection. As we expected, the simple but very powerful and very scalable Board M.I.T. architecture allowed us to concentrate on the business issues, with minimal resource investment on the systems and hardware infrastructure.

DELIVERABLES: Within GSK, Board M.I.T. currently delivers more than 600 reports and charts and approximately 300 Web pages. In addition, the planning process is supported by 50 different forecasting and cost-allocation models.

VENDOR SUPPORT: With a presence of 10 years in the Italian market, and offices in the U.S., UK and Germany, Board M.I.T. software is sold by a network of highly specialized resellers. We chose SDG consulting, based on their experience and their strong pharmaceutical competence. Orenburg's support in the test and rollout phases of the project complemented the SDG project management very well.

DOCUMENTATION: While there is always room for improvement with technical documentation, I have found that Board M.I.T. is such an easy-to- use product that users of any level can quickly gain proficiency.

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