BACKGROUND: Sanofi-Synthelabo, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of the global healthcare giant, Sanofi-Synthelabo. With 30,000 employees in more than 100 countries, Sanofi-Synthelabo is among the world's top 20 pharmaceutical companies. Its pharmaceutical research and development program is recognized as one of the most innovative in the industry. Corporate headquarters are located in Paris, France; U.S. headquarters are located in New York City.

PLATFORMS: We run Operation Scrub from IMS HEALTH on Oracle.

PROBLEM SOLVED: In today's focused business environment, the customer database is the lifeline of any business organization. An accurate, up-to-date customer database is often the difference between building strong customer relationships that lead to solid revenue growth and looking unprepared in the eyes of customers. This is especially true in the pharmaceutical industry, where large sales forces continuously access and change the databases of as many as 1.2 million healthcare professionals who write more than 2.8 billion drug prescriptions in the U.S. each year. With product sampling being critical in promoting pharmaceutical products, sales representatives must have essential customer information at their fingertips in order to adhere to strict FDA guidelines governing the distribution of drug samples. We chose IMS HEALTH's Operation Scrub to enable us to maintain an accurate and up-to-date customer database. Operation Scrub improves the productivity of our 700 sales representatives by helping them decide which customers to target, where to find them and whether or not to provide them with product samples. Moreover, by providing a unique IMS HEALTH reference number for each prescriber, Operation Scrub allows us to tie sales data to these customers, so our sales representatives can design and refine specific business messages. Overall, Operation Scrub is an essential component in building relationships with our customers and creating a positive external image of Sanofi-Synthelabo, Inc.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Operation Scrub regularly cleanses, validates and augments Sanofi-Synthelabo's customer database to ensure the accuracy of customer name, address, licensing and specialty information. As a result of IMS HEALTH's proprietary business rules and its prescriber database, Operation Scrub can resolve and update up to 80 percent of a 1 million record customer database within a two-week time frame. The remaining records are resolved by IMS HEALTH's corps of researchers whose sole function is to manually investigate and verify customer records that otherwise would go unresolved.

STRENGTHS: IMS HEALTH has the bandwidth to complete projects quickly and the established processes to deliver quality results. IMS HEALTH further enhances the quality of deliverables through experience and economies of scale derived from cleansing, validating and resolving tens of millions of customer records. As the world's leading provider of information solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, the master database employed by Operation Scrub to match to our customer database is second to none. We quickly realized the unique advantages offered by IMS HEALTH and Operation Scrub.

WEAKNESSES: Results are somewhat dependent upon the initial quality of our database. Therefore, it was necessary that we create and enforce business rules with the sales force to make certain that representatives do not cut corners when adding or changing customer records within the database. This effort enabled us to overcome this challenge.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose Operation Scrub over competing solutions because of the high quality of the information supplied to Sanofi-Synthelabo by IMS HEALTH, quality that stems from Operation Scrub's reliance on the IMS HEALTH prescriber database. Quality is important to this type of large-scale initiative because it is critical that accurate customer information is matched to the correct customer. It was the only solution that provided the necessary customer identifiers to link each customer record with our sales data for that customer. Operation Scrub allowed us to strategically target our IT resources to maximize the benefit to our business users and drive tangible results for Sanofi- Synthelabo, Inc.

DELIVERABLES: Operation Scrub provides annual cleansing, validation and augmentation of our approximately 200,000 customer records and ongoing cleansing of approximately 50,000 new or changed customer records per year.

VENDOR SUPPORT: IMS HEALTH provides quality support ­ from helping us design business rules to ongoing troubleshooting.

DOCUMENTATION: IMS offers good documentation on the services standard operating procedure (SOP) and client-specific business rules.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access