Private: Case Study: Almac Group

We feel very well taken care of… I think this is the beginning of a very strong partnership.
— Jim Murphy, President and Managing Director, Almac Clinical Technologies

Company Snapshot

Almac provides a comprehensive range of services extending from research through pharmaceutical and clinical development to commercialisation of products. A privately owned company with 3,000 employees, Almac has its global headquarters in Northern Ireland and has extensive facilities in the UK and US. Over 600 companies worldwide, including all the market leaders, use Almac’s services.

The Challenge

This project can be summarized as both a Launch and Optimize. V2 was given the task of gathering and evaluating the requirements of five different Almac business units (who were not previously collaborating) and design a system that fosters cooperative selling. One business unit, of the five, was already running on Salesforce – and was located in the United States. The remaining business units are located primarily in the UK and were using Outlook, Excel and pad/paper for CRM activities. The challenge was to create a single instance of that would function for all business unit’s individual needs and the needs of the organization as a whole.

Our deployment of Salesforce for Almac aims to support the strategic and tactical goals of the project that were identified during the original scoping of the project and throughout the life of the implementation:

Strategic Goals

  • Increase top-line growth, profitability & scalability
  • Streamline cross-business unit referral workflow
  • Better track cross-business joint proposals
  • Optimize internal communication processes to support growing collaborative sales efforts
  • Centralize data in a single database, to support business initiatives such as: 360-degree account visibility and real-time global reporting on key metrics
  • Enhance transparency & accountability – improving the ability to make data-driven decisions

Tactical Goals

  • Establish a centralized, reliable online database
  • Eliminate / reduce manual gathering of data via Excel spreadsheets
  • Design simple and intuitive interface to encourage high day-to-day end user adoption
  • Improve individual and group productivity

Key Areas of Focus

  • Joint Proposals
  • Joint Visits
  • Collaboration and Referral
  • User Adoption
  • Data Integrity
  • 360-degree of Client Account
  • Executive and Board Level Analytics
  • Opportunity Management
  • Marketing ROI Visibility
  • Lead Conversion

V2 Solutions

  • Joint Proposals – Constructed Joint Proposals custom object to help organize multiple Opportunities as being parts of a deal including two or more Almac business units.
  • Global Ultimate Account Record Type – Deployed multiple record types for Accounts, including: Global Ultimate, Client/Prospect and General. The goal of doing this is to help keep the integrity of Account Hierarchy information – and to allow for reporting at the Global Ultimate level.
  • Joint Visits – Refined Activities to allow users to show what business units participated in a Joint Visit.
  • Opportunity Referral – Designed the Opportunities and Leads records such that they can be used to make referrals to their colleagues in any of the Almac Business Units.
  • Almac Business Unit Relationships – Optimized the Account and Contact records such that a single page-layout allows all users to see what the Account/Contacts relationship is with any other the five business units.

V2 Key Takeaways

  • V2 PM Methodology Works – Given the timing of the project, Almac was an opportunity to begin applying many of the practices laid out by Jill Harkness in the PM Handbook (e.g. SOW review, milestone preparation due dates, Training documents, Empowerment handoff, etc.).

  • Over Communicate – The goal of over communication is two fold – make sure nothing crucial to the project’s success goes unnoticed and make the client feel important. I believe this project highlights the value add from over communication. The project was executed in a timely fashion with no fire drills. As shown from the quote above and many more, the Almac players expressed a real feeling of being “well taken care of”.

  • Go Ugly Early – Throughout the project we expressed the expected challenges with deploying a CRM system to a group of users with sometimes conflicting expectations. By doing this, the elephant was always addressed early on (i.e. Kickoff, UATs, Weekly Calls, etc.). Issues that required Almac participation and debate had enough time to be solved well enough in advance to avoid slowing the project down.

  • When Working with Multiple Teams, Stay Organized – John Tanner and Greg Traquair quickly discovered during (and even more so after) the project’s Kickoff that managing the design decisions and notes relating to multiple teams is not an easy task. Be prepared early on for the challenge of gathering design decisions from each team (e.g. naming conventions, field choices, etc.) and have a plan in place for requirements gathering (e.g. seating arrangement at kickoff with multiple teams, structured project notes, etc.).

The Bottom Line

Through extensive business process re-engineering (BPR), V2 identified key areas of focus imperative for Custom Briefings to consider in order to ensure an immediate return on investment and increase overall user adoption of their existing instance of  Applying both business process, organizational, and cultural insights gained in the initial part of this project, V2 leveraged the extensive IT architecture overview and roadmap created to optimize with highly customized design and functionality to fit the client’s unique business needs.