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BEST PRACTICEBest Practices, LLC Strategic Benchmarking ResearchMARKET RESEARCH EFFICIENCY BENCHMARK:Using External Person...
BEST PRACTICETable of Contents Executive Summary Research Overview Benchmark Participants Key Findings & Insights I. ...
BEST PRACTICE31. Explore Successful IndustryExamples of the Use of OutsourcedMarket Research Labor2. Highlight thePrevalen...
BEST PRACTICECompanies Participating in StudyParticipating Companies Include:This research emerges from survey data gather...
BEST PRACTICE5Most Participants Serve at Director Level• Global Head, Strategic Sourcing -Market Research• Head, Procureme...
BEST PRACTICEKey Findings & Insights: Using Outsourced Personnel Most Companies Use Outsourced MR Personnel, But Not Syst...
BEST PRACTICE(n=22)Q. How is your market research group currently structured?(Choose the best option.)736%23%18%5%18%De-ce...
BEST PRACTICEInternal FTEconstraints (i.e.,staticheadcount),82%Other,18%FTE Constraints Drive Almost All Moves to Outsourc...
BEST PRACTICEMaintaining Low Headcount Is Chief Outsourcing Goal2002402533074000 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500Mor...
BEST PRACTICEOutsourcing of Report Preparation May IncreaseQ. To what extent do you expect labor for the following market ...
BEST PRACTICESystem Maintenance Is Internal– via IT or Even MR Group ItselfManagement for technical aspects and processes ...
BEST PRACTICEModel A: “All Monthly Secondary Reporting in a Day”12Outsourcing Profile:Type: Outsourced personnel for seco...
BEST PRACTICEOutsourcing Quantitative CI = Greatest Opportunity for SomeIn order to efficiently outsource competitive inte...
BEST PRACTICE14Copyright © Best Practices®, LLCBest Practices, LLC is a research and consulting firm that conducts workbas...
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Market Research Efficiency Benchmark: Using External Personnel and Automation to Maximize Effectiveness (Research Summary)

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To provide maximum value to their internal clients, pharmaceutical and biotech companies must continue to innovate. In order to enhance business impact and reduce redundancy, savvy Market Research leaders must determine the right mix of internal staff, external personnel, and automated reporting.

In the changing pharmaceutical landscape, Market Research groups are faced with the challenge of regularly generating a significant number of secondary reports while also continuing to provide more strategic insights. Burdened with headcount constraints and new products to support, executives can potentially gain critical efficiencies through the shrewd use of outsourced personnel and system automation.

To identify strategies, solutions, and the transition process Market Research groups are undergoing in the near future, Best Practices, LLC, a world leader in biopharmaceutical benchmarking and best practice research, performed this research to help pharma and biotech executives and managers create more efficient groups and processes.

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Market Research Efficiency Benchmark: Using External Personnel and Automation to Maximize Effectiveness (Research Summary)

  1. 1. BEST PRACTICEBest Practices, LLC Strategic Benchmarking ResearchMARKET RESEARCH EFFICIENCY BENCHMARK:Using External Personnel and Automation ToMaximize Market Research Effectiveness
  2. 2. BEST PRACTICETable of Contents Executive Summary Research Overview Benchmark Participants Key Findings & Insights I. Market Research Group Structure & Staffing Levels II. Using Outsourced Personnel III. Reasons for Outsourcing IV. Contractor Selection & Management V. Assessing the Value of Outsourced Market Research Labor VI. Using Automation to Enhance Market Research Performance Appendix A: Outsourcing Models Observed in this Study Appendix B: Executive Quotes from the Field Appendix C: Outsourcing Competitive Intelligence About Best Practices, LLC
  3. 3. BEST PRACTICE31. Explore Successful IndustryExamples of the Use of OutsourcedMarket Research Labor2. Highlight thePrevalence, Strengths, andWeaknesses of Automated MarketResearch SystemsResearch Objectives & MethodologyObjectives:• Examine how leading market research groups:– Use external personnel (especially for secondary research) to maximize efficiencyand maintain a lean internal headcount in the face of increased workload– Automate market research processes for efficient report generation and betterknowledge management– Implement and manage those automated systemsIn order to provide maximum value to internal clients, market research teams must find a way toregularly generate a significant number of secondary reports while also continuing to provide morestrategic insights. Faced with headcount constraints and new products to support, companies cangain critical efficiencies through the shrewd use of outsourced personnel and system automation.Field Research & Insight Development:Engaged 22 market research executives andmanagers from 19 companies in a field surveyAnalyzed qualitative findings and insights fromseven deep-dive interviews with industry veteransObjective:
  4. 4. BEST PRACTICECompanies Participating in StudyParticipating Companies Include:This research emerges from survey data gathered from 22 participants representing 19 leadingbiopharmaceutical companies. Best Practices, LLC analysts also conducted deep-dive interviewswith seven participating executives to gather additional insights.4
  5. 5. BEST PRACTICE5Most Participants Serve at Director Level• Global Head, Strategic Sourcing -Market Research• Head, Procurement• Senior Director, Market Planning (MR)• Senior Director, Market Research• Director, Business Analytics &Insights• Director, Business Intelligence• Director, Global Market ResearchResearch Participant Job Titles Include:• Director, Market Research• Director, Marketing• Coordinator, Sales & Marketing• Associate Director, Market Research• Senior Manager, Market Research• Manager, Business Intelligence• Manager, Global Sourcing• Manager, Market Research• Manager, MarketingA majority of study participants serve at the director level, mainly in Market Research. Somerespondents who work in Business Intelligence, Strategic Sourcing, and Marketing also participated.Interviewed executives are highlighted in red italics below.
  6. 6. BEST PRACTICEKey Findings & Insights: Using Outsourced Personnel Most Companies Use Outsourced MR Personnel, But Not Systematically: Overall, 73% ofsurveyed companies use outsourced personnel for some type of market research. However, thelabor outsourcing models used in the industry vary widely among companies – and feworganizations use multiple external personnel for any given market research function Outsourcing Types Used: Externally contracted personnel “wear different hats” at differentcompanies. Outsourcing personnel for primary research (63% of companies) is slightly morecommon than for secondary report preparation (56%) or secondary analytics (44%). Drivers: Internal FTE constraints drive almost all (82%) moves to personnel outsourcing: Mostparticipating market research groups are faced with static headcounts. It is this aversion to investin more staff – the costliest resource for any company – that drives the widespread use of externalcontract personnel observed in this study. Market research teams often contract external personnel during “busy” periods whenworkloads ramp up, especially in support of new products6The following key findings and insights emerged from this study around the use of external contractpersonnel.
  7. 7. BEST PRACTICE(n=22)Q. How is your market research group currently structured?(Choose the best option.)736%23%18%5%18%De-centralized reporting with some employeesserving specific therapeutic areas or business unitlevelsDe-centralized reporting with some employeesserving specific brandsCentralized reporting with some employees servingspecific therapeutic areas or business unit levelsCentralized reporting with some employees servingspecific brandsCompletely centralized reportingMarket Research Group Structure:More than three-quarters of participating market research groups use some form of centralized reportingstructures. There is a close correlation between company size and market research structure: the largerthe company, the greater degree of decentralization.Most MR Groups Are Centralized, Especially MidCaps* (All MidCaps)** (All Large Pharma)Research Note:None of the participatingcompanies structurethemselves strictly bygeography or market.Centralized ModelsDecentralized Models
  8. 8. BEST PRACTICEInternal FTEconstraints (i.e.,staticheadcount),82%Other,18%FTE Constraints Drive Almost All Moves to Outsourcing(n=15)Q. Which factor plays the greatest role in motivating your market research group’s outsourcing effort?(Choose the best option.)8“Other” FactorsCited:• “Competence” (i.e.,Finding a competentcontractor)• “Balancing short-termneed vs. currentstaffing level”Note: No participant selected an optionof “Internal budgetary constraints.”Impetus for Outsourcing:Most participating market research groups are faced with static headcounts. It is this aversion toinvest in more staff – the costliest resource for any company – that drives the widespread use ofexternal contract personnel observed in this study.
  9. 9. BEST PRACTICEMaintaining Low Headcount Is Chief Outsourcing Goal2002402533074000 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500More innovative analysis/insightCost efficiencyFaster turnaround timesGreater work efficiency (i.e., through processfamiliarity)Keep MR headcount low / free up internalresources & FTEs(n=14)Q. What are your companys primary goals in outsourcing market research?(Please rank the following goals 1 – 5, where 1 is the "most important objective," 2 is the "second-most important objective," etc.)9Note: A weighted average index was used to analyze these responses, assigning a value of 5 to the most important ranking items and a value of 1 to the leastimportant ranking items. The total weighted average score for each service is calculated and then multiplied by 100 to standardize the index for comparisonacross segments.Top Outsourcing Objectives:Most ImportantObjectiveLeast ImportantObjectiveKeeping internal headcount low (while simultaneously freeing up internal resources to do morestrategic work) was clearly rated by the benchmark class as the most important goal in moving to anoutsourcing model. It is perhaps not surprising that “producing more innovative insights” was rated asa less important goal, since most companies contract externally to meet upswings in particular types ofstudies - and not necessarily to conduct high-level primary research.
  10. 10. BEST PRACTICEOutsourcing of Report Preparation May IncreaseQ. To what extent do you expect labor for the following market research functions to be outsourced in the next2 – 3 years? (Choose the best option for each activity.)10Change in Outsourcing Levels:Many study participants (59%) were bullish on the use of outsourcing in secondary reportpreparation, predicting it will increase in the future. None predicted a drop-off from current usage levels.For outsourced primary research, on the other hand, a majority of participants predicted no growth inusage (56%) or even an outright reduction (6%).47%59%38%56%41%47%0%6% 6%Day-to-day primaryresearchmanagementSecondary reportpreparationSecondary analyticsSame as NowMore than Now(n = 16) (n = 17)Less than Now(n = 17)
  11. 11. BEST PRACTICESystem Maintenance Is Internal– via IT or Even MR Group ItselfManagement for technical aspects and processes of automated work systems are frequently keptin-house, with IT tasked at 57% of companies and the market research group itself in charge at29%. Once a system has been put in place, external vendors or consultants are rarely involved inongoing management.Technical aspectsmanaged by ITDept,57%Technical aspectsmanaged bythe MarketResearch Teamitself,29%Technical aspectsmanaged byan ExternalVendor,14%(n=14)Q. Which of the following options best describes how your automated system is currently managed?(Choose the best option.)11Automated System Management:
  12. 12. BEST PRACTICEModel A: “All Monthly Secondary Reporting in a Day”12Outsourcing Profile:Type: Outsourced personnel for secondary reportpreparationContractor: Former colleague, now freelancerLocation: Onsite - all secondary reporting for monthcompleted in 1-2 days Reason for Use: Competency, industry experienceStrengths: Faster turnaround time, low costWeaknesses: Short-term solution Key Tactic(s): Outsourced contractor also puts Excel-based data on intranetRepresentative Quote:"The intention long-term would be that thecompany would be able to buy or produce afront end and the warehouse would produce allof this reporting in an automated way”-Market Research ManagerExternalContractEmployeePrimary CareBrandsSpecialtyCare BrandSpecialtyCare BrandExternal Contractor Model:In this model, the market research contractor (or external contract employee) produces one secondaryreport for each of the supported brands on a monthly basis. This model works well when reports areroutine and data-specific, and involve no ad-hoc projects.
  13. 13. BEST PRACTICEOutsourcing Quantitative CI = Greatest Opportunity for SomeIn order to efficiently outsource competitive intelligence, companies must safeguard strategic insightand only contract work requiring the least amount of specialized skills and knowledge. As aresult, companies willing to (or needing to!) outsource CI demonstrated a greater inclination tooutsource secondary research and quantitative activities.Outsourcing Competitive Intelligence: Differentiating By Function and ActivityGreatest Opportunity for CIOutsourcing:• Minimal loss of strategic insight andconfidentiality• Not utilizing special skillsKeep Work In-House:• Highest level of strategic insight• Specialized skills and trainingmore advantageousPrimary ResearchQuantitativeActivitiesOpportunity for Outsourcing:• More likely to outsource thanquantitative activities under primaryresearchMinor Opportunity forOutsourcing:• Less specialized skills but stillprecarious position because ofsensitivitySecondary ResearchQualitativeActivitiesLower Value Outsourcing Greater Value OutsourcingGreaterValueOut-sourcingLowerValueOut-sourcing13
  14. 14. BEST PRACTICE14Copyright © Best Practices®, LLCBest Practices, LLC is a research and consulting firm that conducts workbased on the simple yet profound principle that organizations can chart acourse to superior economic performance by studying the best businesspractices, operating tactics and winning strategies of world-classcompanies.Best Practices, LLC6350 Quadrangle Drive, Suite 200, Chapel Hill, NC 27517919-403-0251best@best-in-class.comwww.best-in-class.comAbout Best Practices, LLCLink for Report: Market Research Efficiency Benchmarking Report

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