Disruption and Innovation During a Crisis

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In 2008, Salesforce.com grew revenues from $497mn USD to $749mn. In just 10 years, by the end of 2018, it had reached over $10bn, winning major market share from the likes of Oracle and SAP.

Before the last global financial crisis, software was distributed through a user licence agreement model. As liquidity dried up and service user budgets were slashed, the door was opened for a different model, known as SaaS (Software as a Service). This provided a better approach, breaking costs down into more manageable chunks, especially for SME’s, and allowed for many services to be outsourced (or even switched on and off) more easily. Subsequently, this “as a service” model has been embraced by behemoths like Microsoft (through Office 365) and Amazon, with their Web Services (AWS).

Once again, a global crisis presents opportunities for those companies who can be smarter, faster, more cost effective, more creative, more productive, and that can provide improved products and services to solve problems. For those companies able to invest in innovation during a downturn, rather than cutting back to save costs, the opportunities to make a difference and extend their lead over the competition are seldom greater.

Throughout this crisis, the Client-Pharma team has continued, uninterrupted, to deliver vital medicines to our partners and clients; providing fast, dependable product supply solutions for Clinical Trials and Research and Development. In the months during a European / Worldwide shutdown, our deliveries have increased by 25% compared to the same period in 2019. Moreover, investments have been made to grow the team and embark upon the configuration/implementation of an ERP system; all of this is with a focus to improving our capabilities and client experience.

This has all been made possible thanks to the unwavering commitment of the team to ensure our clients’ delivery needs are met on time and in full, whilst working remotely. The team has effectively used technologies like Microsoft Teams and Zoom (which have disrupted legacy conference calling providers) and live GPS tracking of shipments to ensure that products stay safe in transit when not using traditional shipping lanes (approaches which will remain in place even once the pandemic eases).

Supply chains have, understandably, been put under considerable pressure since the beginning of 2020. Responding to this effectively has required constant innovation, reimagining sourcing and supply chain options for clients, to ensure uninterrupted access to crucial treatments. For example, when availability of a key oncology product became restricted in Western Europe, the C-P team were able to split the supply requirement across Central and Eastern Europe, eliminating any local issues. Even though the number of batches increased marginally, delivery of stock took place faster than had been projected through the original route, and at a lower cost (even securing a CoA for some of the stock, which had not been available elsewhere).

Client-Pharma provides Sourcing as a Service, ensuring a cost-effective, scalable approach that reduces risk, rather than offering the cookie-cutter service, often put forward by the “old guard” of comparator sourcing. Our team understands profoundly the needs of our clients, identifying and balancing the driving factors for each and every project. By leveraging our global network of manufacturers and distributors, Client-Pharma ensures provision of tailored solutions to every commercial drug supply challenge.

Even in difficult times, innovation continues. In 2003 it took 5 months to sequence the SARS virus. In 2019, it took just 2 days to sequence SARS‑CoV‑2, thanks, in part, to the scientific leaps forward during and since the last recession. However long it takes for the current pandemic to subside, innovation will continue to thrive; as will those companies who invest in progress and embrace it.

Posted on September 3, 2020
Technical Director, Strategic Partnerships

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