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February 19, 2015
Capturing the prize: Digitizing the customer experience and operations
By: James Crowley

From Accenture Strategy for Life Sciences

There is some big money at stake in healthcare as a result of the digital revolution. Accenture estimates that digital disruption has the potential to unlock more than $100 billion of commercial value in the United States over a five-year period through new digital business models. The question is: what will companies need to do to capture the prize? In the life sciences industry, companies are already embracing digital to design and build entirely new business models that are dramatically changing the way they work. These breakthrough models are about growth and efficiency, and about creating new combinations of information, business resources and digital technologies to produce innovative outcomes.

Customers are central to a digital business

But companies also need to recognize that customers are central to a digital business. To find new ways to meet patient needs, companies must go beyond the confines of traditional industry, product and customer boundaries, starting with the digitizing of the customer experience. Accenture estimates that an average top-25 global pharmaceuticals company can generate up to $170 million in revenue upside and as much as $190 million in savings over five years by digitizing its current models for the customer experience and commercial operations.

Increase revenue

Digitization allows companies to expand customer reach, driving revenue increases at the same time as improving the customer experience and protecting existing customer relationships. Using digital technology, life sciences companies can:

  • Leverage externally focused assets more effectively reaching new and existing customers in a more targeted and efficient way —enabling revenue growth of $30 million to $70 million over five years.

  • Improve the customer experience and protect reach increasing customer access to brand resources and messaging —growing top-line sales by an estimated $100 million over five years.

Digitization drives these improvements by enabling consistent messaging across channels, higher levels of customer loyalty and retention, increased cross-selling and conversion, and the ability to reuse successful assets. It also allows companies to continue marketing mature brands that have lost support for funding of traditional promotional activities.

Decrease costs

Digitization also allows companies to develop structural cost savings and customer-facing efficiencies. Structural cost savings, estimated at $70 million to $115 million over five years, arise from process efficiencies driven by:

  • Digitization and automation of internal marketing activities.

  • Better asset utilization promoted by optimized production and inventory planning.

Customer-facing cost reductions, estimated to be $75 million over five years, result from using digital to enable greater efficiency in terms of cost or reach as well as to create more opportunities for self-service.

These opportunities are real and have benefits beyond the numbers, including speed and simplification. Accenture believes they must be part of the agenda and that leaders need to consider digitizing the customer experience and operations as a core part of a digital transformation.

To learn more, read Capturing the $100 Billion Opportunity for Life Sciences: Are You a Digital Transformer or Follower?

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