PCI Pharma Services increases speed to market for life-changing therapies with Salesforce
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the world’s focus on health and wellbeing - and the pharmaceutical sector is responding with innovative treatments that will help to transform patient outcomes.
As a leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical global supply chain solutions provider, PCI Pharma Services plays a critical role in helping its clients bring innovative, life-changing treatments to market.
PCI has grown rapidly over the last five years - especially within its clinical trial services division - and now operates 25 facilities across six countries and employs around 3,900 people worldwide. This growth is a reflection of the booming global pharmaceutical market, which is expected to grow annually by around 3%.
Clinical trial activity increased dramatically in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, PCI had to scale up to onboard twice as many clients as normal during the first wave of the crisis. “We saw a big increase in demand around the discovery and development of new COVID-19 tests, therapies, and vaccines,” said Tim Roberts, Vice President for Global Sales for Clinical Services at PCI. “With Salesforce, we can onboard new clients faster, which means critical clinical trials can start earlier.”
For example, PCI can create clinical trial proposals for clients in 30 minutes instead of five days using an app built on the Salesforce Platform. And the task can be completed by just one person instead of 10. PCI is now supporting more than 30 COVID-19 clinical trials with its supply chain solutions.
The app is just one example of several new technologies being introduced as part of PCI’s digital strategy. From supplier communities and smart packaging to machine learning and virtual audits, PCI is blazing a trail in improving patient outcomes with digitalisation.
“We took an outside-in approach, listening to what our clients wanted and using their feedback to shape the path forward,” said Wayne Hull, Chief Digital and Technology Officer for PCI. “There’s a huge opportunity to transform the client experience to better serve their needs while driving greater efficiency and smarter decision-making. With platforms like Salesforce, we can digitalise our core processes, enrich client experiences, and leverage insights to fuel growth.”
Headquartered in the US, PCI offers a broad range of integrated services from the earliest stages of drug development through to commercial launch. These include drug manufacturing, clinical trials services, and commercial packaging services.
PCI has a reputation for world-class client service, so it’s no surprise that its 900-strong client base includes many big names from the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical world. “Our clients place a huge amount of trust in us,” explained Roberts. “We play a vital role in the pharmaceutical supply chain and help our clients bring life-changing therapies to millions of patients around the world.”
Behind every clinical trial and drug launched by PCI clients is a series of complex stages that can last several years and cost millions of dollars. Despite the longevity of its client projects and relationships, PCI needs to be exceptionally agile. “We have to be able to stand up clinical trials within a couple of months,” said Roberts. “With Salesforce, we can track the status of every client engagement and ensure we have the right resources available at the right time – whether it involves packaging materials or staffing laboratory facilities.”
PCI plans to optimise operations even further by tracking the hundreds of different molecules and compounds used in client projects as they move through the pharmaceutical lifecycle. With Salesforce Einstein and Tableau, it will be able to forecast resource requirements not just for the next six months but for the next six years - and do it in real time.
But that’s not all: the ability to track individual molecules and compounds will unlock other insights. “We’ll be able to identify operational efficiencies, market trends, and client success rates,” explained Roberts. “With Salesforce, we can look in the rear-view mirror to gain greater insight into the future.”
PCI has used Salesforce since 2015 to optimise its commercial operations across its 25 sites. With Sales Cloud, the sales team of 60-plus can capture client and prospect interactions, which helps to identify hotbeds of research. “We can segment growth across different geographies and medical disciplines, which enables us to make smarter decisions and investments to meet evolving client demand,” commented Roberts.
Sales leaders can also access key performance metrics, such as how many deals have been won or lost, and why. These insights, along with gamification strategies – which are also enabled by Sales Cloud and include automated notifications and incentives based upon deal size – have helped PCI nearly double its win rate within three years.
To bring even greater visibility to its activities, PCI plans to integrate Salesforce Inbox with its email solution, which will ensure client interactions with sales representatives are logged in Sales Cloud to provide a full engagement history.
Visibility is also essential for the procurement team, which is responsible for managing PCI’s vendor relationships and contracts. “Our supply chain is incredibly complex and important – especially when it comes to biologics, such as insulin pens and flu vaccines,” explained Roberts. “We need to ensure timely and reliable access to the right components to deliver high-quality therapies for patients.”
PCI operates on a massive scale: it manufactures more than 1,000 molecules per year and recently invested millions of dollars in a new facility in Germany with 17,000 square feet dedicated to the packaging, storage, and distribution of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical therapies. As the company continues to grow, an efficient vendor ecosystem will be key to ensuring it can meet client demand.
To simplify vendor engagement, PCI has built a partner community on Community Cloud. “With Community Cloud, we can make faster and smarter procurement choices, which helps to safeguard supply chain efficiency and business continuity,” commented Al Moss, PCI’s Vice President of Global Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain. “We can now invite twice as many vendors to respond to a tender, which gives us more choice and makes it easier to compare proposals and prices.”
The online community provides vendors with automated updates on their bids, as well as insights into why they were selected – or not – for different contracts. “With Chatter, we can communicate in real-time with dozens of vendors, which means fewer emails and faster responses,” added Moss.
PCI is equally committed to improving client collaboration and is building a ground-breaking digital platform, which will eventually integrate with Salesforce to provide clients with access to real-time supply chain updates and digital workflows. It also plans to integrate Salesforce with its enterprise resource planning system to manage the client engagement lifecycle and drive even greater efficiency. “Salesforce is a strategic part of our digital roadmap,” said Hull. “It enables us to unlock smarter insights and simplify our processes.”
PCI’s early adoption of digital technologies meant it was better placed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and is in a stronger position for the future. During national lockdowns, Salesforce helped the team to stay connected to the business with real-time updates and metrics even while working remotely. “Salesforce enabled us to respond quickly to a big spike in demand from our clients, which will help improve speed to market for COVID-19 therapies,” added Roberts.
As PCI continues its transformation journey, its early success with Salesforce is one of the key elements that will help unlock more opportunities to enrich the client experience, establish smarter ways of working, and boost competitive advantage. “Salesforce gives us the ability to challenge the status quo and evolve quickly to support our clients as they develop life-changing therapies for patients,” said Roberts. “We’re blazing a trail as a digital leader in this space, and we can’t wait see what the future holds.”