Minority Business Enterprises Intersect with Healthcare and Life Science Organizations to Build Value

September 4, 2019 | Fernando Martinez | President & Chief Executive Officer

Introduction:

Business, IT, and Digital Transformation is the convergence point where information is leveraged in new and innovative ways to create a competitive advantage thus enabling organizational success. This is easier said than done. Barriers, including but not limited to expensive data preparation, structural, cultural and business politics, growth, and vendor lock-in can complicate transformation and possibly derail an advantageous market position. Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) are in a position where their creativity and innovativeness aptly intersect with the Healthcare and Life Science Organizations to solve problems and create value for all stakeholders – patients, Healthcare and Life Sciences organizations, MBEs and Society.

Healthcare and Life Sciences Current State:

Projected to reach $10.059 trillion by 2022 global healthcare spending continues to increase dramatically. Small niche companies where most new drugs are discovered, appear to be driving innovation. Conversely, with increasing spend how do Healthcare and Life Sciences (Hc & LS) organizations optimize their Return-on-Investment where over the last 9 years returns have fallen to their lowest ever for 12 large cap biopharma organizations? R & D returns amounted to 1.9% in 2018 compared to 10.1% in 2010. This definitively indicates a shift in the industry (2019 Global Life Sciences Outlook).

It is predicted that digital transformation can save $300 billion in the Hc & LS sector – more specifically in chronic disease. To remain competitive, Hc & LS organizations must solve three key problems.

First, solve the problem created by the three most mentioned barriers to digital transformation in the pharmaceutical and medical-technology industry: culture and mindset; organizational structure; and, governance. Culture, like many other industries, is the biggest hurdle!

Second, costs associated with lack of persistence (continuous use of the prescribed medication), compliance (following the prescribed treatment plan), and adherence (filling and following the prescribed treatment plan) is costly simply because patients do not achieve expected outcomes. Failure to adhere to the prescribed medicine regimen bears several ramifications and significant costs (Jones, Peter, Rutter, & Somauroo, 2019):

– 50 – 60% of patients with chronic illnesses miss doses, take the wrong doses, or drop off treatment in the first year.

– It is estimated 125,000 lives are lost annually in the US due to nonadherence.

– Estimated that $290 Billion dollars are spent as a result of nonadherence.

– 10% of hospitalizations are considered avoidable through improved medication adherence.

Third, invest in leveraging big data as a competitive advantage. It is estimated that 80% of the cost to using data is in data preparation. This information is important because it will be used to automatically identify risk factors and recommend preventative treatment. It is this ability to convert big data to high value analytics that will drive a real and essential competitive advantage (Wilder-James, 2017).

Solving these three problems will positively impact pharmaceutical-industry revenues. Inventive and Innovative MBEs can solve these problems. Inventive and Innovative MBEs can enter the existing marketplace as partners to already established transformative organizations thereby netting additional value for all stakeholders. This opportunity enables growth for MBEs within this industry while delivering significant value to our Hc & LS members.

Healthcare and Life Sciences Opportunity:

Although much progress has been made in transforming the Hc & LS Industry into an agile, customer centric, competitive industry, there is still more to be done. MBEs can play an integral part in the innovation of already existing digital transformation tools and processes (2019 Global Life Sciences Outlook):

– Patient empowerment growth is facilitated through Personalized Medicine with help from advances in healthcare analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. As the Hc & LS industry shifts to value-based personalized medicine is required to deliver healthcare to patients and the many stakeholders.

– Medtech is another Hc & LS sector where growth is projected over the next 5 years.

– Software-as-a-Medical Device (SaMD) is a rapidly growing area of innovation.

– As more Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) become connected to the Internet, cybersecurity programs must be strengthened to protect patients.

– Licensing, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), and/or Joint Ventures are an attractive source of innovation and reduced R&D investments and diminishing returns.

o In 2018 Transformative Acquisitions ranged between $60 – $70 billion.

o Innovation is stimulating nontraditional partnerships.

– Small Gene Based Therapeutic Startups are disrupting the traditional pharma culture. The challenge is that the pharma’s value chain is built around traditional products, while next-generation therapies are built around the patient.

– Tech Giants (Google, Amazon) are diversifying into Hc & LS sector leveraging big data and artificial intelligence for prediction and prevention as well as machine learning to mine and decode unstructured data in medical records.

– A growing networked ecosystem requires Management of Third-Party Risk.

– New value chain should keep Patients at the Core when new, creative, innovative processes and tools are being designed.

– Outsourcing for Strategic Relationships in biologics, data-driven clinical innovation, manufacturing capacity, expertise in advance technologies such as AI, Robotic and Cognitive Automation, and Cloud Computing to increase efficiencies, lower costs, and decrease clinical timelines.

These and other opportunities exist where MBEs may engage, innovate, add scaled value, and create a competitive advantage.

We are Here for a Purpose:

We are here to create a better society through improved healthcare in a competitive and sustainable manner. We come together to create an intersection of companies, building an ecosystem of differing expertise, enabling the design and development of the next original, creative, and relevant idea that will bring value to patients, Hc& LS members, MBEs, and, for the benefit of society at large. As leaders of Supply Chain Diversity, we understand that individuals and companies offer differing perspectives thereby leading to richer problem solving, and more creative outputs. Not only must organizations look to the obvious (leverage big data analytics, course correct the culture to a more collaborative one, and be part of the growing digital transformation in every aspect of Hc & LS) to gain a competitive advantage, organizations must be inclusive of a Diverse Supply Chain in their quest to innovate as an added competitive advantage.


Northwest Mountain MSDC 


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Reference:

Industry Report, 2019 Global life sciences outlook | Focus and Transform | Accelerating change in life sciences (January 31, 209). Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu Limited

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/life-sciences-and-health-care/articles/us-and-global-lifesciences-industry-trends-outlook.html

Jones, G. L., Zinaida, P., Rutter, K.A., Somauroo, A. (2019) Promoting and overdue digital transformation in healthcare. McKinsey & Company

https://healthcare.mckinsey.com/promoting-overdue-digital-transformation-healthcare

Wilder-James, E. (2017 Winter).The Data-Driven Manager, Making the Numbers Work for you. Harvard Business Review.

UW Students Present “Supplier Diversity Toolkit” at the 2019 Annual Conference

University of Washington students, Lukas Garcia, Jaclyn Hill, Wenqi Huang, Ashlyn Reid and Sy Ruiz of the Supplier Diversity Program conducted research on building a Supplier Diversity Toolkit. With guidance from Michael Verchot, Director of the UW Consulting and Business Development Center and Fernando Martinez, CEO of the Northwest Mountain MSDC, they had the opportunity to share their findings at our 2019 Annual Conference hosted on June 19, 2019.

View Supplier Diversity Toolkit Presentation Here

FB Live Stream Here

Best Practices – Effective Networking

This is a continuation of “How to Prepare for Effective Networking.”

We polled some of our corporate members and MBEs on effective networking. They sent us some of the best practices, tips, and Dos and Don’ts of networking.

When you get there:

  1. Be patient.  (Networking and establishing business relationships takes time).
  2. Come in with a targeted list of who you want to make an impact with and what you will offer.
  3. (Remember to always) be professional, have a professional presence.  First impressions are important.
  4. When I’m networking, I like to start out with the mindset of, “How can I help the people I meet?”
  5. Relax, networking events can be overwhelming at times.
  6. Believe that you can and will make great progress.  After making all the necessary preparations, having the right mindset can lead to many great things.

How to introduce yourself:

  1. Keep your introduction succinct.
  2. Offer a handshake and introduce yourself and what organization you are with. (Remember the name. Use it three times and it’s yours.)
  3. Smile… be welcoming.
  4. Don’t assume that the person that you met previously will remember your name!  Unless a person is addressing you by your name when you see them again, then assume they don’t know and state it again.

During the conversation:

  1. Show passion for what you do.
  2. LISTEN closely to what’s being said.
  3. Listen twice as much as talk. Ask questions.
  4. Show excitement for what they do.
  5. Write down information in stenography notebook.
  6. Consider this first meeting as an opportunity for relationship building and for future opportunities to connect… you’re not going to get it all done with the first meeting, so don’t try.  We don’t want to (and you shouldn’t want to) spend 30 minutes with any one individual at a networking event.
  7. Don’t be disappointed if a target corporation is not interested or doesn’t have any current opportunities.  It’s better that you know now than be strung along.
  8. However, don’t assume that corporations do not talk to each other… we do!  And often times, we can be your resource to meet other potential targets.

How to make the most out of it:

  1. Ask about other companies attending the event that they should meet.  We can be very helpful this way and want to direct you to those that can benefit from knowing more about your company.
  2. Instead of trying to collect contact information, I’m actively listening to the people I meet at an event and trying to figure out how I can help them solve a problem.
  3. If I can’t help them directly, I connect them with someone in my network who can do that for them. I try to be a connector and give more value than I get.
  4. Team up with an existing customer to use as an immediate reference to your work when meeting future/potential customers.  An in-person testimonial can seal next steps quickly.
  5. Seek to develop a relationship with the event host leadership.  In the case of the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council, a MBE should develop a solid rapport with the CEO, Staff, Board of Directors and Corporate sponsors.

How to close:

  1. Make the ASK and go for the appropriate close so you get a chance at the next steps.
  2. Exchange cards and ask if you may contact them.
  3. Ask for a business card and let them know you’ll be contacting them in the near term to provide an electronic capabilities statement, but also an email to better define your value proposition for that particular corporation.
  4. Don’t ask for a business card if you have no intention of following up.  If you have provided us with your business card… we’ll remember that you didn’t follow up.
  5. If you make a solid corporate connection during an event and you would like to follow-up with that person, politely ask if you can schedule a meeting with them right on the spot!  Recommendation – ask for a date at least 30 days out from the current date to minimize potential conflicts as many Supplier Diversity professionals typically have a busy travel schedule.  Also for an initial call, I recommend you ask for a 30 minute or less conference call – not an hour.

What not to do:

  1. Don’t let nerves take over so you keep talking, don’t dominate the conversation.
  2. DO NOT take all of their time or make them feel captive.  Networking is meant to mingle with many people.
  3. Don’t try and “sell” your company’s products and services at a networking event unless the conversation lends itself to that; on the other hand, be prepared to clearly articulate your business in a 15 second elevator pitch because invariably someone will ask you “what do you do”.
  4. Don’t try to land a job, your goal is to make the introduction
  5. Don’t distribute handouts… this is not the time or place.
  6. LEAVE any marketing materials at home – give and collect business cards.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog: Dennis Brooks, Lisa Castillo, Pedro Castro, Lana Gosnell, James Hing, Sharon S. Lucas, Fernando Martinez, and Swen Nater.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors, contributors, references and commenters on this site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council or its employees, stakeholders, members and sponsors. Any mention of other companies and organizations aside from the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council does not necessarily reflect or represent the views, opinions or positions of those companies and organizations or their employees, stakeholders, members and sponsors. Read more: Legal Disclaimer

How to Prepare for Effective Networking

Direct recommendations from Supplier Diversity Executives and MBEs

Northwest Mountain MSDC events provide excellent venues for business networking. While preparing for the 2018 Annual Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, we polled some of our corporate members and MBEs on effective networking. They sent us some of the best practices, tips, and Dos and Don’ts of networking.

Please remember that these are the opinions of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Council, and these apply to Premiere Events. For full legal disclaimer please visit the Council’s Disclaimer Page.

Preparing for the Event:
Before you attend an event, decide what success looks like for you. Document your objectives for the purpose of observing what you achieved after participating.
Plan your strategic approach and strategic communication.
Be prepared, review the members list before hand and set a goal for who you want to meet.
Identify important people you want to meet and reach out in advance, if possible. Say “Looking forward to meeting you.”
Make the most of your time by ensuring you do your homework and be prepared for those you will be meeting with.

On what to say:
Prepare a short paragraph on exactly what you do. Practice it.
Refine the introduction of yourself and the business your represent – customize an introduction for a corporate target vs an “unknown” individual, but also identify whether you are the business owner, BD rep, etc. We want to know who we’re talking to.

Have your elevator speech solid and ready including what is your value proposition specific to those you’re targeting at the networking event. A generalized value proposition doesn’t always cut it. Elevator speeches should not be more than 3 minutes.
Don’t try to land a job, your goal is to make the introduction.

On preparing your questions:
Building rapport with someone is extremely effective if you are good at asking questions – practice listening more and talking less.
Make a list of questions you want to ask your target company. It shows interest and intent. The answers you receive may also help develop your business strategy.

On what to know:
Know your audience: in other words, do your homework on WHO is attending the networking event and then DO research about them before you get to the networking event so you’re up to date about their business model, recent press releases & strategy plans.
Check out the company’s Supplier Diversity website – not all programs are the same and it will give you a foundation of understanding what you need to say.
Research the company’s mission, so you know their company’s top priorities and it then becomes apparent you have done your research.
If you can, KNOW what your future potential customer needs are BEFORE the event so that you network with future customers who actually could consume your products or services. A win-win for both parties at a networking event.

On preparing your value proposition:
Be prepared to communicate your value proposition and what makes you different than your competition. (Corporations are contacted by hundreds of suppliers via email, at events, phone calls etc., each supplier wants a contract and would like to do business with us – but why should we do business with you versus the other 99 suppliers who approached us before you? What makes you different? Be prepared and ready to communicate this).

Practice! Practice! Practice!
Practice your introduction with what you want to offer.
Practice on your elevator speech and make it brief but informative. Be professional!

On what to bring:
Bring business cards!
Know who is coming so you can plan what to say and what to bring.
Come in with a targeted list of who you want to make an impact with and what you will offer.
Bring a stenography notebook for writing down contacts. Four columns: Name, Organization, Position, Notes.
Always bring enough of your business cards to any event.
Don’t distribute handouts… this is not the time or place.

LEAVE any marketing materials at home – give and collect business cards.

On who to bring:
BRING your owner and decision makers to build those relationships and show the face of your company beyond the sales person.

What not to miss:
Be professional, have a professional presence and proofread your marketing materials. First impressions are important.
(With regards to your business cards) from a print perspective, glossy business cards look cool, but I prefer a semi-matte finish so that I can write on my cards with a ballpoint pen. This may be a website, an app, or a quick tip I can share with someone. It attaches greater value to my name and it’s convenient.
Make a list of current or past business partners that you can talk about and use as reference during and after networking.
If you can find an “icebreaker” or someone to make the introduction that is really helpful but not necessary.

A note (or more) on what to wear:
Over dress! Make sure to be in Business Professional Dress (No 2nd chance for a 1st impression).
Dress like an executive.
Wear something to an event that is professional, but memorable! Most business events have a plethora of people wearing black, however bright, solid colors really stand out. While your connection may not remember your name the next time, they may remember something about your outfit.
Dress appropriately & drink responsibly.

Final tip:
When you know that some of your target corporations will be attending a networking event…DO some homework, but DON’T dominate their time. Remember, this is your first opportunity to meet your target and leave a lasting and great impression. Make sure you leave us wanting to further the conversation because having a foundation of a strong relationship will keep you memorable.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog: Dennis Brooks, Lisa Castillo, Pedro Castro, Lana Gosnell, James Hing, Sharon S. Lucas, Fernando Martinez, Swen Nater.

The above information is intended solely for personal non-commercial use. Any information taken from this page is the full responsibility of the user. While we have taken every precaution to insure that the content is both current and accurate, errors can occur. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, consulting or any other professional advice or service. Please read our legal disclaimer.