Plus points for the pharmaceutical industry: Compact territories, flexible schedules
- Optimal weekly visit areas
- Distinction between A and B customers
Changes in the field of pharmaceutical marketing required new sales concepts, so Novartis commissioned PTV AG to re-plan the weekly call districts for its consumer health/OTC pharmaceutical sales force across Germany. It was necessary to create a completely new structure
for the districts and the employee trips because, as a result of numerous new regulations, pharmaceutical consultants had to visit chemists more frequently.
”The OTC pharmaceutical product sector is of major importance for our industry,“ explains Harald Spatz, Head of Sales Development at Novartis Consumer Health, which is based in Munich. ”The over-thecounter
items do not require a prescription and the patient has become a critical consumer in this area. He purchases and pays for many of the medicines himself. The industry has to be present. We have
to continually extend our portfolio and adapt to the sales potential.“
The overall goal and task of PTV AG was to provide consultancy and create optimal weekly call districts. In other words, they needed to draw up a list of when which chemists needed to be called at, so that each Novartis employee could visit his business partner with a minimum driving time and within a fixed
interval – and, at the same time, remain flexible for last-minute changes. The flexibility to shift customer call times is a typical requirement of the pharmaceutical industry. For this reason, Novartis and PTV decided against implementing fixed, detailed trip planning. The focus of the project was on creating compact weekly call districts.
To draw up the weekly call districts, Novartis provided the master data for chemists and pharmaceutical consultants across the whole of Germany. PTV AG verified, harmonised and geocoded the data. An interface integrated the data into the Novartis CRM in next to no time. Now all of the address data could be electronically displayed on maps, down to the exact road section. The display included
all of the customers in the specific areas, the home addresses of the sales force employees and the allocation of the consultants to chemists. Novartis made several specifications: for example, calls
should be made to A-customers every four weeks and to B-customers every six weeks by their personal pharma-contacts.
PTV AG implemented Map&Market software to plan the weekly call districts. Depending on the requirements, its ove-rall functions include: the visual display of data on high-quality maps, automatic
geocoding of addresses, portfolio and market analysis, optimisation of sales structure, planning of locations and strategic trips for the sales force.
”PTV gave us excellent advice and delivered a well thought-out result,“ says Harald Spatz. ”We can now optimally plan the weekly call trips for our sales force employees.“ ”We‘re delighted with the result,“ he
summarises. ”PTV AG kept their timing and we appreciate the atmosphere of mutual respect. We jointly discussed suggestions made by both companies and, if necessary, rejected them. However, more than anything, quality and speed were instrumental in making the project successful. At our first meeting
and kick-off session in November 2009, we already discussed matters openly and intelligently. And by 1 January 2010, in spite of the seasonal festivities, we already had a high-quality result.“
Since then, the Novartis consultants in the field of OTC marketing travel according to PTV territory planning. They have all given ”very positive feedback“ according to Harald Spatz. Based on their
experience to date, Novartis Consumer Health is currently making minor changes to further optimise the weekly call planning. And if any of the conditions change – for instance, new chemists are added to the customer base or the allocation of consultants to chemists is changed – the new parameters can be
quickly and easily integrated into the existing weekly call plans. Novartis has not needed to repair the data.
About Novartis Deutschland GmbH
Novartis Deutschland GmbH was founded in 1996 following the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz. Novartis is a global leader in the fields of innovative medicines, generic products, vaccines and OTC products. Novartis Deutschland encompasses four divisions: Novartis Pharma, Sandoz, Novartis Behring and Novartis Consumer Health. The Novartis Group companies employ some 98,200 people wordwide, spread over 140 countries.