Strategy Development: Global Research and Development

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Problem:

A major US Medical Device vendor was in the process of developing across-business, global R&D strategy.  Client leadership believed a coordinated strategy was a requirement for success, but historically fragmented decision-making posed a challenge.

To support an organized and strategic approach to R&D globalization, the client asked The Beacon Group (Beacon) to benchmark competitor organizations, identify best practices, evaluate internal client activities, and align the proposed strategy with internal activities.  As an output, Beacon's client wanted a clear framework for its R&D strategy and data to support its decisions.

Approach:

Beacon worked collaboratively with its client to select 8 companies for study – both inside and outside the Healthcare industry.  In a 10-week, 3-phase engagement Beacon interviewed over 150 market participants - financial, industry, and trade analysts, in-country KOLs and regulators, junior and senior members of benchmark R&D organizations - and approximately 30 client executives across businesses and roles.  Beacon engaged with the client's core team on a bi-weekly basis to brief its progress and provide the client an opportunity to focus or redirect Beacon activities based on information uncovered.  In week 6, Beacon transitioned from a data-collection exercise to analyze and synthesize the information as the basis for its strategic planning work.

Results:

The set of data collected during the course of Beacon's research yielded stories of success and failure, a clear picture of industry norms, best practices and requirements for success.  This knowledge drove development of a 5-year cross-business roadmap for R&D globalization.  Strategies and tactics were presented along a timeline, included recommendations for when, where, and how much to invest, and which specific therapeutic areas and R&D activities should be prioritized in specific geographies.  Recommendations also included market shaping, market development, and competitor differentiation strategies by geography.  Country-specific strategies were presented in the context a comprehensive framework for global R&D operations.  Beacon also recommended a path forward for structuring and coordinating internal R&D roles, responsibilities, and processes across the client's organization.  Since completion, Beacon's client has executed on several of the proposed recommendations and is in-process on others.