Allergan Case Study: A Smart Response to Growth

“Our company’s just gotten twice as big,” said Zander Poth, Allergan’s associate director of sales planning and analytics. Allergan, a unique global pharmaceutical company, is the leader of a new industry model: growth pharma. Allergan (formerly Actavis) has been on an impressive trajectory for years. It understands growth, and how to grow intelligently. Recently, a subset of Allergan’s therapeutics sales organization partnered with ZS to solve a growing problem: ensuring a single source of truth across multiple business units.

Business Issue

Buy-and-bill is growing fast


Reps need access to mobile, reliable and actionable data so they can quickly get the information they need and spend most of their time selling. The more a company grows, the more necessary it becomes to centralize and streamline that information.

Since 2009, buy-and-bill pharmaceutical sales have dramatically expanded, with compound annual growth of more than 5% between 2009 and 2012. As these companies grow, data can’t stay siloed in ever-multiplying and expanding business units. Manual processes need to be automated and streamlined. Data needs to be integrated, analyzed and shared with the whole organization, from sales ops to the field.

The Problem

More data, more problems

Due to new product indications, Allergan’s buy-and-bill therapeutics space had grown rapidly. Manual processes and decentralized data were no longer an option. When Zander assumed sales operations responsibility for part of Allergan’s therapeutics space, he recognized some areas needed to be addressed:

  • Consistency—Each business unit used different data sources.
  • Efficiency—Operations needed to be streamlined to keep pace with growth and to reduce costs.
  • Accuracy—Manual processes needed to be automated.
  • Flexibility—Allergan needed a futureproof solution that evolves with the company.
  • Transparency—Reps needed greater visibility into specialty pharmacy data processing and sales crediting.

“We had four different places where people could get sales information, and it didn’t match up,” said Zander. “We had to make the tool more useful and well-understood.”

The Solution

A new relationship with ZS

Allergan and ZS had been working together in multiple, one-off projects with separate teams for years. Zander decided to change this relationship and began weekly meetings with one dedicated, global ZS team for Allergan. “We were able to look at all the projects Allergan and ZS had done together. Then we took the best approaches and applied them to everything we did.” Specifically, Allergan and ZS set out to make operations:

  • Consistent—Integrate disparate data sources with common business rules.
  • Efficient—Redesign and consolidate reports for the sales force. Create a streamlined, mobile, accurate view of sales and attainment figures and daily, tactical call planning reports.
  • Accurate—Use ZS’s ARTiS™ data management and reporting solution to integrate MicroStrategy, Informatica and Oracle; gather, collect and clean data; then provide a single source of truth for mobile field and HQ reporting, as well as marketing, senior management and business analytics.
  • Flexible—Keep processes running smoothly with weekly check-ins and yearly assessments to ensure that operations stay efficient.
  • Transparent—Give reps access to physician-level data reported by specialty pharmacy providers (SPPs) and integrate buy-and-bill and specialty pharmacy data into one report.

The Results

Faster, better and less expensive

Now the field can spend more time selling because the information it receives is accurate, timely and helpful. “The field really appreciates the value,” said Zander. “We get a lot of positive feedback.”

Because of the ongoing partnership with ZS and the solutions enabled by ARTiS™, Allergan has experienced:

  • $75% cycle time reduction of complicated SPP data management
  • 85% user adoption of mobile reports
  • 24-7 field access to data portals for updating customer relationships and profiles
  • Daily support for home office and field ad hoc requests, with more than 90% of queries resolved within one day
  • A dedicated ZS team that understands Allergan’s business and can respond quickly to any request
  • Ongoing, collaborative working sessions that help ensure Allergan adapts to emerging business needs

“When something comes up, I know I can tackle it with ZS in our next call,” said Zander. “We have good relationships with many vendors, but what’s unique about ZS is how they feel like part of our company. I believe the team supporting us is truly happy when we do well.”