Insights

Master Data Management for Medical Products Companies


Video Transcript – Bret Caldwell, Principal


So the medical device industry has clearly had a tough run the last couple years. Economic and regulatory challenges are clearly causing medical device companies to evolve their sales strategies and models.

Why Master Data Management (MDM) is Crucial to New Sales Strategies

We’re focusing more now on key account management, C-Suite selling, and value-based selling, but not all of it is succeeding. Commonly, we’re hearing, “We talk a lot about selling to the C-Suite, but we rarely go there.” Or, “My sales force is trained on value-based selling, but they continue to focus on relationship selling.”

In general, we’re seeing that there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with some of these new models and there’s a lot of finger-pointing going on.

So you may be asking yourself, “Who’s to blame?” Sales management and human resources are the most common to blame. But we find that poor master data management, which is often called MDM, can be a key cause for failure, and it’s often overlooked. MDM basically is a combination of systems, processes, etc., to link, and manage, and process commercial data. It combines all of your commercial data so your sales force and marketing can make better decisions.

Key Success Factors

We found several key success factors in building an MDM solution that works. The solution needs to be designed with a commercial strategy in mind and not be a stand-alone IT project. We need to have clear definition of our customer, as well as strong processes to manage updates over time. This will form the foundation for clearer relationships among the data, hierarchies, and customer segmentation.

We need to be customer-centric and focus on supporting our customers’ buying process. This allows us to give our sales force real-time access to the data they need and a 360-degree view of how we, as a company, are interacting with them.

Case Study: Medical Products Manufacturer "Cleans Up" Customer Accounts with MDM

For example, one company we worked with went through a major customer account cleanup process. This allowed them to adopt a third party’s definition of customer accounts as well as GPO and IDN membership. This, then, became their single truth in reference for customer updates.

Now, obviously, there were times when the data wasn’t perfect. But they found it was infinitely more reliable and stable than sales rep input. The company also put in place data governance processes to allow for manual corrections when needed, and clearly, that happened once in a while. This resulted in more reliable data and less complicated data maintenance, and ultimately, more successful business relationships with IDNs.

Other Benefits from Improved MDM Processes

In other examples, we’ve helped our clients much more broadly, including helping them develop concise customer master databases, automate manual processes, update or implement supporting systems, as well as train employees on better data management practices.

Some of the most impactful outcomes include streamlined data update processes, fewer but more insightful reports and dashboards, as well as better utilization of CRM systems, and improved trust overall in the data. Typically, this all results in analysts having much more time for commercial analysis instead of data crunching, as well as lower total sales operations costs.

With today’s market environment and tomorrow’s sale strategies, when it comes to MDM, the question for medical product companies should no longer be “Should we do this?” but “How can we do this? How can we invest in MDM and be more effective at it?”

This video is part of our "How Data Management & Analytics Enable New Selling Models" series.