Project Portfolio

PSS tailors its approach based on the specifics of each client's situation; the following projects are examples of how we have helped other clients.

Please click on the individual examples below to read a summary of each project;
you can also use the filters at the top of the page to select projects by type of Service or Industry.

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Major Modality Vendor

Major Modality Vendor

Optical Device Manufacturer

Optical Device Manufacturer

Client Situation
A leader manufacturer of optical devices sought assistance in assessing the competitive dynamics for a new cataract surgery device, including both marketed products and late stage pipeline product candidates. The client asked PSS to help develop a comprehensive launch strategy for a breakthrough innovation based on physician preferences and potential changes to the current reimbursement environment,

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Synthesized secondary research to understand current treatments and unmet needs
  • Structured primary research to supplement information gleaned from secondary research
  • Interviewed Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and industry participants to understanding emerging treatments
  • Developed patient flow model to estimate volume by patient sub-population group
  • Estimated range of per-case revenue for key patient sub-populations
  • Created financial model to quantify size of addressable markets
  • Assembled expert panel to gauge reaction to likely demand for key segments and proposed per-case revenue
  • Developed baseline forecast with scenarios and sensitivity analyses
  • Designed Go-to-Market strategy for product introduction

 

Results:

The final recommendations for this project included:

  • The critical success factors, needs and competitive dynamics for key patient sub-populations
  • The key value proposition that resonates for different groups of clinicians working in different settings
  • Implementation plan, key milestones and required resources
  • Comprehensive Go-to-Market Strategy
  • Focused launch plan for the 9 months prior to commercial introduction

 

In preparation for commercial introduction, the client is in the final stages of executing on its launch strategy.

Leading Med Tech Company

Leading Med Tech Company

Client Situation:
Senior management of a leading med tech company wanted to quantify potential efficiency gains by improving end-to-end supply chain integration with key clients and distributor partners. The project was designed to deliver specific recommendations for specific changes to business processes, information technology systems and performance metrics/incentive compensation across the organization to support changes to supply chain.

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Met with senior leadership to confirm project objectives and review past efforts to improve supply chain performance
  • Reviewed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other documents to develop detailed understanding of current supply chain operations
  • Combined secondary and primary research to understand supply chain integration of other leading industry participants
  • Developed financial model to estimate financial impact of potential improvements to current supply chain processes
  • Evaluated multiple scenarios to completing end-to-end supply integration with key clients and distribution partners
  • Worked with client leadership team to agree on relative attractiveness of alternative supply chain integration approaches
  • Gained consensus on go-forward supply chain integration strategy
  • Established Program Management Office (PMO) to manage the ongoing implementation effort

 

Results:

The med tech company decided to move forward with the proposed end-to-end supply chain integration that included:

  • Specific changes to business processes and investment in information technology systems required to support planned supply chain integration
  • Realignment of management responsibilities
  • Recommended implementation timeline and interim milestones
  • Evaluation of key constituencies’ likely attitudes towards pending changes
  • Resource-loaded implementation plan with accompanying financial model estimated required investment and projected financial benefits
  • Comprehensive communication strategy to ensure staff across the company had clear understanding of planned supply chain integration

 

The med tech company moved forward with the proposed end-to-end supply chain integration. The PSS project team helped establish the PMO, which is actively managing the multi-year implementation effort.

International Medical Device Manufacturer

International Medical Device Manufacturer

Client Situation:
Worked with senior management of international medical device manufacturer to design risk-based models to support value-based contracting. Client leadership wanted to prepare a comprehensive contracting strategy rather than respond to ad-hoc requests by provider groups and payors for value-based contract proposals.

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Reviewed company’s past examples of negotiating non-traditional contracting and confirm the “lessons learned” from these experiences
  • Presented examples from “adjacent” industries (e.g., pharmaceutical and biotech) where value-based contracts had been negotiated and agree on relevance to medical device industry
  • Developed multiple segmentation schemas to define specific market segments in terms of medical device categories (e.g., interventional devices), payor types (e.g., Medicare Risk and Special Needs Plans) and provider types (e.g., integrated delivery networks)
  • Synthesized available secondary research and identify key knowledge gaps to be addressed via primary research
  • Completed depth interviews with key industry participants to solicit feedback on alternative approaches to value-based contacting and opinions of likely competitive response of other medical device manufacturers
  • Evaluated likely attractiveness of alternative approaches for value-based contracting, including development of integrated financial models
  • Worked with senior management to agree on relative merits of alternative value-based contracting approaches and prioritize by likely attractiveness
  • Developed Go-to-Market strategy for value-based contracting strategy
  • Prepared resource-loaded implementation plan

 

Results:
The project led to:

  • Management team agreement on key objectives for value-based contracting strategy and risk profile for commercial introduction
  • Prioritized list of opportunities to launch value-based contracting
  • Estimate of projected financial impact of proposed launch of value-based contracting strategy
  • Identification of key capabilities required for successful launch of value-based contracting strategy
  • Recommended implementation strategy and assessment of companies with complementary capabilities
  • Development of a three-year strategic plan to address capability gaps via in-house development and partnership/acquisition candidates

 

 

The senior leadership team of the medical device company aligned on the long-term vision for value-based contracting and reached agreement on the phased rollout across the organization. The company has been satisfied with the progress of the initial rollout.

Diversified Medical Technology Vendor

Diversified Medical Technology Vendor

Client Situation:
A leading diversified medical technology vendor asked PSS to help develop an IT strategy to accelerate integration with an emerging set of Software as a Service (SAAS) applications. The client had spent significant effort completing “one-off integrations” and sought help to develop a comprehensive strategy that would allow it to leverage existing technology to create a standards-based Application Program Interface (API) that allows users to easily integrate with other systems for better automation and management of business process

 

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Reviewed range of SAAS applications currently being deployed and identify key application categories
  • Profiled leading SAAS applications, including types of data and potential value to be derived from potential integration
  • Clarified requirements definition for baseline integration requirements
  • Assessed relative importance of “nice-to-have” integration functionality
  • Conducted exploratory discussions with selected partners and developers
  • Created Proof of Concept (PoC) document that specifies the key elements of planned integration
  • Confirmed willingness of selected SAAS application vendors to participate with planned integration
  • Worked with key stakeholders to confirm that the planned integration will meet the client’s needs
  • Synthesized findings regarding recommendations for integration program

 

Results:
This project provided the diversified medical technology vendor: with a SAAS application integration strategy, including:

  • Development of a comprehensive SAAS application integration strategy
  • Management consensus as to the key priorities for the integration program and associated investment requirements
  • Production of a resource-loaded implementation plan with specific measurement criteria and interim milestones to gauge progress against goals
  • Alignment on a set of metrics and analytics designed to objectively measure performance under the Transformation Strategy
  • Clear articulation of the key performance targets to be achieved by quarter over the next 24 months

 

One year after the project’s completion, the client had completed the initial set of SAAS application integrations and the overall integration initiative was ahead of schedule and under budget.

Leading Non-profit University

Leading Non-profit University

Client Situation
The senior leadership of a distinguished non-profit university sought assistance from an objective strategy consulting firm to articulate the appropriate role of web-based information as part of the larger educational strategy to improve education quality and help attract new funding sources.

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Worked with senor leadership team of leading non-profit university to confirm understanding of key mission and long-term vision for education
  • Combined secondary and primary market research to develop unified view of “what the world is telling us”
  • Analyzed range of approaches varying institutions have taken to adopting web-based information sources
  • Met with executives of leading technology organizations to review their perspective on the future role of web-based information in an academic setting
  • Evaluated how various initiatives are likely to view potential funding sources are likely to view
  • Summarized key findings of work completed to date and recommend specific changes
  • Recommended high-level strategy and specific investments in web-based information, subscription-only databases and other information sources

 

Results:
The project team recommended that the university:

  • Work with the university’s leadership team to agree on how future generations of academics will use printed and online resource sources to guide learning
  • Assess how other leading institutions have encouraged faculty and administrators to work together
  • Identify potential donors likely to be interested in the emerging use of data

 

The client implemented the team’s recommendations and instituted periodic performance assistance reviews.

University Affiliated Research Institute

University Affiliated Research Institute

Client Situation:
The leadership of a University-affiliated research institute sought outside assistance to help ensure that overhead allocations were competitive with other institutions so that external R&D collaborators and non-profit entities did not conclude that the university’s allocations were not “competitive”.

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Reviewed historical financial reports to assess typical overhead allocations by department
  • Gathered data from other institutions and evaluate overhead allocations by functions for institutions within peer group
  • Met with management of non-profit and corporate entities interested in research collaborations to understand their perspectives on “university overhead” and how this influenced their decisions regarding R&D collaborations
  • Developed report of preliminary findings and recommendations
  • Met with key constituencies to review range of perspectives on preliminary recommendations and thoughts on go-forward strategy
  • Synthesized findings to develop recommendations

 

Results:
Because of the project, the institute’s management team decided to:

  • Complete a zero-basedF budget of all administrative functions to identify potential savings opportunities
  • Quantify the “minimum required” administrative expenditures and compare against the “optimal service level” required to meet needs of internal/external constituencies
  • Reach a consensus on how to structure allocations for external research requests

 

The project led to agreement on go-forward policies for standard expense allocations for R&D projects and, as required, customizing allocations to meet needs of strategic programs

State University System

State University System

Client Situation:
Worked with leadership team of state university system to benchmark their current online offerings against other industry leaders and develop long-term strategy for online teaching and other innovations to reshape how, when and where learning takes place.

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Synthesized available secondary research on demand for specific academic degrees, employment market trends and educational requirements by sector to gain consensus on the likely future demand for specific types of education
  • Interviewed key individuals at each campus to confirm understanding of current use of online course technology and other emerging education-related technology
  • Compared system’s use of online course technology against other institutions in the state and other leading state university systems
  • Evaluated likely impact of increased use of online courses and massive open online courses (MOOCs)
  • Facilitated workshop with key stakeholders
  • Synthesized findings to develop recommendations

 

Results:
The project led to:

  • Estimated cost and potential benefits (including qualitative benefits) for each category of expanded use of online courses and other innovations
  • Prioritized list of opportunities likely to have the greatest impact from expansion of online courses
  • Recommended implementation strategy and short list of technology partners with ability to streamline introduction of innovative programs
  • Clear articulation of aspirational goals to be achieved by 2025 along with objective milestones to be achieved at pre-defined dates
  • Development of a communication strategy designed to convey the anticipated benefits to the entire organization of the planned investment to expand online courses and other technology-driven innovations

 

The senior leadership of the state university had individual and small group sessions with staff at each location and, based on an apparent consensus, decided to proceed with the planned changes. The expansion of online courses exceeded the initial set of goals.

Selective Research University

Selective Research University

Client Situation:
A leading research university sought outside assistance as it sought to develop a comprehensive plan to stay competitive in a challenging environment where it had lost a sizable portion of its endowment and had also experienced a significant reduction in externally-sponsored R&D funding.

 

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Reviewed current long-range plan and financial reports for the past ten years
  • Worked with university leadership to confirm its understanding of the current financial situation and likely future funding based on projected investment returns
  • Interviewed university leadership and key faculty researchers to explore potential factors that had contributed to the reduction in externally-sponsored R&D funding
  • Reviewed the institutions’ current adoption of educational innovations (e.g., online courses, international affiliations and executive education focused on corporate executives)
  • Benchmarked university’s current strategy and adoption of educational innovations against other leading institutions in their peer group
  • Completed online survey to gather input from administrators and faculty across the organization
  • Facilitated workshop with key leadership
  • Synthesized findings regarding recommendations and developed implementation plans with specific measurement criteria and interim milestones to gauge progress against goals

 

Results:
As an outcome of this project, the university:

  • Developed a Transformation Strategy that reflected the growing role of technology, opportunity to increase alignment with corporate R&D partners, need for streamlined university administration with increased efficiency and reduced overhead allocations
  • Conducted a series of sessions to communicate rationale for changes and ensure widespread agreement with associated changes to organizational structure and budget priorities
  • Aligned on a set of metrics and analytics designed to objectively measure performance under the Transformation Strategy
  • Clearly articulated the long-term vision as well as key performance targets to be achieved in 3, 5 and 10 years

 

The University has begun implementing the agreed-upon Transformation Strategy and conducted its first annual Strategic Retreat to review progress against plan as well as to address key challenges.

Leading biotechnology company

Leading biotechnology company

Client Situation:
Leading biotechnology company was concerned that growth had slowed for an important franchise due to a perception amongst patients and their HCPs that their patient access program was not competitive with those offered by other therapeutics in the class.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Detailed discussions with senior management
  • Discussions with broad range of industry participants, including HCPs, patient advocacy groups, pharmacists and specialty pharmacy executives
  • Researched the “tangible” aspects of the current patient access program and assessed the range of perceptions regarding the “softer” aspects of the program, including the reaction of patients and HCPs to programs from our client and other manufacturers with competing therapeutics
  • Contacted range of PAP vendors to assess whether incumbent vendor was providing “state-of-the-art” offerings
  • Explored potential to refine and enhance existing offerings, including likely timeline and cost to implement proposed changes

Results:
The project team worked with senior client management to agree on implications of project findings as to how key stakeholders viewed current patient assistance program vs. competitors. The recommendations included:

  • Revised patient assistance program structure to include a “concierge-like” set of services that help address frequent patient issues
  • Short list of alternative vendors
  • New features and refinements used by other patient assistance programs that management may consider for its products
  • Resource-loaded implementation plan with proposed milestones
  • Preliminary recommendations on communication strategy and patient-focused message for review and refinement by outside ad agency

The client adopted the recommended changes to their current patient assistance program. Since implementation, the product’s multi-year decline in market share has reversed.

Specialty pharmaceutical company

Specialty pharmaceutical company

Client Situation:
The Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of a leading specialty pharmaceutical company retained PSS to help evaluate options to launch a soon-to-be approved innovative therapeutic that was first-in-class therapy for a niche indication. The company’s objectives were to leverage the resources of a firm with an established salesforce while minimizing the share of revenue provided to the commercial partner.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Reviewed clinical trial results to assess likely label claims upon expected approval
  • Evaluated recently-completed analysis of market opportunity and prescriber profile for niche indication
  • Completed extensive secondary research to characterize the existing salesforce and commercial capabilities of 10+ potential partners
  • Worked with client management to prioritize attractiveness of potential commercial partners
  • Contacted executives with the 4 most attractive potential partners
  • For each of 4 potential commercial partners, evaluated strategic fit and level of interest

Results:
The project team worked with client management to:

  • Confirm PSS’ assessment of relative attractiveness/interest
  • Select 2 firms that appeared to have a strong strategic fit and were most interested in further discussions to explore the opportunity
  • Support client management in their efforts to negotiate the terms of a commercial partnership to launch this niche therapeutic

The client successfully negotiated the terms of the commercial partnership that included co-promotion rights for specific categories of potential prescribers. Once the therapeutic was approved by the FDA, the client and the selected commercial partner exceeded NRx and TRx targets for each of the first four quarters following launch.

Global pharmaceutical manufacturer

Global pharmaceutical manufacturer

Client Situation:
Global pharmaceutical manufacturer was interested in developing innovative launch strategy to leverage their strength in a therapeutic category in which they had a leading franchise for many years. Following the acquisition of a novel therapeutic, they sought outside assistance to help design and implement a launch strategy to address the many generic alternatives available within the therapeutic category

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Work with management to confirm competitive advantages vs. competition based on novel label
  • Review formulary positions of all therapeutics in class
  • Synthesize assessments completed to support acquisition rationale and additional patient and HCP market research
  • Perform secondary research to quantify segment dynamics
  • Design and execute market research to assess likely reaction to proposed marketing messages for both HCPs and consumers
  • Use quantitative and qualitative research to evaluate alternative sampling/copay card strategies
  • Complete in-person depth interviews with industry participants
  • Synthesize primary and secondary research to make recommendations

Results:
The project team recommended that the client structure a regional test to compare the effectiveness of two alternative launch strategies designed to …

  • Compare patient and HCP reaction captured by market research with the “real world” sales performance of each launch strategy
  • Support the calculation of a Return-on-Investment for each of the launch strategies
  • Gain internal consensus as to how the company wishes to pursue national launch for this innovative product

After 5 months of testing, the client decided to proceed with a national rollout of the first launch strategy being tested. The product exceeded its launch goals by 50% and continues to do well

Global pharmaceutical manufacturer

Global pharmaceutical manufacturer

Client Situation:
Global pharmaceutical manufacturer sought assistance to help conduct a rigorous valuation of co-promotion rights to a Blockbuster in order to inform negotiating strategy and decide whether to restructure current co-promotion arrangements or pursue a royalty-based financing.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Work with client management to obtain full range of data from multiple systems (including sales force activity, prescription volume and financial information)
  • Combine data to create unified, linked data to support analyses and quantify likely impact of expected new product approvals in the same therapeutic category
  • Create comprehensive valuation model that included automated functionality to run a number of pre-defined scenarios/li>
  • Work with client management to agree on “base case” and 3 additional “most likely” scenarios and summarize associated financial results
  • Conduct initial discussions with management of co-promotion partner and potentially-suitable royalty investors
  • Work with Finance Brand Team and other members of Commercial management to finalize valuation model
  • Recommend go-forward strategy to maximize value of co-promotion rights

Results:
The project team worked with client management to develop consensus valuation model and assess strategic options, including …

  • Review draft valuation models and develop final, consensus valuation model
  • Agree on risks and benefits of alternative strategies to continue marketing blockbuster product
  • Align on optimal go-forward strategy to maximize value of co-promotion rights and finalize negotiating approach

Based on project team’s recommendation, client management successfully renegotiated current co-promotion agreement to reduce share of revenue retained by co-promotion partner and increase proportion of total sales attributed to client vs. to co-promotion partner

Regional Medical Center

Regional Medical Center

Client Situation:
Regional Medical Center (695 beds) and Health System in central Pennsylvania sought outside assistance to help develop a change management program to smooth the planned implementation of a system-wide Clinical Integration Project

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Assessed adequacy of clinical and administrative data to analyze quality and efficiency standards and best practices
  • Designed clinical performance metrics for all targeted improvement areas
  • Facilitated dozens of departmental meetings to reach consensus on performance metrics
  • Developed data-driven performance monitoring plan for all medical specialties and departments
  • Coached executive and departmental managers on implementing clinical improvement objectives with medical leaders and staff

Results:
Over the course of four months, the project team:

  • Mapped the current clinical practices across the network, highlighting improvement opportunities
  • Generated consensus among the executive and department leadership regarding how to harmonize the disparate practices between facilities
  • Facilitated working sessions with medical leaders and other clinical staff to ensure there was a consistent understanding of the potential benefits of system-wide Clinical Integration and to help the senior leadership team identify key challenges that needed to be addressed to avoid disruption to the planned Clinical Integration project

The Health System moved forward with the Clinical Integration Project and avoided potential disruption from department management, medical and other clinical staff

Regional healthcare system

Regional healthcare system

Client Situation:
A regional healthcare system with over 2,500 beds in multiple acute care hospitals, outpatient centers and physician groups sought outside assistance to develop and implement a set of performance metrics across the organization

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Worked with hospital leadership to assemble data from multiple internal systems (e.g., Hospital ADT, clinical, EHR, and financial systems)
  • Evaluated range of third party data sources (e.g., Premier, Crimson, Truven, UHC, CHMB, Medicare and third party survey data)
  • Conducted one-on-one meetings, small group meetings and workshops to agree on small number of “general” metrics as well as the key clinical domains that warranted specific metrics
  • Worked with physician leadership and hospital management to help resolve disagreements regarding appropriate care transition measures and PCP/Specialist/Hospital responsibility for any adverse events/poor outcomes

Results:
The project team worked with senior client management to finalize a new organizational structure that addressed the key concerns regarding how to best meet customer needs. The recommendations included:

  • Developed set of recommended performance metrics and worked with cross-section of hospital and provider group management to refine so that they represented a consensus across the organization
  • Created implementation plan with interim milestones to be measured to assess impact of new performance metrics and to identify any needed refinements to these measures
  • Designed communication strategy to communicate rationale and benefits of new set of performance metrics

The client implemented the redesigned set of performance metrics and have seen dramatic improvements in financial performance clinical outcomes (based on objective measures) and patient satisfaction (based on third party survey results)

Large regional hospital

Large regional hospital

Client Situation:
A large regional hospital sought consulting support to accelerate long-standing efforts to optimize clinical and support staffing strategies designed to enhance clinical quality/outcomes while improving efficiency

Project Approach & Techniques:
In order to confirm the “current state” and quantify the opportunities to enhance clinical workflow and optimize staffing strategy, the project team:

  • Linked data extracted from multiple systems and analyzed linked data set to quantify current staffing practices and correlation with clinical outcomes
  • Analyzed data to assess financial impact of current clinical workflow and create cost analysis summaries for management discussions
  • Worked with clinical and financial leadership to evaluate alternative approaches to streamline clinical workflow, staffing strategies and staff scheduling

Results:
The project team developed recommendation to optimize clinical workflow and staffing strategies to improve clinical outcomes and address targeted quality issues (e.g., incidence of hospital-acquired infections). Key elements of the plan to optimize clinical workflow and staffing strategies included:

  • Confirming agreement of key members of management regarding proposed changes, including medical, nursing and financial leadership
  • Developing process for management to use data to help minimize inefficiency and improve clinical outcomes
  • Enable continuous oversight to help create and sustain healthy growth

The client successfully rolled out the proposed changes to clinical workflow and staffing. Within five quarters, there was a measurable improvement in quality of care (as reported by NCQA HEDIS & Quality Measurement scores)

Major provider group

Major provider group

Client Situation:
Large provider group wanted to evaluate alternatives and design risk-based contracting strategy that required substantial changes to current contracting strategies, including dramatic shift from fee-for-service to risk-based contracts

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Evaluated IDN’s key objectives for new product offering
  • Reviewed history of contracts with key provider groups
  • Analyzed past and projected future payment patterns
  • In-person depth interviews with key providers
  • Additional depth interviews with competitors, industry participants

Results:
The project team delivered recommendations that included:

  • Adding potential opportunity for providers to receive performance-based compensation to align interests of all parties
  • Starting with provider groups that were interested in proposed new arrangements
  • Agreeing on interim performance milestones and periodic reviews
  • Structuring arrangements that allowed either party to revert to prior arrangements if certain “worse case” scenarios came to pass

There was a significant improvement in objectively-measured clinical outcomes for patients treated under these contracts. At the end of the second year, the number of participating provider groups increased substantially

Diversified financial & services company

Diversified financial & services company

Client Situation:
Diversified financial & services company sought outside assistance to assess opportunities to rationale current accounts payable process and enhance current information technology systems to improve financial performance and reduce the need for manual intervention by internal accounting staff

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Work with management to understand current accounts payable processes
  • Obtain data from internal systems and analyze to confirm historical patterns of accounts payable volume and vendor concentration
  • Summarize results of A/P analyses and identify areas with greatest potential to increase efficiency
  • Review current information technology system capabilities to process accounts payable and consolidate small dollar invoices from the same vendors
  • Speak with management of selected vendors to confirm potential impact of changing current payment processes
  • Recommend specific systems and processes changes to improve efficiency of current accounts payable processes
  • Develop comprehensive project plan to guide implementation of changes to current accounts payable process

Results:
The project team worked with client management to …

  • Agree on shortcomings of current accounts payable system and confirm the potential benefits of proposed changes
  • Summarize magnitude of potential benefits of implementing changes and compare to the likely cost and disruption associated with implementing proposed changes
  • Finalize contract with new information systems vendor for SaaS-based suite of tools to manage future accounts payable processing and payment functions

The systems implementation and process changes were completed on-time and on-budget

Major Pharmaceutical Company – Life Cycle Management & “Generic Blunting”

Major Pharmaceutical Company – Life Cycle Management & “Generic Blunting”

Client Situation:
A brand team sought assistance to finalize development plans for next-generation therapies in the face of Loss of Exclusivity (LoE) for a key project and wanted to develop programs to minimize the impact of expected introduction of a generic version of the innovative product.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with brand management
  • Depth interviews with target customers and prescribers
  • Discussions with pharmacy benefit managers and managed care executives
  • Analyzed linked data sets from multiple sources

Results:
The project team designed program to counteract the expected introduction of a generic competitor and worked with outside counsel to implement selected strategies based on:

  • Product Profiles (TPPs) of current and new therapies
  • Expected future treatment decision tree
  • Discussions with brand teams and senior management

The client successfully launched the follow-on therapeutic that achieved sales that exceeded initial forecast at 6, 12 and 24 months after launch.

Major Pharmaceutical Company – Calculate ROI of Major DTC Investment

Major Pharmaceutical Company – Calculate ROI of Major DTC Investment

Client Situation:
An established franchise with over $1 billion in worldwide revenue was seeking to decide whether to significantly increase their expenditures on Direct to Consumer (DTC) advertising and retained PSS to develop a proprietary methodology to objectively assess the Return on Investment (ROI) of DTC advertising at different expenditure levels.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Worked with client management and outside advertising agencies to understand current promotional strategy
  • Created online longitudinal survey community
  • Conducted several “waves” of surveys with these consumers to track changes in awareness, stated intention to follow up with their Healthcare Professional (HCP), and actual actions
  • Developed and implemented HIPAA-compliant approach to link data from internal & external systems
  • Analyzed linked data sets to objectively gauge consumer response to DTC advertising at different levels

Results:
The project delivered:

  • Estimated ROI of increasing DTC advertising expenditures
  • Tangible recommendations regarding level of DTC promotional expenditures and optimal promotional mix
  • A comprehensive strategy to measure performance and adjust expenditures based on interim results

The client increased its DTC advertising expenditures and doubled its franchise revenue in less than 3 years due to a combination of increased DTC advertising and traditional physician-focused promotion.

Specialty Pharmaceutical Company – Design Strategy to Address “Failure to Launch”

Specialty Pharmaceutical Company – Design Strategy to Address “Failure to Launch”

Client Situation:
A leading specialty pharmaceutical company retained PSS to help assess what had gone wrong with a recently-completed product launch that did not meet expectations and develop a strategy to “re-launch” the product to recoup as much potential business as possible.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with client management
  • Co-Creation Groups
  • Depth interviews with consumers and physicians
  • Discussions with distribution partners, PBMs and managed care executives
  • Analyze Target Product Profiles (TPPs) vs. therapeutic alternatives
  • Assessed reaction to current brand messaging and challenges
  • Synthesize primary and secondary research

Results:
The project team summarized the findings of its analyses and worked with senior management to develop a strategy to “re-launch” the product based on:

  • Assessment of future market dynamics and trends affecting demand
  • Refined value proposition and updated product positioning
  • New brand messaging focused on perceived benefits
  • Recommended programs to overcome barriers imposed by managed care, PBMs
  • A detailed implementation plan to guide re-launch

The salesforce was pleasantly surprised by the willingness of many physicians to consider prescribing the product for specific patients. The majority of wholesalers and retail pharmacies agreed to restock the product.

Rare Disease Pharmaceutical Company – Build Analytics Infrastructure to Support Launch

Rare Disease Pharmaceutical Company – Build Analytics Infrastructure to Support Launch

Client Situation:
Established pharmaceutical company focused on innovative treatments for orphan diseases with high unmet needs wanted to improve their current analytical capabilities in order to support their first product launch being conducted without a marketing partner.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Review results of prior product launches conducted with commercialization partner
  • Linked data currently in multiple “silos”
  • Used linked data to create a customer segmentation system
  • Developed proprietary algorithms to develop segmentation schemas
  • Coordinated development of requirements definition, technical specifications and operating software

Results:
Recommendations included a summary of specific activities to create a new analytics capability to support launch and the project team:

  • Managed process to develop enhanced systems and supporting infrastructure
  • Worked with senior management to finalize implementation plan
  • Worked with management to select implementation vendors and to create new analytics infrastructure

The new analytics function was created and the company’s first product launch without a commercialization partner had market uptake 30% above plan with launch costs that came in under budget.

Major Medical Device Company – Global Positioning of Breakthrough Device

Major Medical Device Company – Global Positioning of Breakthrough Device

Client Situation:
An international medical device company wanted to define the “value proposition” for an innovative new device and create a marketing strategy tailored to the needs of individual international markets that maximize the probability of successful launch and commercialization.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Completed secondary research to understand current treatments and unmet needs
  • Interviewed Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and industry participants to understanding emerging treatments
  • Identified under-served customer segments
  • Developed expected future treatment decision tree
  • Gauged reaction of a cross-section of industry participants to new device
  • Gauge customer reaction to advertising/other promotional expenditures
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research

Results:
The final recommendations for this project included:

  • The critical success factors, needs and growth opportunities in various markets
  • Global and country-specific positioning to convey value of innovation
  • Implementation plan, key milestones and required resources

The physicians and payers reacted positively to the product’s “value proposition”, favorable reimbursement terms were negotiated and the launch went smoothly.

Major Health Plan – Claims & Customer Service Performance Improvement

Major Health Plan – Claims & Customer Service Performance Improvement

Client Situation:
Senior management of a major health plan wanted to benchmark claims and customer service functions against other large health plans and “best of breed” companies in other sectors and identify opportunities to invest in improving current performance levels.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with senior management
  • Meetings with next level management
  • Benchmarked performance of key functions
  • Assessed current performance measures and incentive compensation program
  • Analyzed expenditures and service levels across full range of functions
  • Evaluated tradeoff between higher service level and lower costs of different location strategies (centralized vs. multi-site operations)

Results:
This project led to tangible recommendations, including:

  • Opportunities to enhance employee training
  • Specific changes to current business processes and organizational structure
  • Changes to incentive compensation system to encourage desired behavior
  • Proposed role of senior management team to guide implementation

The client executed on the implementation plan and dramatically improved performance of both the clams and customer service functions.

Major Health Plan – Organizational Redesign to Align Business Lines

Major Health Plan – Organizational Redesign to Align Business Lines

Client Situation:
The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) of a major health plan wanted to evaluate how to improve cooperation across business lines to improve the ability to cross-sell offerings and increase retention of key accounts that currently had multiple points of contact across the health plan.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Introductory discussions with senior management
  • Review of recent management presentations
  • Assessed performance reviews and incentive compensation programs
  • Interviewed other health plan executives and industry participants to confirm best practices
  • Facilitate workshop with key stakeholders to review project findings and address questions and concerns

Results:
The SLT agreed to implement the project team’s recommendations, including:

  • Redesigned incentive compensation systems to encourage desired behavior
  • Key changes to current organizational structure
  • Creation of Program Management Office (PMO)
  • Refinements to individual roles and responsibilities of senior management
  • Proposed approach to implement unified strategy across the organization

Six months after the start of implementation, senior management believed there were early signs of increased key account retention and several opportunities where multiple units had cooperatively prepared a unified client proposal.

Major Integrated Delivery Network – Go-to-Market (“GTM”) Strategy for New Offering

Major Integrated Delivery Network – Go-to-Market (“GTM”) Strategy for New Offering

Client Situation:
Large multi-state Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) wanted to develop a Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy for an innovative service expansion to be launched in partnership with single and multi-specialty physician groups.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Evaluated IDN’s key objectives for new product offering
  • Reviewed history of contracts with key provider groups
  • Analyzed past and projected future payment patterns
  • In-person depth interviews with key providers
  • Additional depth interviews with competitors, industry participants

Results:
The project produced alignment with several physician groups to support the proposed service expansion by:

  • Clearly articulating benefits for each party
  • Selecting provider groups most receptive to proposed new arrangements
  • Developing communication strategy that linked initiative to broader business
  • Ensuring internal alignment from key constituencies

The IDN successfully launched the new offering and almost all of the participating physician groups continued their involvement at the first renewal period.

Major Hospital System – Design & Implement Materials Management

Major Hospital System – Design & Implement Materials Management

Client Situation:
Senior management of a major hospital system wanted to quantify the opportunity to implement enhanced materials management program that builds upon current strategy that leverages Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) contracts to reduce costs and improve compliance with treatment guidelines across all facilities.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Link data currently in multiple “silos”
  • Used linked data to analyze usage materials and estimate potential savings
  • Assessed best practices from other hospitals
  • Completed database-driven secondary research to benchmark performance
  • Performed initial assessments of current practices
  • Used financial modeling to perform quantitative analyses

Results:
The hospital system decided to implement the recommended enhanced materials management program that included:

  • Opportunities to expand/add additional strategic alliances to further improve materials management
  • Recommendations for new materials management program metrics
  • Approach for unified strategy across organization
  • Recommended timeline and key milestones
  • Resource-loaded implementation plan

Six months after launch, compliance levels exceed initial targets and there were limited concerns being expressed to senior management.

Major Provider Group – Risk-Based Contracting Aligned to Clinical Outcomes

Major Provider Group – Risk-Based Contracting Aligned to Clinical Outcomes

Client Situation:
Large provider group wanted to evaluate alternatives and design risk-based contracting strategy that required substantial changes to current contracting strategies, including dramatic shift from fee-for-service to risk-based contracts

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Evaluated IDN’s key objectives for new product offering
  • Reviewed history of contracts with key provider groups
  • Analyzed past and projected future payment patterns
  • In-person depth interviews with key providers
  • Additional depth interviews with competitors, industry participants

Results:
The project team delivered recommendations that included:

  • Adding potential opportunity for providers to receive performance-based compensation to align interests of all parties
  • Starting with provider groups that were interested in proposed new arrangements
  • Agreeing on interim performance milestones and periodic reviews
  • Structuring arrangements that allowed either party to revert to prior arrangements if certain “worse case” scenarios came to pass

There was a significant improvement in objectively-measured clinical outcomes for patients treated under these contracts. At the end of the second year, the number of participating provider groups increased substantially.

Consumer Packaged Good Company – Assessment of Emerging Competitors

Consumer Packaged Good Company – Assessment of Emerging Competitors

Client Situation:
Large Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) client asked PSS to perform an objective external evaluation of the likely impact of new entrants to a specific segment of consumer packaged goods (CPG) whose brand image included sustainable and “eco-friendly” sourcing and manufacturing.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with client management
  • Targeted online survey with consumers
  • In-person depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Completed secondary research
  • Gauged customer reaction to new entrants’ products
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research

Results:
The project team recommended the client:

  • Enter the target segment via organic growth rather than via partnership or acquisition
  • Adapt a concept from pharmaceutical drug development “Design of Experiments” or DOE) to develop a range of product prototypes for subsequent testing – this is a systematic method to determine the relationship between factors affecting a process and the output of that process to find cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Conduct additional primary research with consumers and channel partners
  • Focus its investment in specific geographies and market segments
  • Reach a final go/no go decision within 6 months

Based on the results of subsequent research, the client decided to launch a new “eco-friendly” product line and successfully garnered shelf space at key accounts.

Chain Restaurant Operator – Organizational Redesign to Align Unit Management

Chain Restaurant Operator – Organizational Redesign to Align Unit Management

Client Situation:
Management of large chain restaurant operator wanted to reorganize existing reporting relationships to improve unit performance and increase District Managers’ ability to focus on specific restaurants, potentially by changing the typical model of “one manager, one restaurant” to having a single manager responsible for multiple locations.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Reviewed current organizational structure and performance metrics
  • Visit locations to understand current process flow and manager role
  • Benchmarked performance against other restaurants in similar price point
  • Identified opportunities to improve current management practices
  • Assessed performance review and incentive comp processes
  • Facilitate workshop with key stakeholders
  • Synthesized findings to develop recommendations

Results:
As a result of the project, the client decided to:

  • Redesign incentive compensation systems to encourage desired behavior
  • Conduct a test in 4 selected Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs) to test two alternative models for a single manager to be responsible for multiple locations
  • Make key changes to current senior management reporting relationships
  • Decide whether to expand test to other markets based on results of 4 MSA test

The results of the initial 4 MSA test showed that the locations with a dedicated manager outperformed the units with a single manager responsible for multiple locations. Senior management pursued other approaches to “flatten the organization”.

International Retailer – Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

International Retailer – Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

Client Situation:

International retailer wanted to leverage experience gained from its traditional marketing & advertising, eCommerce, and other digital initiatives to develop an integrated multi-channel marketing strategy for rollout in North America and EU5.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Work with management to confirm marketing strategy and tactics
  • Curate co-creation groups with target customers
  • Targeted online survey with consumers
  • In-person depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Completed secondary research
  • Identified best practices of other retailer’s multi-channel strategies
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research

Results:
The project team recommended that the client gather additional data to refine its fledgling multi-channel marketing strategy by completing additional work to:

  • Gauge customer reaction to different elements of traditional & digital marketing
  • Analyze client’s past performance and relative positioning vs. competitors
  • Complete high-level prioritization of opportunities
  • Assess future market dynamics and trends affecting different channels

Within 9 months, the client began implementing an integrated multi-channel marketing strategy in the US with plans to subsequently expand to Canada and EU5.

Online Retailer – Acquisition Opportunity Attractiveness Assessment

Online Retailer – Acquisition Opportunity Attractiveness Assessment

Client Situation:
Management of major online retailer needed to rapidly assess the attractiveness of eCommerce assets of a startup company experiencing a liquidity crisis, was suspending its operations and seeking a buyer for the brand, customer list and its fulfillment infrastructure.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with client management to review potential business synergies
  • Phone depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Financial analyses of data on customers and purchases
  • Assessed overlap of demographic characteristics with client customers
  • Compared target and other firms with similar offerings

Results:
The project team recommended that the client not bid on these assets due to a poor strategic fit with its core business:

  • Incompatible customer demographics
  • Reputational challenges due to target’s financial problems and resulting customer service shortcomings
  • Limited growth opportunities from coordinated marketing efforts
  • High cost to migrate eCommerce platform and integrate back-end fulfilment
  • Asking price well above apparent valuation range of assets

The client decided not to submit a bid and the company was liquidated via a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. The assets were sold at <25% of the initial asking price.

Global Apparel Manufacturer – Organizational Redesign to Support Customer-Focused Strategy

Global Apparel Manufacturer – Organizational Redesign to Support Customer-Focused Strategy

Client Situation:
Global apparel manufacturer sought help to develop and implement optimal operating structure to improve the ability to address customer-specific requirements for product innovation, manufacturing and customer service.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Detailed discussions with senior management
  • Site visits and meetings with the next level of business unit management
  • Researched how other leading apparel manufacturers address this need
  • Gauge customer reaction to alternative approaches and structures
  • Facilitate workshop with key stakeholders
  • Conducted additional working sessions with sub-groups

Results:
The project team worked with senior client management to finalize a new organizational structure that addressed the key concerns regarding how to best meet customer needs. The recommendations included:

  • New organizational structure to increase client focus
  • Changes to existing incentive compensation programs
  • Increased investment to bolster specific capabilities
  • Implementation plan with interim milestones
  • Communication strategy to describe rationale for change

The client decided to implement the recommendations and create multiple business units designed to increase client focus and responsiveness. The primary customers received these changes positively.

Luxury Goods Brand – Harmonizing Pricing & Discounting Strategy

Luxury Goods Brand – Harmonizing Pricing & Discounting Strategy

Client Situation:
Luxury goods brand determined that their current pricing & discounting strategy needed to be updated in order to address market-level anomalies that discouraged customers in certain countries to make purchases and also led to deep discounting to clear surplus product in some countries while the same products were already sold out in other markets.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Held kickoff meetings with senior client management to confirm a common view of current challenges and the nature of improvement opportunities
  • Held in-depth interviews with country-level and regional management
  • Conducted site visits to a cross-section of stores in the US, EU5, Japan, and China
  • Analyzed relative positioning of key products
  • Evaluated customer behavior by key segment
  • Held discussions with the management of competitors and industry participants
  • Analyzed data from multiple regions and countries in order to identify historical patterns
  • Synthesized findings and summarized recommendations

Results:
The project team delivered its recommendations to senior client management with detailed information on:

  • Results of data analyses to confirm the implications of these analyses
  • Assessment of future market dynamics and trends affecting demand
  • Evaluation of the methods used to make discount-related decisions
  • Analysis of operational and regulatory factors affecting the ability to shift product across national borders
  • Estimated magnitude of incremental revenue available from refined pricing and reduction of need to use deep discounting to clear surplus products in some markets

After two quarters, the senior management decided that the improved results warranted a company-wide initiative to further assess and refine pricing strategy across the full range of product categories and geographies.

Supply Chain Vendor – Peer Group Benchmarking to Prioritize Opportunities

Supply Chain Vendor – Peer Group Benchmarking to Prioritize Opportunities

Client Situation:
Management of large supply chain vendor wanted to benchmark the performance of their key services against those of competitors as well as the major purchasing criteria used by customers to select vendors.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Analyzed client’s past performance and identified peer group
  • Completed database-driven secondary research
  • Analyzed performance for key supply chain functions
  • Evaluated performance for key customers by segment
  • Used primary and secondary research to benchmark performance of key services against primary competitors
  • Interview executives involved in purchasing decisions to gain deeper understanding of key purchasing criteria
  • Synthesize findings

Results:
Project team reviewed findings regarding client’s relative performance against other service providers, including:

  • Evaluation of competitive landscape
  • Performance assessment by service category
  • Opportunities to improve performance likely to have impact
  • Best practices to improve performance
  • Recommendations to improve customer service, which research indicated many customers viewed as a weakness
  • Changes to current reporting relationships and incentive compensation programs

The client implemented the team’s recommendations and also developed a survey-based customer satisfaction assessment process to gauge progress against goals.

Leading Food Manufacturer – Product Line Profitability Assessment

Leading Food Manufacturer – Product Line Profitability Assessment

Client Situation:
A leading food manufacturer, facing increased raw ingredient costs and margin pressure, wanted an outside management consulting firm to estimate the fully-loaded profit margin for key product lines and generate objective assumptions for use in a company-wide optimization project.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Internal discussions with client management
  • Phone depth interviews with target customers
  • In-person depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Linked data currently in multiple “silos”
  • Analyzed linked data sets
  • Evaluated competitive landscape
  • Completed category and segment prioritization
  • Used financial modeling to perform quantitative analyses
  • Reviewed assumptions with client management and refined analyses

Results:
The project team delivered a summary report with detailed product and product line-level analyses summarizing the fully-loaded profit margin based on objective assumptions along with a plan to incorporate findings into pricing optimization project:

  • Proposed definition of product line and segment “roll-ups”
  • High level financial projections and sample sensitivity analyses
  • Estimated impact of optimizing price levels
  • Suggested approach to automating periodic pricing adjustment, alone with high level specifications

Following the client’s implementation of the project’s findings into the pricing optimization project, there was a dramatic reduction in products sold at a price well below the company’s fully-loaded profit margin target.

Nutraceutical / Functional Food Company – Assessment of Opportunity for New Product Launch

Nutraceutical / Functional Food Company – Assessment of Opportunity for New Product Launch

Client Situation:
The nutritional products division of a diversified multi-national company needed to decide whether a new product launch was likely to meet the parent company’s Return on Investment (ROI) threshold for new product introductions.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Completed secondary research
  • Analyzed client’s past experience scaling up other new products
  • Estimated likely COGS and incremental investment capital
  • Finalized assumptions regarding SG&A for new product launch
  • Evaluated competitive landscape to set pricing assumptions
  • Developed financial model and used to complete sensitivity analyses
  • Estimated Return on Investment (ROI) of planned launch based on underlying assumptions

Results:
The project team worked with client management to tailor the recommendations to meet their needs:

  • Recommendation for an initial launch of the product for a specific patient population that could be served through an existing distribution channel
  • Minimize the incremental investment in non-manufacturing infrastructure
  • Use “change parts” for short production runs using existing equipment
  • Delay investment in large-scale capital equipment until market demand validates long-term prospects for the new product
  • Implementation plan to execute the recommendations and measure performance against plan

Less than a year after launch, the client invested in a new production line and expanded distribution into broader consumer market.

Fine Chemicals Innovator – Evaluation of Competitors & “Near Substitutes”

Fine Chemicals Innovator – Evaluation of Competitors & “Near Substitutes”

Client Situation:
A large fine chemicals company wanted to assess how much of a premium selected customer segments would be willing to pay for a first-in-class fine chemical product give the current availability of “near substitutes” and expected future entry of others with similar products.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Phone depth interviews with target customers
  • In-person depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Completed secondary research
  • Gauge customer reaction to concept of first-in-class fine chemical product
  • Assessed future market dynamics and trends affecting demand
  • Synthesized findings and summarized recommendations

Results:
The project team recommended that the client price the innovative product to reflect the value-addition for specific niche products and cede the broader market that could use the “near substitutes” for their applications:

  • Sized the major potential customer segments
  • Identified the applications with very specialized needs
  • Developed data-driven model to estimate each segment’s relative size, behaviors, and preferences
  • Completed category and segment prioritization by likely interest in innovation with premium price
  • Used financial modeling to develop projected results

The client launched the innovative first-in-class chemical product at a premium price and captured a majority of the addressable market. Subsequent market entrants and “near-substitutes” have not been able to dislodge the innovator.

Bulk Chemical Manufacturer – Assess Opportunities to “Move Up the Value Stream”

Bulk Chemical Manufacturer – Assess Opportunities to “Move Up the Value Stream”

Client Situation:
A diversified chemical manufacturing firm was interested in exploring whether it could improve its average Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) if it expanded its manufacturing of “fine chemicals” and opportunistically pursued other opportunities to “move up the value stream”.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with client management
  • Phone depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • In-person depth interviews with target customers
  • Completed secondary research
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research
  • Used financial modeling to perform quantitative analyses

Results:
The project team recommended that the chemical manufacturing firm focus its expansion efforts in three specific product categories and avoid four additional product categories that were likely to face increased competition from low-cost international entrants:

  • Evaluated nature of potential by product category
  • Developed model to estimate each product category’s relative size and likely profit margins
  • Evaluated the regulations to confirm which product categories were somewhat protected from imports from low-cost countries
  • Completed high-level prioritization of opportunities
  • Tailored financial model to reflect the additional capital investments required by product category, the likely operating costs & pricing and projected volumes
  • Estimated Return on Investment capital (ROIC) of current and incremental promotional spend

Two of the three selected product categories were very successful and the company raised its ROIC by almost 2% within three years.

National Diversified Manufacturer – Rationalize Inefficient Business Processes

National Diversified Manufacturer – Rationalize Inefficient Business Processes

Client Situation:
A diversified manufacturer with over a dozen facilities across the United States wanted to estimate the magnitude of the potential savings that could be realized if it invested in rationalizing inefficient business processes.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with senior management
  • Meetings with next level management
  • Review of business plans and recent management presentations
  • Assessment of performance reviews
  • Evaluation of incentive compensation program documents
  • Used interviews to summarize current business processes by facility
  • Benchmarked performance of key functions
  • Created financial model with comprehensive set of assumptions

Results:
The project team quantified the potential savings and recommended that senior management:

  • Work with facility management to review findings and ensure buy-in
  • Involve facility management in cross-functional teams to “harmonize” the current inconsistent set of business processes
  • Agree on the best approach to improve current management practices
  • Prioritize opportunities for process re-engineering
  • Commit to investing in enhancements to employee training

The client has implemented changes throughout all facilities for the most important business processes and the efficiency increases have exceeded the high-end estimate of the potential impact. Changes to remaining business practices are currently being rolled out.

Global Construction Company – International Alliance Strategy Assessment

Global Construction Company – International Alliance Strategy Assessment

Client Situation:
The Board of a global construction company wanted to assess whether an international strategic alliance would improve their ability to win business in countries that favored local companies and JVs with aparticipation by a local partner.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Developed co creation groups and focus groups
  • Conducted multi-country research
  • Implemented a targeted online survey with consumers and target customers
  • Completed secondary research
  • Developed case studies of other successful alliances
  • Linked data currently in multiple “silos”
  • Analyzed linked data sets
  • Synthesized results and formalized recommendations

Results:

  • Pursue strategic alliances in two target countries with contracting dynamics that favored local companies and joint ventures with participation by a local partner
  • Conduct high-level discussions in four additional countries to assess how many contracting/tendering opportunities may be subtly influenced by the presence of a local partner
  • Periodically review the “win/loss” performance by country to prioritize which countries may benefit from a strategic alliance with a well-placed local partner

The client finalized a strategic alliance in one of the two target countries and is exploring alliances covering additional geographies.

Major Accounting Firm – Strategic Infrastructure Investment

Major Accounting Firm – Strategic Infrastructure Investment

Client Situation:
A national accounting firm wanted to improve its ability to respond to client requests by leveraging the knowledge gained from other client engagements. The senior partners were interested in estimating the likely development and assessing the required changes to current business processes associated with the implementation of a “Knowledge Management Systems (KMS)” focused on non-audit consulting such as Finance, Risk Management and Operations projects.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Developed co creation groups and focus groups
  • Conducted multi-country research
  • Implemented a targeted online survey with consumers and target customers
  • Conducted in-person and remote interviews across multiple markets
  • Completed secondary research
  • Summarized best practices form other professional service firms
  • Created a financial model to estimate the potential impact on topline revenue and profitability by service line

Results:

  • High-level description of KMS design
  • Small number of “use cases” that described what types of information would be shared and how it could be used to tailor non-audit services to existing clients
  • Estimated timeline and cost to implement
  • Projected range of incremental revenue from “cross-selling” non-audit consulting services
  • Recommended approach to implementation and suggested next steps

The firm’s senior partners decided to pursue full-scale implementation of the KMS and agreed to change other business processes to support cross-selling efforts.

 

Large Law Firm – Aligning Incentives to Encourage Cooperation

Large Law Firm – Aligning Incentives to Encourage Cooperation

Client Situation:
The Management Committee of an international law firm sought to examine the alternative approaches to modify incentives to encourage practice groups to work more closely together. To focus on the practice areas with the greatest apparent opportunity for improved collaboration, the PSS project team was asked to work closely with senior partners in eight practice areas (i.e., Antitrust, Bankruptcy, Corporate, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Mergers and Acquisitions and Real Estate/Securities).

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Introductory discussions with members of the Firm’s Management Committee
  • Review of practice-level performance
  • Exploration of potential client opportunities for cross-practice collaboration
  • Assessed current incentive compensation programs
  • Interviewed senior attorneys with other firms to confirm best practices
  • Facilitate workshop with key stakeholders

Results:
The Management Committee agreed to implement the project team’s recommendations, including:

  • Redesigned incentive compensation systems to encourage desired behavior
  • Additional business development resources to assess opportunities to expand services offered to current client
  • Refinements to individual roles and responsibilities of senior management
  • Proposed approach to encourage increased collaboration and monitor progress

Following these changes, six major clients began working with other practice areas generating over $10 million in incremental revenue to the Firm.

Global IT Service Provider – Standardizing Client Delivery Methodologies

Global IT Service Provider – Standardizing Client Delivery Methodologies

Client Situation:
Senior management of a major provider of IT outsourcing services asked PSS to help evaluate the range of client delivery methodologies in use across the globe and recommend how the client could most efficiently standardize client delivery methodologies without compromising each branch office’s ability to respond to local market and client-specific needs.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Kickoff meeting with senior management
  • In-person and small group discussions with project managers and other client delivery professionals
  • Depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Completed secondary research and identified industry best practices
  • Summarized range of current practices across the organization and the rationale for different approaches taken

Results:
Based on the project team’s recommendations, company management decided to:

  • Select three specific client delivery methodologies to address first
  • Assemble a company-wide task force with representation from each region to review impact of standardizing these three methodologies
  • Develop a plan to select the next set of methodologies to address
  • Periodically review and adjust the plan to address additional client delivery methodologies

The first three client delivery methodologies were standardized successfully and the company was on track to complete the standardization of major client delivery methodologies within twenty four months

Money Center Bank – Viability Assessment of “Strategic Investment”

Money Center Bank – Viability Assessment of “Strategic Investment”

Client Situation:
The newly-appointed management team of a unit of a money center bank wanted to assess the likely commercial viability of a startup technology business that had been funded as a “strategic investment”. The project team was asked to assess whether the business itself was likely to be viable and whether there were meaningful synergies between the bank’s operations and the technology business if it were successful.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with business unit management
  • Review of materials prepared to support strategic investment
  • Explore recent proposals and impact on bank’s internal operations
  • Depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Phone depth interviews with target customers
  • Completed secondary research
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research
  • Developed financial projection model

Results:
The project team recommended that the bank decline to participate in the next funding round for the startup company due to:

  • Poor past performance vs. plan
  • Apparent market dynamics and trends affecting demand
  • Limited growth opportunities from coordinated marketing efforts
  • Operational and regulatory factors that limit synergies with core business

The startup technology business was not successful in raising its next round of financing from either financial or strategic investors.

National Credit Card Company – Opportunities to Tailor Technology for Other Uses

National Credit Card Company – Opportunities to Tailor Technology for Other Uses

Client Situation:
A large financial services company with a significant credit card business wanted to assess whether there was an opportunity to adapt some of its credit card switch technology to healthcare and other claims-related applications.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with senior and operational management
  • Depth interviews with target customers
  • Discussions with competitors, industry participants
  • Secondary research
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research

Results:
As a result of the research and analyses, the project team recommended that the financial services firm:

  • Invest a pre-determined amount to complete proof-of-concept development
  • Evaluate strategic alliances to guide development vs. a ‘go it alone” strategy
  • Retain an executive search firm to locate a senior executive with the proper domain expertise to guide future development

The proof of concept development was successful and the financial services firm negotiated two strategic alliances and hired a business unit leader

Multi-Line Insurance Company – Assessing Shared Service Synergies

Multi-Line Insurance Company – Assessing Shared Service Synergies

Client Situation:
A large multi-line insurance company wanted to assess potential synergies available from creating a centralized shared service organization to provide “back end” functions to multiple business units.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with senior management
  • Meetings with next level management
  • Review of business plans and recent management presentations
  • Evaluated current business processes
  • Benchmarked performance of key functions
  • Recommended key changes to current organizational structure
  • Performed process re-engineering
  • Synthesized findings and made recommendations

Results:
The project team confirmed the viability of creating a centralized shared service organization including specific recommendations regarding:

  • A centralized service center to leverage technology and knowledge
  • Level of investment supported by financial projections
  • Launch plan and implementation milestones for the center
  • Process to finalize requirements definition, technical specifications and operating software
  • Approach develop enhanced systems and supporting infrastructure

The insurance company management executed on the plan and created the shared service center, which dramatically reduced costs and improved performance.

Enterprise Application Software Company – Customer Segmentation & Pricing Strategy

Enterprise Application Software Company – Customer Segmentation & Pricing Strategy

Client Situation:
Management of a large enterprise application software company sought PSS’ assistance to define primary customer segments, assess the purchasing criteria for each key segment and recommend a pricing strategy to optimize segment-level revenue.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Meetings with client management
  • Targeted online survey with consumers
  • Depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Completed secondary research
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research
  • Linked data currently in multiple “silos”
  • Used linked data to create a customer segmentation system
  • Created financial model

Results:
The project team delivered its finding regarding pricing strategy by customer segment based on:

  • Estimate of each segment’s relative size, behaviors, and preferences
  • Assessment of price sensitivity by segment
  • Recommended prioritization of key customer segments

Company management successfully used customer segments and pricing strategy to improve conversion of potential clients and measurably reduce discounts to list prices.

Venture-Funded SaaS Vendor – International Market Sizing & Localization Requirements

Venture-Funded SaaS Vendor – International Market Sizing & Localization Requirements

Client Situation:
A leading venture capital firm encouraged the management of one of its portfolio companies, a SaaS vendor, to retain PSS to estimate the size of key international markets and analyze the magnitude of changes required to modify the software to suit the needs of individual international markets.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with client management
  • Individual and small group discussions with sales staff
  • In-country discussions with target customers
  • In-country discussions with competitors, industry participants
  • Completed secondary research
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research

Results:
The project team provided its estimates of market size of key international markets and its findings regarding:

  • Operational and regulatory factors that affect country-specific offerings
  • Changes in functionality and translation
  • Estimated cost by category to pursue international expansion

Client management is successfully pursuing its international expansion strategy and early results are promising.

iOT Technology Innovator – Alliance & Commercialization Strategy for iOT Innovation

iOT Technology Innovator – Alliance & Commercialization Strategy for iOT Innovation

Client Situation:
Management of a technology innovation company wanted help from a qualified management consulting firm to evaluate the most attractive options for potential strategic alliance and other approaches to commercialize a new iOT offering.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with target customers
  • Depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Assessed attractiveness of services, industry sectors and geographies
  • Evaluated alternative commercialization strategies

Results:
The project team worked with client management to:

  • Explore capabilities potentially available via strategic alliance
  • Evaluate strategic partner candidates
  • Develop a plan to drive future growth

The technology innovation company successfully negotiated a strategic alliance with an established industry participant with complementary capabilities

Private Equity Portfolio Company – Healthcare Services Acquisition Due Diligence

Private Equity Portfolio Company – Healthcare Services Acquisition Due Diligence

Client Situation:
Management of a leading private equity firm sought assistance to complete due diligence for the potential acquisition of a healthcare services firm to assess the competitive landscape, the size of the addressable market and achievable financial results following acquisition.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with company management
  • Analyzed company’s past performance vs. plan
  • Depth interviews with target customers
  • Discussions with competitors, industry participants
  • Gather secondary research from a number of sources
  • Synthesize primary and secondary research

Results:
The project team provided its findings to the private equity investor, including:

  • Estimate of market opportunity and likely margin profile
  • Recommended valuation range
  • Evaluation of competitive dynamics
  • Projected financial results
  • Timelines and implementation strategies

The private equity firm completed the acquisition and, within four years, had exited this investment by selling its stake to a larger private equity firm that committed to support the service businesses’ continued growth.

Private Equity Portfolio Company – Platform Assessment & Rollup Strategy

Private Equity Portfolio Company – Platform Assessment & Rollup Strategy

Client Situation:
Senior management of a private equity portfolio company wanted help to assess whether an acquisition target was likely to serve as a platform for a rollup strategy and, if so, which companies were likely to be a strong strategic fit with the platform.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with private equity deal team
  • Meetings with portfolio company management team
  • Depth interviews with target customers
  • Phone depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Secondary research
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research
  • Financial modeling to support valuation

Results:
The project team delivered its findings, including:

  • Assessment of relative attractiveness of expansion via organic growth, partnership, or acquisition
  • Evaluation of acquisition target’s attractiveness as a rollup platform
  • Review of potential bolt-on acquisition targets
  • Attractiveness of proposed acquisition
  • Recommendation acquisition value and growth strategy

The portfolio company completed the acquisition and is pursing the planned roll-up strategy.

Private Equity Portfolio Company – Competitive Assessment of New Software Offering

Private Equity Portfolio Company – Competitive Assessment of New Software Offering

Client Situation:
A large private equity investor wanted an objective assessment of one of its portfolio company’s planned commercialization strategy for a new software offering designed for enterprise customers. They were particularly interested in the competitive landscape, end user’s “willingness to pay” and alternative approaches to use channel partners to penetrate specific verticals.

Project Approach & Techniques:

  • Discussions with client management
  • Phone depth interviews with competitors, industry participants
  • Targeted online survey with end users
  • Completed secondary research
  • Synthesized primary and secondary research
  • Assessed future market dynamics and trends affecting demand
  • Completed financial and valuation model

Results:
Based on the project team’s recommendations, the software company

  • Pursued the enterprise clients that appeared to have the highest “willingness to pay”
  • Decided to reprioritize the product development roadmap to speed the delivery of specific features that prospective customers indicated were critical.
  • Accelerated strategic discussions with channel partners in two key segments.

The private equity investor completed the transaction. The software company has launched the new software offering, is ahead of its revenue projections and is currently evaluating a range of “bolt-on” acquisitions to accelerate growth.