Marketing Research and Information Technology
§ My current professional role is a Contract Administrator in the Pharmacy Department at Novation in Irving, Texas. I am responsible to take a strategic approach to provide analytical support to Portfolio Executives, which involves market research analysis of pricing to provide member savings for all contracted products purchase through Novation catalog. My strong analytical skills give me the ability to be proficient with Brio by creating a variety of reports to track the generic pharmacy market. I am always available to help and be a resourceful employee by completing project related to the Pharmacy Department annual bid roll. I have reviewed many agreements through software called Delta View. I am also responsible for redline edits annually to ensure the documents are routed to the legal staff for execution. Once the agreements are executed, it is my duty to ensure accurate prices are loaded in Novation's system.
§ I have performed on a constant basis market research that consists of price studies. These studies requires me to submit the appropriate type of request to suppliers, follow up and document responses, update the web portal through Market Place for product changes. I also provide member update for specific programs and make multiple price changes upon request. In a market research price study for a program called Progen, I often go above and beyond the called of duties to attain a better price through the manufacturer. For manufactures that did not provide prices that match the study prices, I always investigate the reason why and try to conduct research to see if there are alternatives. To validate the importance, I often pull the product annual usage within each category to determine if re-bidding is necessary to provide additional value to Novation's members. I also created savings reports to show the success of each market study. This process continues to enhance my analytical abilities to ensure I am able to create user friendly reports quickly without any guidance.
§ I learned how create market research reports to get a better understand the purchasing pattern of a specific product. This task often begins with a summary of sales data that explains the reason for the market study and how to use the data according to the outcome. I learned that this process is used more when exploring new product opportunities and competitors' evaluation. The market study information is used to create marketing material and target specific members. I learned that old marketing solution is often compare with new solution to enhance the programs to ensure all products on contract are market competitive.
§ I learned how to describe the market by writing an executive summary to explain the product usage and target members in a specific region. A specific region can use a particular product due to the weather, demographic, and availability. It often involves members across all demographics with different purchasing behaviors. I learned to include in my summary factors influencing purchasing trends on contract and non-contract products. I learned that it is instrumental to senior management to include the reason why we need a specific product and it appeal to members. I learned to include the total market for a specific class of product, sales, usage, market growth, and market performance.
§ I learned how to analyze competitive data by ranking manufacturers to determine the top performer. I learned to analyze product data to ensure the product is sole source based on the product description. I learned how to create monthly reports to give a visual of the market share percentage for contract and non-contract within the same class. I learned how to use the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats function. I learned that it focus on the perception of the competitor by the information collected over a monthly period. It not the easiest function, but help to determine who will be the next manufacturer on contract.
§ I learned how competitive analysis section can have several formats. I often customize each report according to the major competitor's performance. Most of my reports focus on the overall analysis of the competitor, I often recognize that they are more interested in how this information may impact their sales pull through on an existing product or new product. When analyzing this data, I learned how to focus on information that will have a huge impact in the market with a competing product.
§ I learned how to create a market study that focus on the contract supplier and the non-contract supplier by chargeback. The data often involves usage and sales and include charts or graphs in body of document. I learned to create reports with my finding to illustrate data graphically and translate complex findings into written text. I often have to information from different companies to determine a market position for a product. I have learned to collect and analyze data on customer based on customer need to identify potential market factors that is affecting the demand. I have learned how to use different methods to collect data for surveys, member polls, and questionnaires. I learn to monitor industry trend and commute changes to all customer base. I learn how to measure member satisfaction by measuring the market and communicating programs as stated in the member agreements. I learned how to forecast monthly sales and revenue to endure the budget is on target. I learned to attend conferences to provide management with information to promote, distribute, and establish pricing for products and services.
§ I learned how to consolidate response from members and competitors to develop market requirements based on marketing initiative and sales. I learned to monitor the market through external resources such as FDA website and First DataBank to create ad hoc reports based on market trends. I learned how to take these reports and determine the market requirements for a given product that focus on business objectives. Develops and maintains a prioritized list of customer and market requirements for the product. I have learned to conduct research to define and quantify a new product to determine product launch. I have learned to work with members to produce quality work for a specific product in high demand. This process helped me to ensure product transition was released on the intended date. I have learned how to provide training to other staff employees and encourage brainstorming to explore other job function to complete a market study quickly. I have learned how to use current technology to provide responses related to every member need. I have learned how to work with marking to provide market competitive results that compare product with key competitor for a specific product.
§ I learned to take sole responsibility for projects that impact the success of a generic product to ensure all operational changes and additions are transitioned smoothly. I learned to take a close look of all program implemented with new product additions to apprehend knowledge that will be utilize on the next project to prevent stubbing block, errors, and operational mishaps. The knowledge contained through tasks and projects related to the change of programs in the healthcare field often have a successful outcome.
§ I learned how to present my market research findings to members to give an advance notice of spending by facilities. I learned that economic downturn and inflation impact the way our member purchase products. This always affect the annual budget that triggers explanation for difference between actual versus budget to senior management. I learned the market research helps explore operational decisions related to staff cuts, elimination of programs, and annual spending for supplies.
§ I learned that market research gives an advance look of economic situation that will impact the progress of a project. I learned to monitor projects based on the environment and demand. I learned that members with customers on Medicaid and Medicare can increase operational cost and uptake on a product would initiate a discussion to terminate contracts because it is outside the range of terms. I learned that group purchasing organization always are look for way to increase the revenue budget. This cause a market study to look for new product in the pipeline or creative programs that will increase revenue.
METHOD OF COLLECTING DATA
§ My current professional role is a Contract Administrator in the Pharmacy Department at Novation in Irving, Texas. I am responsible for special projects that include data and quality control that is managed through the Supply Chain Data Management (SCDM) department. I was responsible for processing member purchase data so that it is in a standardized format that can be used in analytics for members and other departments internally. I had to use a product master file that is maintained by the SCDM team. I have learned to be a test user for contracts and non contract products with a revenue potential over four million. I learned to inform the SCDM department of growth potential of products by category and cross-referencing on behalf of Novation and its members. I learned to review member data sets containing transactional pharmacy purchase information that is processed each month. Once processed, these data are used to support the members as an analytical tool such as VHA Global Spend Analysis and UHC Spend Link. The data is also used by SCDM for creation of focused assessment reports and the Novation Business Intelligence products.
§ From December 2001 to August 2005, I was the Senior Accounting Analyst at TXU Corporation have gained valuable knowledge within the finance department at The Associates and TXU Corporation. I was required to perform as a project leader of a group of three for application conversion to support the collection of data for various business units. My accounting experience involved test-user in production of PeopleSoft, analyze balance sheets and income statements before distribution to management for financial review.
§ As the Contract Administrator for Novation in Irving, Texas, I have learned that one of Pharmacy Department primary objective is to have the best market price. I learned that market studies require a lot of time and strategic experience to be successful. I learned as an employee of Novation it is essential to conduct all studies according to federal laws to be fair to all manufacturers. I was able to identify unique situation relate to pricing that made the compilation of data challenging. I learned that it is important to research the market condition locally, regionally, or nationally to determine potential sales of a product or service. I learned how to gather information on competitors, prices, and sales by collecting marketing data from distributors. I learned how to use surveys to create market research material based on regional buying trend.
§ I learned that weekly mini-bid analysis requires me to determine the best offer for our members by analyzing the suppliers' price offer and non- financial scores. I never settle for the most obvious outcome and often take the low best price received by the competitor as leverage to request a lower price from the awarded supplier. I have effectively complete this process by coming up with more than one action to streamline the analysis by using more than one approach. I learned how to explore many different ways to complete the current process quicker. I have often made suggestion to input the mini-bid data into Access to automate documents prepared manual such as the award announcements, member savings report, and distributors' notification.
§ I learned to draft guidelines to create, submit, analyze and determine an award for a bid. I learned how to document each step involved in conducting bids as well as documenting the rationale behind bid calculations and award determinations. The original process that was in place had superfluous manual steps, such as replicating the same formatted spreadsheet for ranking, announcements, and savings calculations. I learned that it is a tedious process when it is more than eight to ten suppliers bidding on multiple products. I learned to my past process improvement background to streamline the process. I also learned to complete an analysis by submitting award announcements to the appropriate individuals, notifying distributors, updating the catalog of awards that mostly fell under the contract that I support. I learned how to calculate member savings and prepare member announcements. I also have shown a genuine interest in enhancing and improving operational process across each department function.
§ I learned how to formalize the mini-bid process which has led to a smoother workflow compared to how it was done in the past. This has provided more consistency and makes it easier for cross-training purposes. I also learned how to be a key player that handles much of the department workload for generic oral solid and topical bids. I have learned that this process will play a major part as being an expert in this area.
§ I learned how to send out survey related to a specific project to ensure there are no negative affect regarding statistical validation received from members. This is a creative way to take a systematic methodology by joining multiple geographic regions and specific members with a region. I also learned respondents to surveys reduce the affects of statistical validation and employ user friendly method that is used by internal staff and members across an organization.
§ I learned how to sample the data generated by hospital purchase to target product that are used on a regular basis. These sample data sets are supplied between surveys, so that the company is aware of their purchase history throughout the year. When data is requested from a specific region, I normally supply a sample of the data that apply to that specific area. I often supply different types of data to departments expecting feedback from a group that is representative of the company.
§ I learned that universities health facilities are very small organization in Novation membership. I learned that due to the size of the industry I most take some caution when analyzing their specific purchase history. I learned how to prepare reports that contain the actual number of universities facilities that is calculate by percentages and input received by the members' survey.
USE OF MEASURE SCALE
§ As a working professional, I have taken the direction from Shareholders and the Pharmacy Counsel to develop a template to measure the contract performance of suppliers and vendors. It consists of creating a template to score the performance of suppliers according to their terms and condition. The template normally rank sections of the contract that pertains to ability to supply, contract price increases, deleted items, price policy, class of trade eligibility, and market competitive language.
§ I learned that scaling consists of measuring and comparing objects in analytical and strategic way. (Dunn-Rankin 3) I have learned that computers are a very powerful instrument that is used to make measuring easily. I often use a spreadsheet application such as Excel to perform data analysis and use functions to create automated measuring template. I have learned the use of data downloading from the mainframe that is eventually uploaded in Excel is required to be in a certain form to ease formatting. I also learned the data form has been achieved by incorporating certain data options. I learned that other analysis of data requires more of a conventional approach to achieve a targeted answer. I learned how to take raw data and edit the information according to my specific requirements(Dunn-Rankin 199)
§ I learned how to how to define sales and accounting data by measuring by an isolated request. This would provide an output of data that has several variables that are identify by certain criteria. (Dunn-Rankin 200) The unique data acquired due to the contract performance of a supplier or vendor is measured according to a 100 point scale. Each section of a contract has a point scale measurement that is achieve either by historical or current data.
§ I learned how to use a performance type of scale to measure the behavior of the suppliers. I learned that this process in needed as a statistic I can use while analyzing high volume sales data. It is critical because it relates to the statistic I can use to analyze sales data. I learned an easy way to eliminate suppliers that are trying to bid on a high dollar product is to use their contract performance score or review distributor data to ensure they are able to supply. I also learned that a number of computer programs use established measurement to determine product performance and measurement of other scales. I learned that the program must take the original data that is translated and viewed in form of a matrix. (Dunn-Rankin 55) I learned that non-financial scores are calculating by manufacturer performance according to their terms and conditions. I learned that it is important to rank sections of terms that will cause members to inherit operational risk.
APPLICATIONS AND IMPLICATION FOR NEW SITUATIONS
§ I am proud that I am able to conduct market research by utilizing past experience and universal techniques. I plan on opening my own restaurant in the near future and the expertise will be very beneficial to organize and facilitate an operation. I will be able to use my researching skills to determine the location of my new restaurant. In addition, I will be able to collect data to determine the local community choice of food and beverage.
§ I was told by my uncle, who own a soul food café in Lake Charles, LA, that a restaurasnt business is very hard to stay afloat on a monthly basis. He also stated that a person must have great business skills to earn at least a minimal profit. He went on to say most restaurants owners should expect a loss the first year because it takes large amount of revenue to replenish start up cost. I want a restaurant that will be a place that all Christian would like to partake in. I believe market research will help me to determine the location that this unique to this business concept. I have told many of my friends of my idea and they do not think people in this society would like to attend an environment based on this concept because it caters to one specific group of people. I was told by several investors that all restaurant and café appeals to a certain group. I know my market base is unique and I need to do a lot of research to market to the right location. I believe my market research skill will help me create a proposal to acquire the necessary investors or financial support to put my idea to life. Maybe all of the advice given by my uncle is true, but I expect to be successful if I utilize my business skills and put the time and energy needed to hove a successful business.