Monday, March 2, 2009

Ahead of the Curve

Charles R. Earl, M.A., ABD
CEO, Communication Connections

The major portion of our discussions on these pages has focused on the impact of counterfeiting and adulteration on patient safety and supply chain reliability. This is where the primary consideration should be, but there are other important factors in play, too. Much of the recent news coverage has chronicled the challenges facing the national … and global economies. Corporations and businesses everywhere are belt-tightening, downsizing or closing. Some businesses will thrive in this environment by becoming leaner and more efficient while others will enter “panic mode” and never fully recover from these trying times.

From my experience as a business manager and as a corporate and business trainer, I have had the opportunity to witness how truly successful leaders cope with difficult circumstances. Although the “right now” requires intensely concentrated effort and resources, successful leaders never fail to look ahead to tomorrow. They do not abdicate their duties for visionary thinking and acting. They race ahead of the curve.

It is difficult for a corporate officer or manager to justify purchasing new technology when the market is uncharacteristically tough. Concentration is directed to monthly P&L’s, quarterly statements, and annual reports. Every nickel that can be saved and every penny pinched become important for day-to-day operations. “No major expenditures” and “no new commitments” become the rallying cries for weathering the economic storm. Count the pens! Inventory the paper clips! Use both sides of the printer paper! I could go on, but you get the idea.

While the market, the governments, customers and patients are clamoring for safer and more reliable pharmaceutical delivery, you cannot afford to retreat into a posture of preservation. You, as a leader, who wants to guide a leading company of the industry must seize the initiative. The old reliable aphorism “if you’re not moving forward, then you’re falling backward” is still true. Offer more for your customers—better service and safer product.

Imagine this scenario: A customer calls your office and asks you to submit an RFIP. This company is impressed with your innovative efforts to supply safe, trustworthy products as well as your obvious commitment to top-rate customer service. Another customer calls your competitor, and the receptionist responds,” I’m sorry, he can’t come to the phone right now. He’s in the supply closet counting paperclips.”

No comments: