Strategic planning has been for too long a relatively basic and straightforward process, developed at a time when corporate strategy development and planning were based on a mostly reliable, steady, and predictable context.
Today, however, a new era of amplified economic volatility has come, and Biopharmaceuticals companies, Contract Services Providers - CRO, CDMO, CMO - and suppliers, are facing rapidly changing markets, that complicate the planning processes and require dynamic, agile and very different strategies.
New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or NGS are accelerating discovery process of lead compounds. Biotechnologies are increasing the number of modalities. An ever-growing diversity of candidates is flooding R&D pipelines: Antibody Drug Conjugate, Bispecific Antibody, CAR-T Cell, Fusion Protein, Monoclonal Antibody, Oncolytic Immunotherapy Virus, Peptide, Small Molecule, Therapeutic Protein, Viral Vector based Gene Therapy. Personalized therapies are the next trend. Innovative technologies and services providers are emerging. Value chain and supply chain are getting dramatically more complex. New market opportunities are popping-up. Meanwhile, governments are cutting prices. Globalization makes well-established products under pressure.
The Biotech & Pharma Industry is shifting up a gear.
Yet, strategy reviews in most companies are still involving nothing more than rigid yearly meetings with recooked updates of previous five-year plan's presentations, few space for new ideas, and an overwhelming focus on figures: financial performances, target revenues, costs and timeframes. Consequently, strategic planning has become in most companies overly bureaucratic, numbers-driven, insufficiently insightful and energy-consuming, delivering questionable results.
By contrast, strategic planning ought to prepare executives to address the strategic uncertainties ahead or initiate creative thinking about a company's vision and orientation, while delivering strong results in day-to-day operations.
During the last five years, Larka performed interviews, surveys and projects on strategic planning with over 200 companies within the Pharma and Biopharma universe. We found out that the best strategic-planning practices were built on six pillars:
For over a decade, Larka has been careful to develop customized and strategy-driven planning processes.
We adapt planning cycles to the needs of each business unit and establish regular meetings with multiple time horizons and evolving, question-driven, agenda on big strategic topics. Larka stimulates strategic discussion as needed and provides the right level of business intelligence, so our clients can get into a discipline and a cadence of strategic conversations for each business.
Budget and timeframe have always been an outcome of a fresh, creative thinking process and strategic aspirations - not the other way around. By the time our clients come to planning, we made them have all their strategy options in mind.
We have always strived to identify strategic priorities - opportunities and risk - and develop agile planning strategies for our clients to remain sharp as markets change. Our processes and methodologies offer time for focused strategic debates, encourage creative minds, optimize the cadence of decision making, engage the organization at all levels, and finally allow to measure and monitor progress with quantitative metrics and goals that translate strategy into actions, and ultimately into strong results.