SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

February 12, 2009 12:28 ET

76% of Best-in-Class Life Sciences and Healthcare Suppliers Report Pricing Errors of Less Than 2% of Orders Shipped

Companies Face Profit Margin Pressures and Are Focusing on Improvement of Demand Forecasting and Planning as Well as Visibility Into Trading Partner Data and Processes

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - February 12, 2009) - New research findings in the report "The Intelligent Life Sciences and Healthcare Supply Chain" from Aberdeen Group, a Harte Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), finds that the life sciences supply chain is under pressure to become more efficient in order to help curb shrinking profit margins. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com//summary/report/benchmark/5355-RA-business-intelligence-healthcare.asp.

Aberdeen's survey of 170 life sciences and healthcare supply chain professionals revealed demand forecasting and planning along with data management to be the greatest challenges to successfully implement strategic plans for improvement. In order to meet increasing customer demands and remain competitive, 49% of respondents are planning to enhance or begin forecast collaboration with customers and suppliers. The use of Business Intelligence (BI) to support these goals is also a priority; 22% of respondents plan to adopt an automated BI platform in the next 12 months and 25% plan to do so in the future. Aberdeen's new report investigates the different scenarios for collaborating internally and externally with customers to manage inventory levels without letting customer satisfaction slip.

"Before any of the other top challenges can be addressed, life sciences companies must first deal with the issues surrounding the integration of data from multiple disparate systems and assess the resulting levels of data quality," states David Hatch, vice president and principal analyst. "This may involve the requirement for additional FTEs with data management expertise, or the outsourcing of these capabilities to a third party with domain expertise."

This report discusses industry best practices -- such as adjusting forecasts for seasonality, obtaining a holistic view of inventory, and actively monitoring customer and enterprise performance. These actions are enabling a number of life sciences companies to more effectively compete in the current market.

The attention to order fulfillment and product utilization is one example of a Best-in-Class strategy. "Pricing in the life sciences supply chain is an important driver of competition for revenue, profit, and market share growth," states Hatch. "Best-in-Class companies show that customer management is about more than merely setting pricing strategy -- it involves perfect order fulfillment and visibility into product adoption and utilization."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Dimensional Insight and GHX. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com//summary/report/benchmark/5355-RA-business-intelligence-healthcare.asp.

For complimentary access to Information Technology Research, including Business Intelligence, please visit http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/-information-technology.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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