“A day in a life of…” is a series of interviews briefly describing the inner life of COREX. This article is devoted to our Business Development department. Today Anna Rusak, HR Manager, is speaking with BD Director of COREX, Denis Volkov. During the interview we will learn about COREX clients, the peculiarities of choosing a Local Depot and the work of the department where Sales&Marketing is combined with Strategic Management.
- So, Denis, let’s start from the daily routine. What are your duties in the company?
- Generally, activities connected with Business Development include a complex set of measures aimed at improvement of key company indicators. Therefore, I am responsible for direct sales, establishment of long-term cooperation with pharma companies, CROs and international logistics companies engaged in clinical trials supply; development of communication system, marketing programs, search for new investment areas. More than that, our activities include selection and estimation of reliable partners and suppliers who ensure our competitive position on the market. Besides, I am engaged in a rather important process of monitoring of operations to intensify customer satisfaction.
- Sounds rather impressive! How do you start your working day?
- I believe that every working day should start with a cup of coffee. As a rule, we begin our work at 9:00 together with our Russian clients and finish at 20:00, when our European colleagues get their work done. That’s the reason we need to be upbeat – and a cup of coffee while checking e-mails is the best way to do so. In our department we look through a lot of correspondence connected with comparator sourcing, logistics projects questions, clients’ letters. That’s why we are checking e-mails and doing the rest of the tasks from the previous day from 9:00 to 10:00. At 10:00 we organize a short TC for the whole department where we discuss current issues, plan daily activities and share our experience.
- It seems that our work is mainly connected with social intercourse, am I right? Then who are COREX clients?
- You are absolutely right, 70% of my working time is dedicated to the communication with our customers. The point is that COREX business is divided into two major parts with different clients, peculiarities and needs. The first one is clinical trials logistics – everything from customs clearance, controlled storage to shipments to investigational centers, materials recollection and destruction. In this field we cooperate basically with pharma and biotechnological companies, CROs, institutes and biobanks.
The second one is local procurement of registered drugs for clinical trials needs, named patient programs, analytical testing, etc. In this sphere we work together with global comparator sourcing companies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, etc.
Of course we give additional services such as biological samples management, named patient program, study document printing and archiving etc., but these are our auxiliary activities.
- Please, tell us what strategies do you use for client engagement?
- The most effective ways here are FTF meetings, telephone communication and emailing. Moreover, we widely use social networks, such as Linked In, organize webinars and participate in industry conferences. Event management has a special place in our work. For example, using our internal resources we independently organize an annual eco-event Pharma Garden, take part in charitable runs and football competitions and try to attract as many representatives of R&D industry as possible. Currently we focus on our PR image, publish articles in different magazines such as “Farmvestnik”, and take part in seminars and interviews. All in all, we try to use the whole potential available.
- Let's return to a day in a life of BD department. Please, tell us how do you organize your activities?
- Usually, after a morning TC with BD team, we give consideration to clients’ initiation for about two hours. We call clinical departments, introduce our company, arrange meetings and send e-mails. At about 13:00 we have a lunch break. After it we work with current clients – form budget proposals, finalize contracts, and solve general tasks. Closer to 15:00 we plan either a FTF meeting or a TC per WebEX, Skype, etc. with a client. At the end of the day we record our activities in CRM-system and have a call to discuss our achievements.
- What do you think is the most important part of your work?
- I suppose it is the first personal contact with a client. I mean a meeting or a TC where you get closely acquainted with people and companies. It is extremely important here not only to offer your services, but also to form a positive image of yourself and your company because people judge about the whole team according to your personality. We need to know all processes and procedures, working standards and regulatory questions to form a competent presentation of the company, so we have a lot of trainings and are able to solve practically all questions: drugs procurement, logistics, labelling, customs clearance, etc.
The major principle of our BD Department is as follows: we search not for just customers, but for friends. It is not important whether clients are interested in your services right now, it is relevant to maintain kind relations with people, and an opportunity for mutual cooperation will appear sooner or later. That’s why we always try to look for more than just business relations, to learn about interests of our partners, as the majority of people working in our sphere are highly-educated and broad-minded professionals.
- Tell us, what your clients are looking for?
- You mean, who are looking for COREX? – They are the companies, who want high-quality solutions to their problems, connected with drugs supply at a reasonable price. Our client satisfactory survey shows that under quality our customers understand first of all informational transparency, temperature monitoring guarantee and strict timing. In order to improve the quality of our services, we work with our staff, introduce new equipment and systems. One of our latest innovations is a warehouse management information system - COREX WMS. This system provides COREX clients with a distant access to all reports and statuses of receipts at our warehouse, current stock balance, shipments to investigational sites and monitors temperature through the whole logistics cycle of drugs.
- And how do you rest?
- Unfortunately, I’ve got practically no spare time after work. Moreover, I am fully absorbed in my work and the current issues of the company: I read business literature, answer urgent calls and e-mails virtually all the time. However, I try not to forget about myself, do sports, namely, jogging – it helps to clear up my thoughts and brace up not only muscles, but brain as well.
- In conclusion, please, tell us what is the most valuable thing for you in your work?
- The most valuable things for me are new acquaintances, meetings and the process of communication. To my mind, long-term business relations are one of the most important assets of every company and it is a real pleasure for me to realize that the value of this asset depends on the results of my work. As of today we have managed to gain a positive reputation on the market and I am sure that we have good prospects for rapid and steady growth.