Laminar Medica cuts product development time and costs by 25 percent

IBM Rational Focal Point software centralizes product data and competitive intelligence

Published on 31-Jan-2013

"We chose IBM because of its ability to provide a complete solution with standard components that met current and longer term strategic needs of the business." - Mark Cooper, market intelligence coordinator, Laminar Medica

Customer:
Laminar Medica

Industry:
Fabrication & Assembly

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

Solution:
DevOps

Overview

Founded in 1975, Laminar Medica is based in Tring, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The company provides temperature-controlled packaging for many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to help maintain the quality and potency of medical products that could potentially be affected by temperature variations during transit. Organizations throughout the healthcare sector, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, laboratories, hospitals, veterinary practices and blood banks as well as specialist courier companies and cargo freight forwarders, rely on Laminar Medica products.

Business need:
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, Laminar Medica wanted to improve its insight into the competition to support future business growth.

Solution:
The company used IBM® Rational® Focal Point™ software to create a companywide resource for competitive intelligence that supports market-driven product development and more-informed portfolio decisions.

Benefits:
Laminar Medica reduced new product development time and associated costs by more than 25 percent. The company anticipates that it will achieve a complete ROI in less than 12 months.

Case Study

Founded in 1975, Laminar Medica is based in Tring, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The company provides temperature-controlled packaging for many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies to help maintain the quality and potency of medical products that could potentially be affected by temperature variations during transit. Organizations throughout the healthcare sector, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, laboratories, hospitals, veterinary practices and blood banks as well as specialist courier companies and cargo freight forwarders, rely on Laminar Medica products. The company has facilities in the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, the United States, Canada, India, Singapore and China. Laminar Medica is part of the CliniMed Group, which includes seven companies that provide specialty products and services for the healthcare market.

Navigating an increasingly competitive marketplace

Laminar Medica wanted to improve its insight into the competition. With the healthcare sector producing increasing numbers of novel, high-value drugs that require temperature control to remain effective, competition for packaging solutions within this niche has grown fierce. The growth of this market has attracted major players from other segments of the packaging industry, which are able to exploit their existing knowledge and global manufacturing capabilities. Additional competition comes in the form of alternatives to packaging, such as refrigerated transport providers and air cargo operators.

With so much competition entering the marketplace, Laminar Medica sought to continue to foster its relationships with existing customers. “It is difficult to maintain commercial relationships with major global customers over the long term without continuing to represent great value, in the face of continual product/service innovation from the competition,” says Mark Cooper, market intelligence coordinator, Laminar Medica. Plus, operating on a global basis entails many challenges. To remain competitive, Laminar Medica must keep track of which solutions are available to customers in each global region, along with differences in regional market requirements, like outdoor temperatures, transport and warehouse infrastructures, regulatory practices and levels of access to specialist healthcare.

Laminar Medica needed to rethink its strategies and create an e-business approach for continued business growth when developing its next generation of products. To accomplish these goals, the company needed to benchmark competitors’ performance and analyze insight from various market intelligence sources.

Creating a companywide resource for competitive intelligence

Laminar Medica reviewed solutions from many vendors before choosing IBM Rational Focal Point software. “We chose IBM because of its ability to provide a complete solution with standard components that met current and longer-term strategic needs of the business,” says Cooper. In addition, Cooper remarks that the IBM solution was the most intuitive and most customizable. To help Laminar Medica transform its operational and strategic goals into reality, an IBM Software Services for Rational team provided hands-on training and remote mentoring during the early stages of the software deployment.

Using Rational Focal Point software, Laminar Medica established a centralized, companywide, role-based resource for competitive and marketplace intelligence, including industry segmentation, news items, industry issues, trade bodies, competitor and product profiles, customer information and prospects. The Rational Focal Point application enables Laminar Medica to consolidate various sources and formats of information into a single analysis environment, making it easier to compare and cross-reference data. Laminar Medica can then create analytical scenarios, including a single competitor or multiple competitors, and easily perform product benchmarking.

Transforming product and portfolio decisions

The solution transformed the way Laminar Medica makes product and portfolio decisions. “Previously, it has been difficult for the organization to consider all areas of business/market intelligence that influence long-term strategic thinking and customer requirements. Areas of intelligence, such as customer market sectors, end user feedback, analysis of competitors and product lines, internal opinions, trade bodies, trade press and other sources of industry news, would typically be considered on an individual basis,” says Cooper.

Now, the company uses the application to simulate product investment decision impact, track feature and functionality requirement movement in the marketplace, benchmark competitor performance and generate proactive information that supports tactical bidding scenarios. Using this insight, Laminar Medica retired many products based on projected sales and established clear priorities for future product development projects.

“Using the solution, Laminar has already reduced its new product development time and associated costs by over 25 percent and simultaneously increased the actual value generated for its customers and internally,” says Cooper. The company anticipates that it will achieve a complete ROI in less than 12 months from the time the new products go to market. Laminar Medica’s new products have gained the attention of some large potential customers that were previously impenetrable, before the new products were even ready for commercial release. Finally, the company has been short-listed for or has won 10 percent more competitive tenders, compared to the equivalent period before the launch of the Rational solution.

About the IBM DevOps approach

The DevOps approach is an enterprise capability for continuous software delivery that helps enable organizations to seize market opportunities, respond more rapidly to customer feedback, and balance speed, cost, quality and risk. By offering the right approach for incremental adoption, the IBM DevOps solution helps organizations deliver a differentiated and engaging customer experience, achieve quicker time to value and gain increased capacity to innovate. The DevOps solution uses an open-standards-based platform and a continuous feedback loop across the delivery process, and it’s designed to integrate into existing heterogeneous lifecycle environments to deliver value more quickly.

For more information

To learn more about the IBM DevOps approach, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/ibm/devops/us/en.

Download the analyst report: Continuous Delivery is Reshaping the Future of ALM. https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/signup.do?source=swg-rtl-sd-ar&S_PKG=ov17430

To learn more about IBM Rational Focal Point software, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website:
ibm.com/software/awdtools/focalpoint

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Rational Focal Point

Service:
Software Services for Rational

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Global Services Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America January 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Rational and SmartCloud are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” atibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.