A Look at Digital Transformation Across the Life Sciences & CPG Markets

Life Sciences Market

Digital transformation has impacted the entire spectrum of the Life Sciences industry in a multitude of ways. This includes areas such as drug development, patient diagnostics, patient journey management, and treatment.

High throughput drug screening has allowed manufacturers to quickly screen millions of compounds and molecular entities. This enables them to select the most appropriate candidates for further exploration. Additionally, high throughput diagnostic platform systems allow labs to quickly analyze and process samples. This reduces hands-on time for laboratory personnel and eliminates errors. Smart wearable technology is going beyond fitness tracking and carrying over to medical diagnostics and real-time reporting tools. Wearable technologies help to inform patients and health care providers about patients’ health statuses. From there, the right actions can be taken to mitigate possible health issues or adverse events.

Drug delivery devices have also seen major improvements and will continue to develop along with digital transformation.  Smart technologies, such as auto injectors and pumps that contain visual and auditory cues and reporting mechanisms, provide patients with better delivery experiences. Patients are experiencing better ease-of-use and pain management.

Patient medical records, health status and outcomes tracking, and disease and treatment diagnostics has also been influenced by digital transformation. Patient healthcare records are now utilized throughout the entire patient journey. The challenge for any organization that collects and maintains patient medical records relates to security. Organizations must work to ensure that these records are not subject to cybersecurity and healthcare data breaches.  Since 2009, the number of healthcare data breaches has significantly increased. According to HIPAA, over 189 million people had exposed medical records. The penalties for HIPAA violations are stiff. Many organizations are looking for a digital solution to help secure their patients’ medical records.

Patient journey management has been largely impacted by digital transformation. Social media platforms, mobile apps, online patient service portals, marketing automation tools, and a host of other technologies have had a major influence on the Life Sciences industry. Ultimately, these digital transformations have allowed for better patient education, communications, and networking.

In years to come, we will continue to see significant digital developments that will evolve the Life Sciences industry.

Consumer Packaged Goods Market

Digital transformation has brought profound changes to the CPG world. The rise of ecommerce and the collapse of traditional brick and mortar retailers that have refused to adapt has been apparent for years. If we move beyond the digital transformation of how we shop, we can find even more disruption that continues to gain momentum. One noticeable example is seen in the personalized online retail/consumer goods fulfillment space. To clarify, when we say “online,” we essentially mean automated. The days of browsing web pages are essentially over. Now, AI makes the shopping decisions for us.

Stitch Fix, an online personal styling service, led the way in bringing this technology to market. In less than six years, Stitch Fix grew to a $1 billion dollar plus company. The clothing styling company was able to achieve this growth through a robust suite of AI tools. These tools track trends, body types, customer feedback, and other ques that cull down potential outfit combinations. The combinations are used by personal stylists to pick outfits that should fit consumers perfectly and match their unique style preferences.

Stitch Fix continues to outpace its competition by constantly modifying and updating its algorithms. The algorithms are not static. Instead, they evolve with the client as they go through different life stages. For example, pregnancy or career moves may alter consumers’ clothing needs. The Stitch Fix AI tools take these factors into consideration and continue to make appropriate styling recommendations based on consumers’ evolving clothing preferences. This level of precision can support inventory management in ways that could even make Amazon nervous. With a gross margin comparable to other major clothing retailers, Stitch Fix is poised to invest in greater advertising and apply increased pressure to both brick and mortar and ecommerce models.

Disruption at the level seen with Stitch Fix often causes market leaders to scramble for a response. Should they stay the course? Does it make sense to innovate? Is it the right move to acquire? To answer these questions, industry leaders should look to market and competitive intelligence to help validate strategy or present a new view on the market. These offerings include:

Primary Research

Fletcher/CSI regularly supports major CPGs with primary research insights about their competitors’ ecommerce, retail, and direct-to-consumer business models and strategies. Understanding competitive investments in each channel allows CPGs to preemptively position themselves in the market.

Strategy Workshops

War games and scenario planning sessions allow leaders from across a company to come together and put on the competitor’s hat to anticipate their strategies. Looking through the eyes of a competitor allows industry leaders to better understand their own weaknesses so they can refine their strategies. Recently, we hosted a war game that allowed participants to strategize about disruption in the transportation industry driven by the growth of Uber and Lyft. Results of the event painted a bleak picture for regional public transportation as it failed to adapt to market demands.

As homes, cars, and wearables continue to mass data, more consumer and industrial goods will offer unique delivery models. This evolution will continue to leave manufacturers behind unless they are able to adapt to changes caused by digital transformation.

– Cinda Steele, SVP, Life Sciences Practice and Patrick Sturgeon, VP Sales, Consumer & Industrial Goods Practice