Corporate Vision March 2017

14 CORPORATE VISION / March 2017 , Scott A. Gray of Clincierge was recently awarded the title of CEO of the Year – Pennsylvania. He talks to Corporate Vision about the firmand its strategy. From Humble Beginnings Founded in 1994, Gray Consulting, Inc. was established as a corporate meeting planning services provider to pharmaceutical companies. Scott A. Gray tells us more about the firm. “For over 22 years we organised management meetings for executives, sales training, product launches and incentive travel programs for sales teams, and educational meetings for physicians,” he explains. “In 2015 we launched a new division, Clincierge®, which builds on our global expertise as a provider of top-notch hospitality and people logistics services. Clincierge supports domestic and international studies for pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations with great success and overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients, research site personnel and sponsors. Clinical trial sites are often widely dispersed, making multi-national trials and the necessity of patient travel a significant challenge for sponsors and CROs that can lead to slow recruitment and frequent patient drop-outs. By providing patients with high-touch personalized support, regular one-on-one communication, upfront payments/rapid reimbursement, and expert logistical assistance for travel and accommodations, our services have had a dramatically positive effect on recruitment and retention for these complex trials.” Scott embellishes and goes on to delve into the company’s ongoing strategy. “Clincierge services are customised to the patients’ needs for each clinical trial. In the months since Clincierge was recognised as an innovator by the 2016 Clinical Informatics News “Best Practices” awards, we have experienced over 700% business growth and now support more than 45 global clinical studies representing 1,080 trial sites and more than 2,500 patients and their caregivers. “Clincierge is providing support to patients in clinical trials across a broad spectrum of conditions ranging from rare diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa and Friedreich’s ataxia, to those affecting many more people, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In recognizing the beneficial services we provide to their patients many of our clients use Clincierge’s services to support multiple studies around the world. “ “Keeping patient recruitment and retention in clinical trials on schedule is a challenging problem that can lead to substantial delays in trial completion, cost over-runs, and negative impacts on the overall amount of evaluable data that can be submitted for regulatory reviews. We are clearly meeting a major need with our services and technology, which improve trial performance, transparency, and communications between stakeholders, patients, clinical trial site personnel, trial sponsors and clinical research organisations.” Scott believes that the firm’s Mission Statement goes a long way in demonstrating its commitment: To lead the global clinical trial performance improvement market through highly-personalized patient- centric services, unrivalled technology, and our team of professional experts. We streamline communication and coordination among clinical trial patients, sites and stakeholders. We develop mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with clients and vendors who share our dedication to humanizing the patient experience while providing a reasonable return on investment. We work in a collaborative and supportive environment which recognizes individual accomplishments and provides opportunity for continuous personal and professional growth. Our gracious and attentive people are empathetic advocates who bring the best of genuine hospitality and trust to the clinical trial community. There are key processes and approaches followed within Clincierge in order to develop the company effectively. “Seek professional help!” states Scott. “That’s the best advice I can give. As a text-book small business that wanted to grow, we kept hitting a ceiling. But, in 2008 we integrated the services of a highly-experienced Organisation Development consultant into our operation. She asked us tough questions and guided us through the myriad of steps to develop better processes, better hiring practices, better sales performance, and better performance from the leaders of the company… including me.” The industry has changed vastly over the years and Scott exclaims that it has become commoditised and saturated with competition. “The advent of Clincierge is filling a vast, unmet need in the clinical trial industry. So, by stepping away from meetings, we’re giving our undivided focus to the growth of Clincierge. In 2016, we saw nearly a 2% increase in spending in North America over the increase of 0.3% in 2015 for the meetings industry. But since 2006, there has been an increased number of clinical trials registered worldwide and it’s estimated to increase even further. From 2010 to 2017, the number of registered clinical trials went from 83,420 to over 220,000 and that’s including locations in 192 countries as well as in all 50 states in the United States.” “The clinical trials business works well, but is stuck with 38% of patients dropping out and some trials never attain the enrolment levels they need to gather the relevant data for submission to the FDA or the approval body in their geography. By focusing on the performance improvement of the trial, we’re seeing much greater patient retention rates as well as innovating some services that previously didn’t exist and were preventing trials from even getting started.” Technology is very important with regards to the industry and Scott explains how it is used effectively to ensure Clincierge’s ongoing success. “We’re in the pivotal seat where we’re orchestrating the services of multiple external providers for each patient’s site visit. This is as simple as flight itineraries, hotel confirmations and ground transportation – but it can be more complex – such as customized health insurance policies, translators to accompany a patient on a medical visit, and the ability to collect miscellaneous expenses and provide reimbursement…. so an integrated method of accurately and securely collecting and processing all the data is essential. To ensure our technology is being used effectively, we use KPIs for both measuring the quality and value of output and the user experience.” Being a successful CEO is not without its challenges and Scott tells us about two major challenges he has encountered and how he has worked to 1702CV47