August 22, 2011

Developing over time with Astellas Pharma Canada.

by Helen Kalra, Associate Managing Director; Joe Knott, Managing Director; Peggy Cleary, Associate Managing Director

  • Who: Astellas Pharma Canada
  • What We've Done: Strategic planning for Astellas' growth in the long term, develop strong relationships with key trade customers
  • Length of relationship: Several years; ongoing

Working With Trade

When we were initially approached by Astellas, they had a specific problem: Managing their relationships with retailers and distributors.

Our dedicated team of trade relations specialists helped augment Astella's marketing team and provide hands-on assistance.

"Kristen and Michael have become an integral part of our sales and marketing team when it comes to new product launches, changes in policies, negotiations with customers, etc. I am convinced that, without their guidance, we would have made decisions which would have cost us both financially and strategically." -- Mark Hammar, Director of Sales, Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.

Understanding The Big Picture

After proving our mettle, Astellas took advantage of our collective intelligence and had us help them develop a comprehensive vision of their company--one built for success through the proactive engagement of their market.

"We embarked on an extensive strategic planning process which had us look five years into the future. The Pangaea team put together a very detailed plan which included numerous meetings and checkpoints, allowing us to get to our goal: To identify the key strategic imperatives which would help shape our company over the next five years." -- Michael J. Tremblay, President, Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.

Keeping Enganged

One of the biggest challenges when working with traditional management structures is encouraging critical thought and open-mindedness. Pangaea excels in bridging the gap between process and action, encouraging executive roles to reach beyond what they traditionally see as limitations.

"The leadership team at Astellas was very impressed with the knowledge that Pangaea brought to the table along with the frankness of opinion that they shared during the meetings. This forced us to get out of our comfort zone and really try to be futurists." -- Michael J. Tremblay, President, Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.

Trust fostered with Astellas allowed us to develop a schedule that kept us involved on a regular basis, maximizing the return on their time committment and the value of the outputs from the long-term planning sessions we worked on together.

This will allow Astellas the option to fine-tune strategy to reflect changing market conditions or new developments within the organization.

"One of the key elements of this relationship with Pangaea is that it will continue over the long term. We have asked Pangaea to come in on a quarterly basis to give us an environmental impact update, which forces us to re-look at our strategic plan regularly. This helps us not only see where we stand, but also to see if changes to the plan are necessary." -- Michael J. Tremblay, President, Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.

Pangaea continues to work with Astellas, both with their executive and marketing teams, collaborating on growth initiatives while advising in key day-to-day trade decisions.