Importance of Knowledge Management in Bristol-Meyers Squibb

Importanceof Knowledge Management in Bristol-Meyers Squibb

Table of Contents

Executive summary 2

Statement of Purpose 4

Importance of knowledge management at Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company 4

Transformation of staff 4

Knowledge capture and retention in the new acquisitions 5

Knowledge management and corporate alliance 6

Gaining an edge via knowledge management 8

Recommendations 8

Conclusion 9

References 11

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Executivesummary

Thepurposeof thepaperis to analyzeBristol-Meyers Squibb Company by focusingon its internalanalysis,externalanalysis,knowledgemanagement,andtheimportanceof knowledgemanagement.Theconceptof knowledgemanagementsoundsquitestrangeto manyemployees,butthe newfunctionof knowledgeintegrationhas helpedhashelpedBristol-Meyers Squibb in transformingits membersof staff.Knowledgemanagementhas beeninstrumentalin helpingBristol-Meyers Squibb to captureandretaincriticalinformationon theeventsof acquisitionof newfirms. Companieslosealotofinformationduring acquisitionsin theabsenceof effectiveknowledgemanagementstrategies.TheneedforKMinthepharmaceutical industrypushescompaniesto establishpartnershipsandcorporate allianceswith otherfirms, which in turnhelpsthem to shareknowledgeformutualbenefits.In essence,theprocessof attracting,analyzing,retaining,andusinginformationwithin thefirms increasesthecompetitiveness of thepharmaceutical companies.

Keywords:Knowledge management,retainingknowledge,strategicalliance,competitiveadvantage,retainingknowledge.

Importanceof Knowledge Management in Bristol-Meyers Squibb

Statementof Purpose

Innovationiscloselyassociatedwith companiesoperatingin thepharmaceutical industry,wherethediscoveryof newdrugsis paramountto thelongevityof both thefirm andthesociety.However,thecomplexity surroundingtheprocessof innovationis stillunder-researched (Hatfield &amp Cardinal, 2000). Knowledgecan beregardedas a keydriverof innovationas wellas thefirm’s competitiveability.Thepharmaceutical sectoris one of theknowledge-intensiveindustriesthat demandsrelevantandapplicableknowledge,whichpracticalin thepresenceofeffectiveknowledgemanagementstrategies(Leidner &amp Alavi, 2009). However,thecomplexity associatedwith theprocessesof developingdrugsitis onlya fewstudiesconductedto review theeffectivenessof theconceptof knowledgemanagementat theorganizational level. Thispaperintendsto fillthisgapby assessingtheimportanceof knowledgemanagementwith thecasestudyof Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company.

Importanceof knowledgemanagementat Bristol-Meyers Squibb CompanyTransformationof staff

Knowledgemanagementis a relativelynewtermformanymembersof staff.However,Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company has managedto helpits membersof staffto understandtheimportanceof embracingtheconceptof knowledgemanagement.Thecompanyhas createda newroleof knowledgeintegrationas partof its transformationefforts(Leavitt, 2012). Professionalwhoassumestheroleof knowledgeintegrationactsas thesinglepointof contact.Theheadof theknowledgeintegrationis in chargeof allknowledgeandinformationneedsof thedepartmentas wellas theprojectteams.Thisis one of thefunctionsof knowledgemanagementthat havegivenBristol-Meyers Squibb Company an opportunityto leverage theuseof researchanddata. Leveraging data andinformationiscriticalin increasingtheaccuracyandspeedsof decision-making by businessmanagersandscientistswhoworkwith thecompany.Theknowledgeintegrationfunctionalsofiltersandperformstheanalysisof clinical, scientific,andcompetitiveintelligencethat has beenpublishedbefore alertingtheteammembersto theadvancesthat havebeenachievedin thefieldsof biotechnology andmedicine(Leavitt, 2012).

Themanagementof Bristol-Meyers Squibb believesthatthealertserviceis a significantcompetitiveadvantageforthecompany.Thepreviousobservationsindicatedthatscientistsat Bristol-Meyers Squibb spendabout 20 % to 25 % of their timetryingto lookfornewknowledgein theindustry(Leavitt, 2012). Theknowledgemanagementspecialistsresolvedto plantan individualin their functionthat wasknowledgeableindifferentaspectsof scienceandan informationspecialistat thesametime.Theroleof thispersonis to thinkahead,tracktheworkthat thecompanyscientistsare doing,andlinkthescientiststo both theexternalandinternalinformationin orderto gettheir rolesdone.Thishas allowedBristol-Meyers Squibb to reducethescientists’researchtimeby 5 % to 10 % (Leavitt, 2012). In addition,knowledgeintegrators are allowedto attendcommitteemeetingsin orderto maketheir contributionsto thepatentenvironmentof thecompanyandcompetitorsaswellas thecurrentbusinessandscientificinformation.

Knowledgecaptureandretentionin thenewacquisitions

Companies,especiallythosethat operatein thepharmaceutical industry,acquireotherfirms with differentobjects,which includeexpansionofthe productionlineandnewknowledge.However,capturingandretainingthenewknowledgethat is availablein thenewlyacquiredfirms can be challenging becauseeventhecompetitorsare lookingforthesame.In thecaseof Bristol-Meyers Squibb, theacquisitionof DuPont Pharmaceutical in 2001 presenteda newchallenge(Bristol-Meyers Squibb, 2015). Thisis becausecommunicationbetween thetwo firms wassorestrictedto an extentthatBristol-Meyers Squibb fearedthatitcould losethecriticalknowledgethatthecompanyneeded.ThekeycompetitorshadjuststartedrecruitingthenewtalentsthatBristol-Meyers Squibb acquired.Theonlyviable solutionthat could helpBristol-Meyers Squibb in retainingtheknowledgewaseffectiveknowledgemanagementstrategies.

Introducingknowledgemanagementat boththestrategicandenterpriselevels is criticalfornewacquisitions.Bristol-Meyers Squibb achievedthisby bringingin theservicesof consultantsfrom differentcompanies,includingDeloitteandTouche (Fucci, 2014). Theknowledgemanagementexercisebeganwith theformationworkteamsfollowedby trainingof theseteamson howto capturehardandsoftknowledgewithin a givenperiodof time.Trainingvolunteersis importantbecauseithelpscompaniesin capturinghardandsoftknowledgewithin a shortperiod.Forexample,Bristol-Meyers Squibb trainedabout 150 volunteersto capturethedata, which gavethecompanya prominentknowledgemanagementposition(Leavitt, 2012). Effectiveknowledgemanagementstrategiesthat Bristol-Meyers Squibb initiatedhelpeditin capturingat least50 % of theimplicitknowledgethat would havebeentakenby thekeycompetitors.In essence,knowledgemanagementis one of thekeyconceptsthat companiesintendingto acquireothershould considerfirstin orderto avoidtheriskof losingtheknowledgeheldby thetargetcompanyto competitors.

Knowledgemanagementandcorporate alliance

Pharmaceuticalcompaniesthatacknowledgethesignificanceof knowledgemanagementseeitas a facilitator andan integralpartof theprocessof solvingproblemswithin theorganization.Accessingthelatestinformationthat can helporganizationsestablishpartnershipsandcorporate allianceswith otherfirms is one of thechallengesthat companiesneedto solvein theinformationas wellas thedigital eras.Bristol-Meyers Squibb addressesthischallengeby leveraging technology in its knowledgemanagementstrategies.Forexample,thecompanydevelopeda website that enablestheknowledgemanagementteamsto providevalidated andrelevantinformationto workteams.Thewebsiteprovidesmembersof theworkteamswith thedesktop accessto externally publishedmaterialsandintellectualassets (Leavitt, 2012). Inaddition,theknowledgemanagementteamat Bristol-Meyers Squibb has establisheda digital librarythat containsat least10,000 BMS patents,5,000 scientificas wellas businessjournals,andabout 1,500 referencesinformation(Leavitt, 2012).Thismeansthattheenterprisehas managedtoutilizetechnology in bringingtogetherall therelevantinformationthatitneedsto keepits departmentson track.

Recently,Bristol-Meyers Squibb developeda portal that allowsthemanagementto shareknowledgewith over45,000 peoplewithin thecompanyandestablishan alliancewith otherfirms (Leavitt, 2012). Currently, theportalis viewedas theknowledgemanagementplatformwithin Bristol-Meyers Squibb. In addition,theportalhas allowedthecompanyto establishcommunitiesof practicethat bringstogetherprofessionalsin differentfields(suchas marketing)tonorderto helpthem shareinformationon issuesthat affecttheir operations.Theportalhas givenBristol-Meyers Squibb an opportunityto establishallianceswith about50 academiccentersandbiotech companies(Leavitt, 2012). Itisestimatedthatabout30 % of Bristol-Meyers Squibb’s blockbuster drugsoriginatefrom thesealliances.Thisimpliesthattheuseof allianceandpartnerships,as of thestrategiesforsharinginformationhas allowedBristol-Meyers Squibb to increaseits drugvarietyandreducethetimeittakesto discovernewdrugs.

Gainingan edgevia knowledgemanagement

Knowledgemanagementplaysa criticalsupportingrolein addressingthechallengesthat thepharmaceutical companiesarefacedwith in themodernbusinessenvironment.Accordingto Leavitt (2012) knowledgemanagementmakesa significantcontributiontotheprocessesof costmanagingmergers,strategicalliances,andproductdevelopmentamongotherprocesses.Currently, Bristol-Meyers Squibb is a memberof APQC, which is a member-based proponentof bestpractices,knowledgemanagement,andbenchmarking research.APQCassistsorganizationsfrom allover theworldto enhancetheir qualityandproductivity,which is achievedby discoveringeffectiveapproachesusedin theimprovementof connectingindividuals,anddisseminatingfindingsthattheseindividualsneedto improvetheir practices(APQC, 2015).Othermembersof APQC includeAbbott La, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Serono SA, andPharmacia Corp among others. APQC attractsthemembershipof largemultinational firms that operatein thepharmaceutical industry.Therefore,OPQ is a poolof knowledgeandinformationthat helpsallmembersto benchmark themselves against eachotherandexchangeideas.OtherservicesprovidedAPQC includetraining,customsolutions,multi-client benchmarking, andresearch.ByjoiningAPQC, Bristol-Meyers Squibb’s benefitby accessingcriticalinformationthat is usedin benchmarking its operationswith thoseof otherplayersin theindustry,which havehelpeditremainone of theworld’sleadingpharmaceutical companies.

Recommendations

Trainingallemployeeson howto shareknowledgeeffectively:Bristol-Meyers Squibb should focuson trainingallemployeeson howtheycan shareknowledgeat alllevels. In thepast,Bristol-Meyers Squibb has beentrainingvolunteers.However,trainingallemployeeshas beenshownto enhancetheeffectiveness of theknowledgemanagementtechniquesappliedby thecompany(Eagles, 2013).

Integratesocialmediaintotheknowledgemanagementsystem:Bristol-Meyers Squibb should integratesocialmediaandmobileclouding as partsof its infrastructureforknowledgemanagement.Thetwo typesof infrastructureensurethatknowledgecan be accessedby thetargetindividualsat anytimefrom anywhere(Fucci, 2014).

Developingtheknowledgesharingcultureearly:It is evidentthatBristol-Meyers Squibb has beentrainingits employeeson knowledgemanagementwhenthemanagementrealizetheneedforsuchtraining.Studiesshowthatintegratingtheknowledgesharingpracticesimmediatelyafter employees’recruitment is moreeffectivecomparedto thelast-minute efforts(Eagles, 2013).

Conclusion

Knowledgemanagementis one of theconceptsthat companiesthat operatein thepharmaceutical industrycannot ignore.Thisis becauseknowledgemanagementis a vitalpracticethat helpsthesecompaniesin attracting,managing,andretainingthelatestknowledgein theindustry.In essence,knowledgemanagementincreasesthecompany’sefficiencyin alldeparts,especiallytheresearchanddevelopmentunits.In thecaseof Bristol-Meyers Squibbthereducedin thedurationthatthecompanytakesto discoverandbringnewdrugstothemarketcan be attributedto effectiveknowledgemanagementstrategies.In addition,effectiveknowledgemanagementstrategieshavehelpedBristol-Meyers Squibb conductssuccessfulacquisitionswithout losingcriticaltalentsto competitors,which is anormaloccurrencein acquisitionsthat aredonewithout knowledgemanagement.Moreover,knowledgemanagementgivespharmaceutical companiesan opportunityto establishalliancesandpartnershipswith othercompanies.Thiscreatesa platformon which thesefirms can shareknowledgeto increasethecompetitiveadvantageof eachone of them.

References

APQC(2015). Learnmore about APQC.Houston, RX: APQC.

Bristol-MeyersSquibb (2015). History:A little of a big company.New York, NY: Bristol-Meyers Squibb.

Eagles,C. (2013). Fivequick recommendations to create a knowledge management culturepremium content.Alexandria, VA: International Center and Exploration.

Fucci,M. (2014). DeloitteTaps woman, a first, for CEO post.New York, NY: Dow Jones and Company Incorporation.

Hatfield,D. &amp Cardinal, L. (2000). Internal knowledge generation: theresearch laboratory and innovative productivity in the pharmaceuticalindustry.Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 17, 247-271.

Leavitt,M. (2012). Therole of knowledge management in new drug development.Washington, DC: American Production and Quality Center.

Leidner,D. &amp Alavi, M. (2009). Knowledge Management Systems: issues,challenges and Benefits. Communicationsof the AIS,1 (7) 1-14.