Life Sciences
Case Study

£3 million
Investment rescued
4 months
Saved from timeline
£10 million
Growth potential unlocked

Project rescue: turning around a failing innovation programme

A Skarbek effect case study

A global consumer healthcare business had been through a recent merger and the deployment of new innovation management processes had stalled during the integration. The newly formed innovation management teams had key positions unfilled, and the wider business had lost considerable experience in innovation delivery. Sales generated from innovation were well below target and growth was lagging the competition.

Skarbek Associates case study
The needs

The category were due to launch globally their first ever completely new product format. However, the project was in trouble, with the product being reformulated after a stability testing failure, markets de-committing from launching, the profit margin being eroded, and no credible delivery plan in place. The project needed a rapid injection of momentum and clarity to bring it back to life.

How we helped

Skarbek embedded a project manager who immediately began to assess the situation, develop a plan, and align the organisation behind the key lines of effort identified. Situational awareness was rapidly established among the delivery teams and the key stakeholders, achieved via clear presentation of the facts. Sub-teams were formed to tackle the main roadblocks identified. The project manager worked to both skillfully integrate the efforts of the sub-teams, and stepped in to work alongside the sub-teams when they became stuck. When the rejuvenated project looked like launching after the required launch date, the Skarbek project manager, through concerted efforts with internal and external parties (manufacturers and suppliers, auditors, artwork agencies, importers etc.), brokered agreements to accelerate every possible step to bring the aggregated timeline back into line with the organisation’s growth plans. The project manager was also relentless in driving the activities to optimise the new product’s profit margins to ensure viability in as many markets as possible.

The results

Confidence in the innovation was restored with sufficient markets committing to the launch to guarantee viability. The launch was brought back on time, and the planning focus paid off in the high execution standards, with launch volumes well ahead of plan. The innovation continued to generate growth well ahead of plan, offsetting other weaknesses in the portfolio. The product received a ‘New Product of the Year’ award at a major regional industry conference.

Over the past few months, the core team needed to navigate obstacles after obstacles, but in a calm and collected way you always kept us focused on the end goal. And we are now just a month away from seeing the fruits of our collective hard work. We, the SEA team, truly appreciate your help and support across the past few months.
Regional marketing head SEA
Top 10 global healthcare

Huw Bollen

Versatile programme director, project manager with extensive enterprise programme experience

Alix Horsch

Alix is a truly global and fully trilingual project manager

Ruth Corcoran-Henry

Outstanding programme director, project manager with extensive R&D expertise.

Katharina Baudouin-Goerlitz

Accomplished and versatile project leader with deep corporate governance and controls expertise