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Newsletter Spring 2019 - Brian Oscherwitz - Perspective on How the Kinexum Advantage Benefits Its Consultants and Clients

 

Perspective on How the Kinexum Advantage Benefits Its Consultants and Clients

 

Brian Oscherwitz

Chief Operating Officer

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Just over 4 months ago, I arrived at Kinexum after spending the past 25+ years working at or consulting for the pharmaceutical (Pfizer, Roche, Astellas), biotech (Shire), device (Hospira), CRO (PPD, Pharmaco), and patient access (DL Anderson International) sectors. I had broad experience ranging from two-member startups to the global behemoths we often refer to as “big pharma.” In that time, I had the pleasure of comparing and contrasting inner workings, taking note of what worked and what didn’t; what resulted in higher performance and what turned employees away; and which team structures were healthy and which were destined to fail. The list goes on.

Even with this prior experience, I am nonetheless impressed by the tremendous potential that Kinexum has to offer. Kinexum possesses a number of unique attributes, which I will collectively refer to as theKinexum Advantage, that are rarely found together and allow the organization to potentially outperform others in the space offering competing services. These attributes are: culture, competence, flexibility, attentiveness, self-awareness, and improvement through tools and processes.

1. Culture

Kinexum promotes a unique culture of goals and values referred to as the Kinexum Way. Although Kinexum shares the goals of many other professional services firms to delight clients, provide professional growth and satisfaction for consultants, and achieve financial success for the firm and for its consultants, Kinexum uniquely adds an explicit fourth goal: to contribute to the translational arts and public health via pro bono activities. Additionally, Kinexum values of radical objectivity and extreme ownership, continuous improvement, client-centricity, and a respectful community allow for a culture of professionalism, quality, integrity, and efficiency for both clients and consultants.

This culture is integrated into Kinexum’s organization as a virtual, decentralized company, which promotes greater productivity and satisfaction for Kinexum consultants while reducing the company’s carbon footprint. In addition, collegiality and comradery remains “alive and well” via the technological modes of communication available to us today.

2. Competence

Kinexum members are a select group of well-regarded, highly intelligent, skilled, and credentialed professionals whose experience and training provide the necessary foundation on which to base insightful input and create high-quality deliverables to the client at a more reasonable cost and on a shorter timeline than others. Whereas other providers’ staff may come to meetings unprepared, provide questionable advice, fail to consult with the client before making critical decisions, fail to respond to requests altogether, or understand only the basic needs of the client and/or miss the “big picture,” Kinexum’s competence is one key attribute the company is widely known for. Kinexum’s consultants typically have decades of experience with the FDA, industry, and/or academia. Additionally, Kinexum consultants are among a select group that excels at integrating both clinical development and regulatory expertise.

3. Flexibility

Kinexum’s size and structure allows consultants to listen to the client, understand his/her needs, and provide swift feedback and action. On the other hand, larger organizations with multiple layers of management require time-consuming internal consultation and deliberation, which affects their response times. Inflexible procedures may inhibit timely action, resulting in missed opportunities, regulatory missteps, and costly financial losses. At Kinexum, project teams are formed to address all needed aspects of a project, including clinical, non-clinical, CMC, regulatory, medical writing, and e-submission. These teams are also scalable based on project scope to ensure that resources are optimized for each client. With this team approach, Kinexum clients can receive exactly what they need, when they need it, from the subject matter experts who can provide it – such as filing an IND in 30 days, if needed.

4. Attentiveness

Kinexum’s first and foremost goal is to delight clients with quality deliverables and value-added advice on top of helping them achieve their corporate development objectives. The personal attentiveness that Kinexum consultants provide is not always a given within the industry. Large and even mid-sized CROs can stretch personnel to their limits, leaving little time for personnel to listen to, let alone thoroughly understand, the more subtle or complex needs of the client and his/her project. This attentiveness is likely one reason why emerging companies come to Kinexum. Kinexum members have the interest and capability to take small companies by the hand and show them the way that best positions them to raise needed funding or gain regulatory product approval without quickly exhausting their initial funding.

5. Self-Awareness

Kinexum is a close but diverse organization with many talents, objectives, and aspirations. Kinexum members work hard, take responsibility seriously, understand when they fall short, and learn from previous experiences. Part of my role at Kinexum is to formalize and implement a “lessons learned” process to help capture key insights from team members after each project to heighten Kinexum’s organizational self-awareness. Learning from these past experiences will improve day-to-day operations, which, in turn, will make Kinexum’s work more productive, efficient, and enjoyable for all.

6. Improvement through Tools and Processes

Kinexum’s size currently allows the company to perform its services well with custom engagements and minimal formal processes. As time goes on, and as satisfied customers return with additional requests and professional contacts pass along referrals, however, it is becoming increasingly important to more efficiently and effectively manage the volume of additional business that comes so that Kinexum can focus more on “pulling rabbits out of hats” more times than expected. 

Drawing from my past experiences in process improvement in previous companies, I have been planning and implementing strategic initiatives as part of theKinexum Way. One of the initiatives currently underway is a forms and templates library that will streamline the execution and tracking of standard forms. Where else needed, additional processes will be developed and implemented in consultation with Kinexum consultants’ input and lessons learned from past engagements with clients.

Conclusion

Kinexum comes with a set of unique attributes that have thus far contributed to its success. Kinexum continues to utilize, practice, and most importantly, refine these attributes daily, thus augmenting the magnitude of its success and continuing to set the company apart with the Kinexum Advantage.