Implementation

Tom Sickel

February 25, 2019

Tom Sickel is the manager of Implementation at MMIT. He joined the company after working on the Implementation team at Health Business Systems, a pharmacy software company. Tom primarily works with FormTrak, an MMIT application that pharmaceutical sales teams use to create FormTrak cards to communicate formulary coverage in a specific area, and Formulary Search, MMIT’s app that allows users to look up drug coverage.

Tom Sickel is the manager of Implementation at MMIT. He joined the company after working on the Implementation team at Health Business Systems, a pharmacy software company. Tom primarily works with FormTrak, an MMIT application that pharmaceutical sales teams use to create FormTrak cards to communicate formulary coverage in a specific area, and Formulary Search, MMIT’s app that allows users to look up drug coverage.

Q: What role does the Implementation team fill at MMIT?

A: The Implementation team manages all the task-related work to configure our tools for new and existing clients. When a client is adding a PAR indication — the policies and restrictions for a class of drugs used to treat a specific disease — or needs a snapshot of MMIT’s dataset, those tasks are handled by my team. We work closely with the Development and Production teams to configure FormTrak cards and the Formulary Search app.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: I spend my day balancing project manager tasks while being a manager and mentor to my team. As a project manager, I have to understand the configuration options available and be able to explain them to our clients. I spend 50% to 60% of my day in meetings with clients and the client experience team coming up with solutions to existing problems, explaining the capabilities of the tools, and understanding what our clients want to do with the tools. Once we’ve settled on a solution and I’ve received all the necessary information, I pass it off to the Implementation Specialists. That’s where my Project Manager and Team Manager roles meet. I need to explain the task, but also provide the necessary background, and be able to talk through the tasks to help my team figure out what we can do.

Q: What larger projects are in the works?

A: The biggest project has been managing the oncology business for a major pharmaceutical company. Implementing two of their eight brands in FormTrak and Formulary search has involved every aspect of my team. We work with the Development team on the Client Configured Fields and the Operations and Research teams to help us decipher and understand the oncology data. Together we are working on customizing our tools to condense the detailed data from Analytics to fit on a tiny FormTrak card or box in Formulary Search.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment with the company?

A: My biggest accomplishment has been the migration from our old policy and restrictions configuration to a newly expanded PAR tool. My team had to work with the Production and Client Experience teams to complete the migration in the allotted time frame. We had to create impact analysis reports and review changes with the Client Experience team, who then had to communicate these changes to the client. The Production team then had to go into FormTrak to make the changes.

Q: What’s your favorite part of the job?

A: I enjoy working with all the different teams to come up with better methods and tools. I frequently find myself looking at our current tools and processes and asking, “how can we do it better?”

It’s my belief that the job is never truly finished because there is almost always something that can be improved. Many of our problems often feel like a puzzle, and the challenge of getting all the right pieces together can be rewarding.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I spend a lot of time with family and friends. We like to have potluck dinners and visit theme parks. My son is currently obsessed with roller coasters, so last year we went to Hershey Park and Knoebels. We’re hoping to add the coasters at Great Adventure and Dorney Park to our belts this year and possibly Disney World in the near future if time permits!

by Amanda Tadrzynski

Eric Kennedy

January 28, 2019

Eric Kennedy recently celebrated his 13-year anniversary with MMIT, joining the company in 2006. After several years as a formulary data analyst, he became an implementation manager in 2016, helping to develop creative solutions that link client experience and product design with MMIT’s rich data resources. Kennedy and other implementation managers configure MMIT tools and platforms, onboarding new clients to Analytics 3 and FormTrak applications to meet their unique market access needs.

Eric Kennedy recently celebrated his 13-year anniversary with MMIT, joining the company in 2006. After several years as a formulary data analyst, he became an implementation manager in 2016, helping to develop creative solutions that link client experience and product design with MMIT’s rich data resources. Kennedy and other implementation managers configure MMIT tools and platforms, onboarding new clients to Analytics 3 and FormTrak applications to meet their unique market access needs.

Q: What’s your day-to-day like?

A: I can put it this way — there’s a quote by Arthur Ashe that sets the tone for each day. He said, ‘Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.’ Each day can be different depending on the number of clients I’m working to implement. Each phase of implementation has its own unique challenges and hurdles, so it’s good to have the ability to rely on the processes that have been established. But each client is different. Every brand marketing team has a different message that they want to convey to the marketplace, so it all depends. I’ve been with this company for 13 years and I’ve learned something new every single day. That’s a tribute to our dynamic teams and the culture that’s being built by our leadership.

Q: How long is a typical project?

A: An Analytics 3 and data feed implementation can take anywhere from five to 15 business days, depending on the complexity of the products. If policy and restriction data is involved, we have to build out the class data, so that can take up to 30 business days. FormTrack and Formulary Search projects can take anywhere from 30 to 90 business days. It depends on where a client is at with their market access strategy, and if they have a clear view of how they want to message that strategy.

Q: How do you configure the MMIT tools for new clients?

A: The implementation team is driven by process. Every implementation starts with gathering all the information needed for a successful configuration. First and foremost, we need a list of products. Brand-new clients with a new product typically lean on MMIT for our expertise. We know their anchor drug(s), and we know their competitor landscape. This gives us the ability to provide a standard view of the market basket as we see fit, and they can adjust accordingly.

Analytics 3 and data feeds are the fastest products to implement. It’s a good starting point for clients and their executive teams when they’re looking for ideas of where to contract, understanding their position in the marketplace and how they stack up against their competitors.

Q: What’s a common issue you work through with clients?

A: The biggest thing is to just be flexible to the clients’ needs; you need to know the right process to get them from start to finish. I’m only with them a short period of time, so I think it’s important to set the right expectation and make sure they have a great experience.

Sometimes you have to realign expectations on a contracted solution, and there have been times when I’ve realized in the middle of a project that a client needs a different solution from us than what was initially contracted. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen sometimes. You need to be able to say, “Hey, maybe this would be a better fit.” Seeing the bigger picture is key to the client’s happiness.

Q: What industry trends should we be looking out for?

A: I always say clients should look at the fringe of the marketplace. That’s typically where the most innovation and creative energy resides, so it’s where the marketplace gravitates to in time. Take for instance the emergence of big data. I feel that as analytics and data evolve, that will take a more dynamic role in understanding a product’s position and impact on the competitive landscape. That’s a very broad view, of course, but it’s an important perspective to keep in mind, because as the markets continue to shift, big data is going to be more and more relevant. As we build out our analytics tools and databases, we’re growing in our ability to stay dynamic and react to the marketplace as it changes. That’s key to our vision, and we’re carrying it out.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

A: I’m a creative person, so even though processes are nice, I use them as a guide to think outside the box. Whenever I get the opportunity to apply things I’ve learned and meet a client’s needs creatively, and sometimes exceed their expectations, that’s probably the most unique and rewarding part of my job.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I’m a big sports fan, so I like to be active, whether it’s working out or playing basketball. My wife and I, we love to travel. We’ve been to China, traveled through Asia as well as South Africa — that was the most impactful trip — and of course the Caribbean. You’ve got to love the beach.

by Carina Belles