Stu Allen is a vice president of product and pharma services at MMIT. He currently works in the business performance group and has been with MMIT since 2013. Day to day, Allen focuses on driving efficiencies throughout the organization related to key corporate initiatives and enhancing MMIT’s solutions to meet the needs of an evolving healthcare industry.
Q: Tell us more about what you do.
A: While I’ve had many roles at MMIT, I am currently part of the business performance group. The goal of this team is to acutely focus on specific challenges or top initiatives for the company and drive change throughout the organization. As an individual, I am tasked with leading two of these initiatives and taking them from where they are today to a state of completeness, as defined by our leadership team and, more importantly, our clients. My main objective is to make the business more efficient wherever the help is needed.
Q: What’s your day-to-day like?
A: [It’s] a delicate balance between intensive focus on the “needle-moving” initiatives with the “whirlwind” of day-to-day items that come up, which can often be distracting. With my role in the business performance group, I work with multiple departments to facilitate solutions to core business challenges and deliver on those top priorities as soon as possible. This sounds simple, but many of these initiatives involve constant improvement and require sophisticated processes to be put in place so that we can hit key milestones in each area. For some of these efforts, the objective might be to stabilize the process so that ultimately I can transition responsibility to another individual or team and move on to the next thing. Of course, to do this well, I need to ensure that the successor is set up for success. In terms of the whirlwind aspect of my role, you’ll also see me helping to troubleshoot specific client issues, which is only natural given my experience with our products and data.
Q: What are some of the larger projects you’re working on?
A: I’m specifically working on our client configured fields (CFF) deliverables and overhauling the process and end-state for our clients. This involves streamlining what would otherwise be an extremely complicated process, given the nature of how patient access is evolving. The second initiative involves similar objectives in terms of the simplification and sustainability of our promotional offerings. For this, my personal objective is to ensure that our promotional offerings are stable and that the processes and tools we use to configure those platforms are bulletproof.
Q: What are some of the common challenges of your role?
A: Any time you have a company that is growing at the rate we are growing, knowledge transfer is really the biggest challenge. There are a lot of things that have been a challenge to get out of my head and into a scalable process or engine that percolates these learnings across the business. There’s a certain level of institutional knowledge, meaning that someone has probably solved a similar challenge in the past. The tough part is identifying similarities in these issues and being able to apply them effectively in a constantly changing world, where they may not look identical.
Q: What’s been your biggest victory with a client, or with the company so far?
A: This may date me a bit, but my biggest victory tracks back to 2015, when I was tasked with converting our entire pharmaceutical manufacturer client base from our legacy platforms to new applications and data deliverables. This was no simple task, and 2015 marked a major milestone for the multi-year initiative. For those familiar with Analytics and FormTrak, this was before these brands even existed. With the help of our team, I supported the conversion of 100% of our clients, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process. I was able to talk to each and every one of our client stakeholders and familiarize myself with their nuanced business needs. These relationships amplified my ability to enhance upstream processes and technology to meet the needs of these clients. By the end of this two-year effort, we implemented a more user-friendly support interface and built client relationships that would feed MMIT with the insights needed to reinforce the product strategies we still use today.
Q: What does MMIT do, in your own words?
A: I believe that our vision statement says it all: MMIT smooths access to therapies. When I first heard this from our executive team during our company gathering, it deeply resonated with me and I thought it was a great way to articulate the broader objective of our business. I have evolved significantly at MMIT, and so has the company. I can set my anchor on this vision for the company and say that I work for a company that uses data, technology and insights to streamline access to drugs for the patients who need them.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?
A: I love solving problems, and this maps into my first true career interest, which was math. It’s not often that you can find a place where you are both able to solve a problem and see the tangible results. That’s one of the things that I like about MMIT. It would be much harder to have a significant impact as an individual at a larger company and although MMIT continues to grow, I still feel like I can move the needle in my role.
One of the other aspects that I really enjoy about the business is that we are very adaptable to change. We don’t stick to bad processes simply because that’s the way we’ve always done them. Instead, we are constantly evaluating the needs of the market and how we fit in, which makes us much more agile than the average healthcare technology organization.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: My wife gave birth to our third child less than two months ago so my current answer might be a bit jaded — SLEEP! I would say that 90% of my time outside of work is spent with my family and, as anyone with kids knows, they take up a lot of time! The other 10% is spent working out, whether it is playing tennis, running or going to the beach. I am also a big fan of the local sports teams. We will see what this summer holds with all things considered but I really hope to get the family down to the beach and ocean as much as possible!
by Brooke McDonald