The company was managing its incentive compensation plans with four different software tools—Microsoft Excel, Lotus Notes,
Oracle, and Business Objects. However, these homegrown systems were labor-intensive and not adaptable to change. After the
merger, the sales operation staff struggled just to meet the payroll deadline, and wasn't able to analyze plan performance.
It often took six weeks to calculate payments and four weeks to correct errors, so the sales operations department spent 10
weeks out of every quarter paying incentives.
It often was far into the next quarter before Amersham reps gained a clear picture of their performance. The delay in computing
payments and the poor reporting meant sales reps didn't understand why they were getting paid and, consequently, what their
priorities should be. Feedback from the field showed that confidence in the existing incentive-compensation structure and
the morale of the sales force was at an all-time low. Management realized it was time to bring consistency and simplicity
to the incentive-compensation plans.
Using an EIM provider, Amersham delivered the first bonus reports to the sales reps in February of 2002. By year- end, there
were no more underpayment errors, saving four weeks of headaches for the reps and the sales operations group. (The reduction
in errors indicated that overpayments also had been reduced, saving the company money.) Accurate and complete incentive payments
were being made within six weeks of the quarter's close, a much more respectable performance than the 10 weeks it used to
There also was a 20-percent drop in rep turnover. Although that might not directly correspond to adoption of EIM, the system
did enable the company to respond more quickly to market changes and new product launches, and therefore, offer reps more
"Amersham's sales compensation system had not kept pace with its increasingly specialized sales force, growing product line,
and complex compensation programs," says Dan Eldridge, manager of commercial systems at GE Healthcare Biosciences. "Sales
reps had lost confidence in the incentive-compensation and sales-reporting systems. Implementing EIM proved to be a life-saving
Today, GE Healthcare Biosciences consistently makes its quarterly incentive payments within four weeks of the quarter close.
As a result, surveys of the field force show that GE Healthcare enjoys its highest level of sales rep confidence in sales
and incentive-compensation reports in more than five years.
Mark A. Stiffler is president and CEO of Synygy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
People Alyson O'Donnell joined Publicis Selling Solutions as the senior director of business development. » Caremark Rx promoted Howard McLure to senior executive vice president and COO. McLure was formerly executive vice president and CFO, a position Peter Clemens will now fill. » PharmaStrat added Dave Gustafson to its team as vice president of market research. Brian Corvino is the new manager of strategic services, and Mary Beth Darr was appointed senior analyst for the strategic services department. Jessica Rute will serve as marketing communications specialist, a newly created position.
Accounts Dendrite International will collaborate with invivodata. Dendrite will use invivodata's data collection systems to provide distribution and help
desk services to support clinical trials.
Mary Beth Darr
Launches MTI Information Technologies updated its Web site, which features a review of its eXtendRx® Sales Optimization Program.