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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Performance Management Strategy for Online Pharmacy in Health Care Sector


There are countless scenarios that require Performance Management. Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Performance Management to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: An established online pharmacy is facing challenges with performance management as it struggles to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand and competition in the health care sector.

The organization has observed a 20% increase in customer complaints and a 15% drop in repeat orders over the last quarter, highlighting issues with service quality and customer satisfaction. Additionally, the company is facing external pressure from new market entrants and changing regulatory environments that demand more stringent compliance and operational standards. The primary strategic objective of the organization is to improve performance management processes to enhance service quality, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency.



This online pharmacy is at a critical juncture where addressing performance management issues is not just necessary but imperative for sustaining growth and maintaining competitiveness in the health care sector. The organization's struggles with performance management could be attributed to outdated operational processes and a lack of real-time metrics for monitoring service quality and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, the evolving regulatory landscape requires more agile and compliant operational practices.

Competitive Analysis

The health care and pharmaceutical industry is experiencing significant growth driven by an aging population, technological advancements, and an increase in chronic diseases. However, this growth brings intense competition and regulatory scrutiny.

Analyzing the primary forces driving the industry:

  • Internal Rivalry: Competition is fierce with both traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies and emerging online platforms vying for market share.
  • Supplier Power: Supplier power is moderate, with a large number of drug manufacturers but certain exclusive pharmaceuticals limiting bargaining power.
  • Buyer Power: Buyer power is high due to the availability of numerous options and ease of switching among online pharmacies.
  • Threat of New Entrants: The threat is high due to low entry barriers for online platforms, though regulatory compliance can be a deterrent.
  • Threat of Substitutes: Moderate, with alternative medicine and wellness products substituting prescription drugs for certain conditions.

Emerging trends include a shift towards telehealth services and personalized medicine. These trends signal major changes in industry dynamics:

  • Demand for integrated health services: Offering telehealth consultations could open new revenue streams and enhance customer loyalty.
  • Increased focus on data security: With growing digital health services, ensuring data protection is crucial to maintain customer trust and comply with regulations.
  • Personalized medicine: Leveraging data analytics for personalized wellness plans presents an opportunity to differentiate and add value for customers.

A PESTLE analysis reveals that technological and legal factors are particularly influential, with rapid digital innovation offering opportunities for service enhancement but also requiring vigilance to navigate complex health care regulations.

Learn more about Customer Loyalty Data Analytics Data Protection Competitive Analysis

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Internal Assessment

The organization has established a strong online presence with a broad range of products and a loyal customer base. However, it needs to modernize its operational processes and performance management systems.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths include a well-established brand and a comprehensive online platform. Opportunities lie in expanding services and leveraging technology for personalized customer experiences. Weaknesses are seen in operational inefficiencies and outdated performance management systems. Threats include increasing competition and stringent regulations.

Core Competencies Analysis

Core competencies lie in digital customer engagement and a wide product range. The company must enhance its competencies in data analytics and operational agility to improve performance management and customer satisfaction.

Value Chain Analysis

The value chain analysis highlights inefficiencies in logistics and customer service processes. Investing in technology to streamline these areas can significantly improve operational efficiency and customer experience.

Learn more about Customer Service Customer Experience Performance Management

Strategic Initiatives

  • Revamp Performance Management Systems: This initiative aims to modernize performance management processes and systems to enhance service quality and operational efficiency. The source of value creation comes from improved customer satisfaction and reduced operational costs. This initiative will require investment in technology for real-time performance tracking and advanced analytics.
  • Expand Telehealth Services: By integrating telehealth services, the organization can provide more comprehensive care and convenience to customers. This strategic initiative is expected to increase customer retention and attract new users. It will require investment in technology infrastructure and partnerships with healthcare providers.
  • Implement Advanced Data Security Measures: Strengthening data security protocols to protect customer information is critical for maintaining trust and compliance. This initiative is expected to safeguard the company's reputation and enable safer expansion into digital health services. Resources needed include cybersecurity technology and expert personnel.
  • Adopt Personalized Medicine Approaches: Utilizing data analytics to offer personalized wellness and medication plans can differentiate the company in a competitive market. This strategy aims to enhance customer loyalty and increase sales. Investment in data analytics capabilities and collaboration with pharmaceutical companies will be essential.

Learn more about Customer Satisfaction Value Creation Customer Retention

Performance Management Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


You can't control what you can't measure.
     – Tom DeMarco

  • Customer Satisfaction Score: This KPI will measure the impact of performance management improvements on customer satisfaction.
  • Operational Efficiency Ratio: This metric will track the efficiency gains from modernizing operational processes.
  • Data Breach Incident Rate: A critical KPI for assessing the effectiveness of enhanced data security measures.

These KPIs will provide insights into the effectiveness of strategic initiatives in improving customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and data security. Monitoring these metrics closely will enable the organization to adjust its strategies and operations to better meet its objectives.

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Performance Management Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Performance Management. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Performance Management subject matter experts.

Performance Management Deliverables

These are a selection of deliverables across all the strategic initiatives.

  • Performance Management System Upgrade Plan (PPT)
  • Telehealth Service Expansion Strategy (PPT)
  • Data Security Enhancement Framework (PPT)
  • Personalized Medicine Initiative Roadmap (PPT)

Explore more Performance Management deliverables

Revamp Performance Management Systems

The strategic initiative to revamp Performance Management Systems was significantly supported by the application of the Goal Setting Theory and the Feedback Intervention Theory. Goal Setting Theory, fundamentally, posits that specific and challenging goals alongside appropriate feedback contribute to higher and better task performance. This framework proved invaluable as it underscored the importance of establishing clear, measurable objectives within the performance management revamp. Following this realization, the organization:

  • Conducted a comprehensive review of existing performance metrics and goals to ensure they were aligned with strategic objectives, specific, challenging, yet achievable.
  • Implemented a new performance management software that facilitated real-time feedback and goal tracking, ensuring employees were constantly aware of their performance in relation to their goals.

Additionally, the Feedback Intervention Theory, which emphasizes the direct effects of feedback on performance, guided the restructuring of the feedback mechanisms. By understanding that the manner and specificity of feedback significantly influence employee performance, the organization:

  • Redesigned the feedback process to be more constructive and specific, focusing on behaviors and actions rather than personal attributes.
  • Introduced regular, scheduled feedback sessions between employees and their managers, supplemented by real-time feedback through the new software.

The results of implementing these frameworks were transformative. The organization witnessed a marked improvement in employee performance and engagement, as clear goals and constructive feedback provided a direct path to achieving strategic objectives. The new performance management system also led to a 25% reduction in customer complaints, as employees were more aligned and responsive to organizational goals and customer needs.

Learn more about Goal Setting

Expand Telehealth Services

In expanding Telehealth Services, the organization turned to the Diffusion of Innovations Theory and the Service-Dominant Logic. The Diffusion of Innovations Theory, which explains how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread, was instrumental in planning the rollout of new telehealth services. This framework helped the organization understand the factors influencing the adoption of telehealth among its customer base. The team:

  • Identified key adopter categories within their customer base and tailored communication strategies to each group to accelerate adoption.
  • Worked closely with healthcare providers to ensure the telehealth services were reliable, easy to use, and met the needs of both providers and patients.

Service-Dominant Logic, which focuses on the co-creation of value and the importance of interactions between the provider and the customer, guided the development of the telehealth platform. This perspective ensured that the new services were not only technologically advanced but also user-centric and flexible. Following this approach, the organization:

  • Engaged in extensive user testing with both patients and healthcare providers to gather feedback and make iterative improvements.
  • Integrated educational resources and support services into the telehealth platform to enhance the user experience and facilitate engagement.

The combination of these frameworks led to a successful launch and rapid adoption of the telehealth services, with a 40% increase in usage within the first six months. The strategic initiative not only expanded the organization's service offering but also significantly enhanced its competitive positioning in the health care sector.

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Implement Advanced Data Security Measures

To address the strategic initiative of implementing advanced data security measures, the organization utilized the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Risk Management Framework (RMF). The CSF, with its focus on identifying, protecting, detecting, responding, and recovering from cybersecurity incidents, provided a comprehensive approach to enhancing the organization's data security posture. The organization:

  • Conducted a thorough risk assessment to identify critical assets and vulnerabilities within its digital infrastructure.
  • Developed and implemented a set of tailored security policies and controls to protect customer data and ensure compliance with health care regulations.

The RMF complemented the CSF by offering a structured process for integrating risk management into the organization's systems development life cycle. This ensured that security considerations were embedded in every stage of system development and operation. The organization:

  • Integrated security controls into the development of new digital health services from the outset, rather than as an afterthought.
  • Established continuous monitoring practices to detect and respond to security threats in real-time.

The implementation of these frameworks significantly strengthened the organization's data security measures, resulting in a 50% reduction in security incidents and breaches. Furthermore, the proactive risk management approach fostered greater trust among customers and healthcare partners, solidifying the organization's reputation as a secure and reliable online pharmacy.

Learn more about Risk Management

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Reduced customer complaints by 25% following the revamp of performance management systems.
  • Telehealth services usage increased by 40% within the first six months of expansion.
  • Achieved a 50% reduction in security incidents and breaches after implementing advanced data security measures.
  • Identified and addressed critical assets and vulnerabilities, enhancing compliance with health care regulations.
  • Integrated security controls into the development of new digital health services, embedding security from the outset.
  • Established continuous monitoring practices for real-time detection and response to security threats.

The strategic initiatives undertaken by the organization have yielded significant positive outcomes, notably in customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and data security. The 25% reduction in customer complaints directly correlates with the improved performance management systems, indicating a successful alignment of employee performance with strategic objectives. The 40% increase in telehealth services usage within six months demonstrates effective adoption and value creation for customers, enhancing the company's competitive positioning. Furthermore, the 50% reduction in security incidents underscores the effectiveness of the implemented data security measures, building customer and partner trust. However, the results also highlight areas for improvement. The integration of security controls in new digital health services, while successful, suggests that existing services may not have received the same level of attention and could be vulnerable. Additionally, the continuous monitoring practices, although crucial, require ongoing resource allocation and management attention to remain effective.

Based on these findings, the recommended next steps include a comprehensive review and upgrade of security measures for existing digital health services to ensure uniform protection across all platforms. Further investment in employee training and development, particularly in customer service and cybersecurity, will sustain and enhance the gains achieved. Finally, exploring new technologies and methodologies for real-time performance and satisfaction metrics could provide deeper insights into customer needs and preferences, driving continuous improvement and innovation.

Source: Performance Management Strategy for Online Pharmacy in Health Care Sector, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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