Pharma goes back to basics to battle recession

September 25, 2009
Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe PTE

Many UK pharmaceutical companies are turning to basic business skills training to help them emerge from the recession stronger than before.

Many UK pharmaceutical companies are turning to basic business skills training to help them emerge from the recession stronger than before. According to UK training firm Indicia Training, pharma and life sciences companies are paying particular attention to leadership skills to keep their businesses running smoothly.

"Management and leadership skills in the pharma sector never seem to have been given much priority, with R&D taking the lead," Howard Teale, General Manager of Indicia Training, explained to Pharmaceutical Technology Europe (PTE), "but the recession has brought a 'back-to-basics' attitude with it, which means that even the seasoned business owner is taking a look at how efficient their firm is."

IT skills have also become a priority. Teale added: "Improvements in IT often mean a reduction in costs as firms become more efficient and streamlined — this is something we are increasingly seeing."

According to a press statement, Indicia Training has reported a 55% year-on-year increase in the number of training courses being booked, and many of these bookings are coming from pharma companies. In the statement, Teale said: "Many firms that have been battening down the hatches to survive the recession are realizing that to continue competing, they now need to take action."

However, this isn't always easy; speaking to PTE, Teale admitted that the training budget is often one of the first things to be cut when it comes to cost-containment measures. "But cutting back on training is false economy," he said. "While it may save a little in the short term, it could cost a company their long-term survival." He argued that the recession is an "opportunity" to become more efficient, but to do this staff must be correctly trained.

"Firms that don't invest in talent are two and a half times more likely to fail, whereas those that carry on training will recover more quickly," said Teale. "Learning and development is more crucial now than ever before. Surviving the recession is one thing; surviving the upturn will require a whole new set of skills."

www.indiciatraining.com