PCI Employees Set New Records for Chemical Entities under Development, Number of Employees

September 5, 2012

Internal Olympic-Themed Competition Drives Innovations to Better Serve Customers

Bill Barrasso is doing his part to bring home the gold medal for his team, EZ-Flow, at PCI Synthesis, a 12-year-old custom chemical manufacturer of new chemical entities (NCEs), generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and other specialty chemical products.  Each day his team huddles on the day’s “to do” list, and then brainstorms a marketing campaign that will outshine four other “Olympic” teams, comprised of company employees.

 With five new generic active pharmaceutical ingredients under development, a record for the company, President Ed Price looked to the 2012 Summer Olympics for inspiration to launch an innovative internal campaign to ultimately better serve PCI’s customers but more importantly let everyone in the company better understand the actual diseases these important drugs will treat. Price explained, “Our experienced R&D team helps companies accelerate their most pressing NCE, API, or custom chemistry project. But they don’t often have the opportunity to look beyond the development, and truly understand what these drugs will actually do and the difference they will make in the lives of the people who will use them. The insights gained from such visualization can be important in not only delivering better customer service and satisfaction, but also in helping the team better understand that they make a difference in the quality of people’s lives every day they come to work - and possibly, even, for their own families.”

 Barrasso agreed. “The challenge to brainstorm marketing ideas takes on new meaning when we know that we will be delivering our winning ideas to our fellow employees, right along with the finished development work to our customers. It gives everyone a real appreciation for what we are trying to produce here.”

 Price divided his staff of just under 100 employees – another company record – into five Olympic teams, one for each drug as well as for each Olympic ring. All teams were tasked with measurable objectives to complete by the end of the summer. In addition to tactical R&D activity, Price challenged them to develop full-blown marketing campaigns to support a hypothetical launch of their drug.  Each team had to come up with a trade name, along with radio, print, and video advertisements; it then had to innovatively promote its product throughout the company over the summer. Rarely does a chemical manufacturing team have the opportunity to learn about the critical steps to launch a product; rather it focuses only on the task at hand.  Price hopes this experience will become a best practice for the organization, one that is unique in the chemical manufacturing industry.

 At the end of the summer, Price and a select group of judges will review each team’s presentation, and award gold, silver and bronze medals for work well-done. The award ceremony, which will be held on September 10, will include testimonials, a presentation by the winning team, and more.  Medal honors will be bestowed by the Mayor of Newburyport, Donna Holaday.

 “Now that we are into our own version of the Olympics, I’m seeing the friendly competition bringing forth many innovative ideas and approaches, and a continuation of the high quality work and service that everyone brings to each drugs manufacturing process,” Price said. “The teams are rallying around the Olympics and its symbolism of being the best. It’s been a fun and exciting summer program for everyone.”

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