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KPMG: Transformation a primary focus for consumer goods execs

BY Ryan Chavis

NEW YORK — The recently released 2014 Food, Drink and Consumer Goods Outlook Survey from audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG highlights key initiatives that consumer goods executives are focusing on to transform their businesses. The goals range from updating operational efficiencies and technology to making a push for product innovation, according to survey results. 
 
What are the elements of such a transformation? According to the survey, 52% of executives report that, throughout the remainder of 2014, senior management's efforts will focus on operational efficiencies and technology updates. Forty-seven percent will focus on cost reduction.
 
"Transformation is about making comprehensive changes to a business at a time when incremental shifts are not sufficient," said Patrick Dolan, national line of businessleader for consumer markets at KPMG. "Businesses are challenged to think holistically and to develop operating models that will empower them to respond to current pressures in the marketplace, and that requires the support of leaders and employees with enterprising perspectives. It is refreshing to see many consumer goods companies turning this vision into a reality."
 
 
Making the necessary financial investment is also a key element in transforming a business: 28% of executives report that they plan on increasing spending to improve their facilities or expand them. This was followed by increasing spending on technology (27%); new products and services (27%); sales, marketing and branding (26%) and acquisition of businesses (26%). 
 
KPMG's survey also revealed the top channels in which consumer goods executives will support through investment in technology, which include the company website (63%), social media (54%) and brick-and-mortar stores (29%). 

For the full report, including insights on product innovation, analytics and supply chain transparency, click here.

 

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NACDS highlights role of pharmacist-provided vaccines in lead-up to congressional forum

BY Antoinette Alexander

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Emphasizing the role of pharmacists in providing vaccine services for patients, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a written statement in lead-up to a forum hosted by U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., on Thursday at the Hammer Institutes for Health Sciences.

The forum, titled “The 21st Century Cures Roundtable – Vaccine Focus,” highlighted the importance of vaccinations in the interest of public health. Spearheaded by House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and committee member Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., the 21st Century Cures Initiative is designed to help accelerate the discovery, development and delivery process of new drug treatments for patients.

In addition to Rep. Ellmers, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, who both serve on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, representatives from federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services participated in the panel discussion. Representatives from pharmaceutical companies also participated in the panel.

“Highly educated to provide patient care services, pharmacists are well suited to help increase vaccination rates and further reduce the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases,” NACDS said in its statement.

NACDS also highlighted the healthcare savings that pharmacist-provided vaccines yield for patients.

“As demonstrated through the TRICARE program, significant savings were achieved by the Department of Defense when policies were implemented to allow TRICARE beneficiaries to obtain flu and pneumococcal vaccines from retail pharmacies,” NACDS stated.

It was estimated that for the first six months that beneficiaries could obtain their vaccinations from pharmacists, 18,361 vaccines for H1N1, flu and pneumococcal were administered at a cost of nearly $300,000. NACDS noted that had those vaccines been administered under the medical benefit, the cost to TRICARE would have been $1.8M. Because of these savings, the Department of Defense opted to expand coverage of the portfolio of vaccines that TRICARE beneficiaries may obtain from community pharmacies to include all CDC-recommended vaccines.

In its statement, NACDS also encouraged policymakers to identify opportunities to further utilize pharmacists to reach under-vaccinated populations, especially in states where restrictive state laws limit the vaccine services that pharmacists can provide.

“As the face of neighborhood health care, community pharmacies and pharmacists provide convenient, accessible and cost-effective health services, including immunizations, to their local communities,” NACDS said in its statement.
 

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Abbott to support six renowned marathons as World Marathon Majors’ title sponsor

BY Michael Johnsen

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott and the World Marathon Majors on Friday announced a new partnership with Abbott becoming the race series' first-ever title sponsor. The series — comprising six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago and TCS New York City Marathon — will be renamed the Abbott World Marathon Majors starting in 2015.
 
Through the new global partnership, Abbott aims to create opportunities for the company to demonstrate and bring to life its core mission of helping people unlock all that life has to offer through the power of health. This mission will be expressed through the company's new brand line — "Life. To the Fullest." — as part of its communications and branding efforts around each of the races.
 
"Abbott has always been about delivering the enabling power of health so that people — in all places, aspects and stages of life — can achieve more and live not just longer but better," said Paul Magill, SVP and chief marketing officer, Abbott. "Whether you're stepping out to walk or run your first mile or training to complete a marathon, good health is the starting point for accomplishing your best. This partnership is an important building block for us as we build our corporate identity around the world."
 
 
"As the global leader in elite and mass participation marathons, the World Marathon Majors shows how people — wherever they're from in the world — are capable of doing amazing things when they're at their healthiest," added Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director. "As a company that helps people around the globe achieve their goals through better health, Abbott is a natural fit as the first-ever title sponsor of the World Marathon Majors."
 
"BMW BERLIN-MARATHON runners are unified in the sacrifices they've made just to get to the start line and their commitment to being the best they can be through good health," said BMW BERLIN-MARATHON race director, Mark Milde. "So we're excited to welcome Abbott, a company whose mission is to help people achieve their goals through better health, to the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON in 2015 as the title sponsor of the World Marathon Majors."
 
Abbott's race activation will include a pre-race expo presence; Abbott employee engagement such as dedicated on-course cheer zones; and event and on-course signage. 
 
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