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  • Tami Stowe

How Leading Pharma and Biotech Companies Ensure Vendor QBRs are Meaningful

Pharmaceutical program quarterly business reviews
How Leading Pharma and Biotech Companies Ensure Vendor QBRs are Meaningful

At Archbow Consulting, we provide support for a variety of distribution and patient access (HUB) programs for pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers. As such, we’ve attended more than our fair share of Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) and have developed a strong appreciation for what good – and bad – look like.

Our manufacturer clients who have the most effective, meaningful QBRs provide specific direction to their vendors. It only takes a small amount of energy to provide guidance that typically leads to a more strategic meeting, ultimately building program confidence with internal stakeholders.

To have the most meaningful QBR with your vendors, follow these four steps:

1. Review the agenda in advance

Talk to your vendor and align on the QBR agenda. This allows you the opportunity to give feedback and time for your vendor to pivot to accommodate any potential changes as they begin developing the Business Review. Taking this time upfront to level set often saves valuable time down the road.

2. Don’t skip introductions

When developing your agenda, be sure to allot a minimum of 10 minutes for introductions. Chances are, when delivering a QBR, your vendor is aware of key attendees, but don’t take that for granted. Know your audience and be mindful that additional attendees may have been invited at the last minute. A good best practice is to kick off the Business Review with short introductions; it can be as simple as attendee name and their role within the organization. Incorporating time for introductions eliminates potential confusion during a Business Review when attendees begin to engage in discussion or ask questions.

3. Ask vendors to use the program performance analytics to tell a story

Often when reviewing metrics during a QBR, manufacturers are looking for more than just charts and graphs on a slide. Are vendors meeting or exceeding KPIs/SLAs? If not, what was the impact, and what is the vendor’s path forward to improve the program performance? Did the program experience an increase/decrease in program metrics? Was there any impact to the patient experience? Advise vendors to do their research and be prepared to discuss the drivers behind the increase/decrease and how it affected the overall program/patient experience. Taking this approach demonstrates to internal stakeholders how a program’s metrics not only provide data but can also spotlight additional insights and a plan moving forward.

4. Do not rinse and repeat

Don’t let your vendors get caught in a rinse and repeat cycle. It may be tempting for vendors to cut corners, so help them remember that what works for their other customers might not work for your organization. Vendors should tailor each Business Review to accommodate the unique needs and characteristics of your specific program.

When approached the right way, QBRs are a great connection point for you and your vendors. While the onus is on the vendor to prepare a presentation that’s most meaningful for you and your internal stakeholders, a little direction from you can go a long way.

As programs mature, QBR quality and program performance, in general, can begin to decline. That’s where Archbow can help. We work side-by-side with manufacturers, day in and day out, launching new or optimizing existing programs. Contact us today to engage our experienced team of professionals.


Archbow Consulting helps pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the USA and Europe design, build, and optimize product distribution and patient access strategies. Archbow was founded by industry veterans to meet a need in the marketplace for consulting options that offer diverse real-world experience, are able to leverage deep connections across the industry, and can also provide actionable strategic guidance. We invite you to learn more about our team, services, and clients’ success, and connect with us via email, LinkedIn, Twitter or subscribing to this blog which you can do below.

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