Customer centricity has long been a guiding principle for many businesses. However, it is usually limited to marketing existing products with as strong a customer focus as possible. Corporate strategy remains basically product-centred. Customers typically have a fractured view of an enterprise. Conversely, the enterprise has only a splintered view of the customer, determined by different customer contact points, as customer information is usually locked in departmental silos. This article argues that trends like electronic commerce drive the need for a more customer-centric view. Customer relationship management, which is built on an integrated view of the customer across the whole organisation, is currently being discussed as an appropriate concept for achieving this. Especially the pharmaceutical industry which is subjected by strong governmental regulations can profit from this approach. The next step in this development are so called healthcare portals which integrate customers and suppliers of pharmaceutical products and services over a homogeneous information and communication platform. The participation on such platforms requires the alignment of customer relationship management processes and healthcare portal services. To illustrate the elements of this concept, several interviews with pharmaceutical wholesalers and hospital pharmacies in Europe served as a basis to define customers' requirements. An empirical study of running European and US healthcare portals finally uncovered the gaps between customers' needs and the services provided by today's healthcare portals.
Puschmann, Thomas; Thalmann, Oliver; and Alt, Ranier, "Healthcare Portals - Customer Centricity in the Pharmaceutical Industry" (2001). ECIS 2001 Proceedings. 83.