As a consultant, working remotely and on projects, Merryn Wallace from the Commercial Eyes Market Insight Team is thoroughly contemporary in her work practices. But she recognizes that her employment history of long stints at companies reflects a previous age of long-term staff consistency.
‘I’ve stayed with organizations for significant amounts of time, but I have moved with them. That means I now have a wide understanding of the Australian industry, including the manufacturing part.’
Before joining Commercial Eyes, Merryn was National Business Manager with Perth-based Orion Laboratories. Before that she worked with Faulding/Mayne Pharma where, as well as in manufacturing operations, she worked in sales and marketing, IT and project management.
‘Throughout my career, I have recognized opportunities for learning and development, cementing an overall understanding of industry, not just sales and marketing. I have grasped opportunities as they have arrived.’
Merryn worked from her home office in Melbourne for Orion and she was responsible for, among other things, sales and marketing, customer service, and business development.
‘I worked remotely with a sales team scattered around the country,’ Merryn recalls. ‘I became used to working remotely with colleagues and that meant I learnt to focus on making sure my written and verbal communications were really clear. You didn’t regularly get the chance for a face-to-face meeting.’
She says this experience has proved useful in her three years working with Commercial Eyes’ Market Insight team.
‘One recent client was based in Singapore and many are in Sydney. Working in Melbourne you have to [use those written and verbal skills] to keep progress on projects. I was prepared for this.’
And, what’s more, Commercial Eyes was no stranger to Merryn.
‘Commercial Eyes has been great to work with,’ she says, adding that she had worked with many CEPL consultants in her previous job. ‘Orion was Commercial Eyes’ first client so, even though I have only worked for CEPL for the last three years, I have really worked with the company since it started 10 years ago.’
Commercial Eyes’ Market Insight consultants support companies before, during and post market launch. The team provides a range of services to help companies assess their products and implement business and marketing plans. In what she describes as a turbulent three years for the industry, Merryn has worked on numerous and varied projects, including PBS support, generic substitution research, a cancer incidence report, tender management strategies and tender submission support, and an antibiotic pricing strategy.
‘It has been turbulent with all the PBS reform impacts. That wasn’t a big part of my work with Orion, but I am doing a lot of it now,’ she says, adding that getting up-to-speed with a vast array of products and therapeutic areas is a continuing challenge
‘In a pharma organization, you get to know your products inside out, but when you consult you are exposed to a whole range of products, therapeutic areas, and approaches to market. This expands your exposure to different philosophies.’
Merryn says she completes numerous market assessments and conducts some competitive intelligence work.
‘In a nice way,’ she laughs. ‘No searching of rubbish bins! But we do a lot of research in market, which can provide a broader outlook for companies who can, understandably be very focused on only their own areas and products.’
Merryn sees the Market Insight team’s greatest achievement in the past 10 years as maintaining high quality output and support for clients as CEPL has itself continued to grow and expand.
‘As part of an organisation managing 40 plus consultants, you have to face the challenge of keeping a consistent standard and I think we have achieved that. And the relatively long length of time people stay with the organization reflects that, too.’