Our Strategic Framework will improve, transform and grow our business to deliver on our mission and vision

Our strategy is to capitalise on the increasing trend among pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech companies to outsource specialist and non-core activities on an international basis.

We aim to leverage our existing strong market positions, offer innovative solutions and create demand for our specialist services, thereby driving higher levels of growth and profitability.

We achieve this by focusing on three strategic framework pillars which we apply across each division to deliver our strategy.

Grow and Develop Market-Leading Positions

We believe scale in major markets, international reach and reputation are key to business development success. We aim to be a leading operator in each of our priority markets and to expand our positions in growth markets.

Geographic and Services Expansion

We will continue to grow our activities organically across our core markets of the US, Europe and Japan. Our organic service development and expansion will be enhanced by strategic acquisitions of complementary services and capabilities. The Group has a track record of successfully acquiring and integrating businesses, aiming to deliver a return on capital in excess of 15%.

Progress in 2017: Increased our US presence, expanded the Ashfield advisory service offering and delivered Group operating profit growth of 12%.

Client Focus & Commercial Excellence

We work in partnership with our clients to develop, grow and create new and bespoke solutions to help them achieve their objectives. This helps our clients succeed in a continuously changing and complex operating environment.

Progress in 2017: Ashfield launched its innovative Patient Centre of Excellence service. This service specialises in patient engagement activities to ensure that an understanding of patient needs is kept as a key focus.

Supplementary Sources of Growth

We continually aim to grow, innovate and improve our service offering to capitalise fully on growth opportunities. This allows us to differentiate our service offering and leverage our market positions by enhancing the range of capabilities we can offer our clients.

Progress in 2017: Completed six acquisitions.

Improve Productivity

We consistently improve our operating efficiencies across the Group. We do this through benchmarking our commercial and financial performance against specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Operational Excellence

We drive continuous improvement across the Group, ensuring we offer best-in-class service to our clients. We monitor our businesses against six financial and three non-financial KPIs. Our KPIs support the execution of our strategy and are important drivers of improved business performance over the short, medium and long term.

Progress in 2017: Improvement across most KPIs.

Margin Expansion

We aim to continually increase margins to drive improved profitability. Improving productivity and increasing operational efficiencies are a key focus of our organic growth strategy to drive the expansion of business unit, divisional and Group margins.

Progress in 2017: Group net operating margin remained at 12.6%. The positive margin effect of acquisitions was more than offset by the impact of additional FutureFit operating costs and relatively higher growth in the lower margin Ashfield Commercial and Clinical businesses.

Capital Deployment

We deploy capital in areas where we identify the greatest strategic benefit and financial return, while maintaining relatively low levels of financial risk in the Group. We will invest in scalable infrastructure to support the delivery of sustainable future growth, ensuring there is a robust infrastructure in place to manage the existing business and to integrate future acquisitions.

Progress in 2017: Completed the implementation of Workday HR information system and began the roll-out of Oracle Fusion finance system in Ashfield.

Transform Through People

We are a people-based business operating in dynamic healthcare markets that are highly regulated and demand high quality and compliance standards. We are building our culture and transforming our business by living our values. We are focused on attracting, developing and retaining the best talent so that we support and deliver on our clients’ ambitions.

Talent and Leadership

We invest in the development of our people, empowering and enabling them to be the best they can be to help transform our business for the future. We build, attract and encourage entrepreneurial leadership teams, often from acquired businesses, that can deliver outstanding performance.

Progress in 2017: Leadership and management programmes, INSPIRE and DRIVE, launched across the Group with participation by over 800 employees to date. Formal talent review processes have been implemented.

Quality and Compliance

Our service offerings are underpinned by a strong quality and compliance culture. This enables our clients to outsource with confidence.

Progress in 2017: Expansion of the Group’s ComplianceCentre to include all of UDG Healthcare’s key compliance policies (finance, HR, IT and procurement) in addition to legal, data protection and compliance.

Values Based Culture

Our values define our culture and unite us in delivering our vision of improving patients’ lives. We aim to integrate these values into everything we do, from our people processes to daily interactions with our clients.

Progress in 2017: Integrated our values into our employee performance management system. Launched a global employee engagement survey. Established a values based CEO Awards programme.