Novartis CEO: iPad saves time, keeps reps honest

The iPad is being promoted by Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez as a technological miracle drug that will allow sales reps to pitch to tens of thousands customers each year, save hundreds of hours, keep them more honest and even cost them their jobs--presumably a good thing for the company but not for the rep. This is according to a report in the Pharmalot blog, quoting from a note Jimenez reportedly wrote to employees.

Pharmalot quotes Jimenez as saying that the iPad "will make it possible for sales reps to save 250 hours over the course of the year and allow 'the entire field force to make an incredible 35,000 additional customer visits each year.'" As an illustration, Pharmalot's Ed Silverman points out that Novartis did axe 1,400 sales reps recently, then asks: "A few more iPads and perhaps a few more hundred reps will go?" Additionally, Jimenez observes that paper records leave room for some fudging. Electronic materials, presumably, are harder to alter.

Jimenez concludes the memo asking for ideas and anecdotes from Novartis employees. "I know other teams around the world are also making good progress leveraging new technologies to better serve customers. I'd love to hear about more examples--tell me what you're doing in your area below."

- read the report in Pharmalot