A global pharmaceutical company was re-assessing its relationship with its distributor in three Middle Eastern countries and required due diligence on other distributors in the region as an input into its decision on a future partner. The client reached out to the SiLS team because of their ability to systematically and efficiently gain the required insight into distributors’ capabilities and potential contractual terms.


The SiLS team’s approach centred on a week-long visit to the region for face-to-face discussions with seven distributors.

  1. Pre-visit preparation involved close collaboration with the client team to elicit the factors differentiating possible distributors and the client’s expectations. This was incorporated into a detailed framework to ascertain distributors’ capabilities. Simultaneously the SiLS team arranged meetings with the senior management of each distributor on the client’s shortlist.

  2. During the visit the team held face-to-face discussions with the distributors’ management teams in two countries in the space of five days. Each discussion involved an extensive exploration of the distributor’s capabilities, experience and expected fee structure.

  3. Following the visit the team developed a framework for consistently evaluating and articulating each distributor’s capabilities, which enabled a systematic comparison between companies and to the extant distributor.

Recommendations and outcomes

The SiLS team used the framework to drive an evidence-based recommendation on the most attractive distributor for the client’s needs in each country. Those recommendations fed into the client’s decision-making process for its distribution strategy in the region.

The client made an efficient decision with the confidence of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the alternative options and is now well-placed to grow its business in the region.