Associate Director of Commercial Operations and Support Services

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Updated: January 2, 2019
Location: Somerset, NJ, United States
Job ID: 2127

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You’re driven, resourceful, and above all else - remarkably smart.
You love a good challenge. You are the first to roll up your sleeves and work with relentless energy until you solve the unsolvable, beat the unbeatable and you always come out on top. Passable doesn’t cut it – you’ve got fire in your belly to learn more, do more and be more. For you, the sweetest success is shared success and you’re known for your good nature. You’ll fit right in at Syneos Health where we surround ourselves with the most talented and agile professionals in the industry, but we check our egos at the door.

Why Syneos Health? Join a game-changing global company that is reinventing the way therapies are developed and commercialized. Created through the merger of two industry leading companies - INC Research and inVentiv Health - we bring together more than 23,000 clinical and commercial minds to create better, smarter, faster ways to get biopharmaceutical therapies to patients. Teaming with some of the most talented professionals in the industry, you'll gain exposure and work in a dynamic environment where you'll be supported with comprehensive resources including emerging technologies, data, science and knowledge sharing. Grow your career with a global company committed to shortening the distance from lab to life.

The primary role of the Associate Director, Commercial Operations and Support Services is to not only manage all internal pharmaceutical client work-streams but strategically work with all Operational and Field Service teams to implement best practices and standards across the organization. This person will also act as lead on all current and evolving client work-streams.  The scope and scale of the role will adapt to meet the expanding needs of the pharmaceutical client partnership. 

The primary purpose of the role is to lead and ensure the timely implementation and effective operations of existing and new pharmaceutical commercial solutions contracted to support the client’s pharmaceutical commercial sales and capabilities efforts. The continued output is to deliver scalable and sustainable operational models and solutions that will serve as a blueprint for future customer needs. This is accomplished through partnerships with multiple business partners and stakeholders throughout both Syneos Health and the client. Operational components include, but not limited to: Field Operations, Project Management, Commercial Capabilities, Ways of Working, Communications, Change Management, Compliance, Samples, Promotional Materials, HR, Finance/Contracting, Technology Training, Systems/Tools and Quality Assurance. These business partnerships require leadership in decision making, influencing skills, and managing complexity. This role requires heavy interaction with the client and will require significant interaction with the all leadership teams from brand, sales and ops within the client and Syneos Health. The Commercial Operations lead is responsible to ensure that the implementation and operational processes that are created and developed for all of the client projects / solutions, meet criteria to ensure risk management, financial return and organizational sustainability for both Syneos Health, and the client. The Commercial Operations lead will be one of the main points of contact for the Executive Director of Operations and Strategy across all client projects and work-streams. The Commercial Operations lead will also partner significantly with the Sales Operations lead to ensure flawless execution of the business, both internally and in the field.

This role is multi-faceted and one that is client facing, field facing and the business lead from home office work stream leads.  Working with all stakeholders for the decision process and solution implementation is critical to success and the results will have a direct effect on the pharmaceutical field sales force. The Sales Operations Lead will have a dedicated team of approximately 10 people from departments such as Data, CRM, Business Intelligence and IC to partner with on a daily basis. This individual will have regular phone communication and in-person interaction with the clients and the Executive Director of Operations & Strategy.


 (Duties may include, but not limited to all or some of the following)

  • Lead as single point of contact for oversight of development and implementation for operational initiatives enabling Syneos Health to effectively manage multiple types of outsourced pharmaceutical commercial services and teams
  • Ensure the operational and implementation processes for new commercial solutions are efficient, sustainable, mitigate risk, and optimize the financial investment for Syneos Health
  • Strategize with Syneos and pharmaceutical client Commercial Leaders to develop and implement operational tools, processes, and ways of working that enable delivery of results today and build a blueprint to leverage for future projects of similar scope
  • Lead stakeholders in evaluating and developing implementation and operational requirements for each contracted team to optimize efficiencies and effectiveness of outsourced teams or solutions
  • Lead the cross-organizational and cross-functional teams to seek continuous improvement to processes and systems that allow for sustainability
  • Inform and enable all operational contractual Governance components for executive and operational committees
  • Provide oversight to other supporting roles such as Project Managers and Client/Operational Support Managers to ensure project success
  • Partner with Finance and Business Development to ‘connect the dots’ from contracting to finance and ultimately how it impacts pricing for the team
  • Act as first line of contact for Client partners and work-stream leads
  • Review and prioritize all work-stream deliverables
  • Manage high visibility projects directly as needed
  • Track resource utilization to properly align stakeholders to projects
  • Engage with clients to facilitate productive continuous improvement activities
  • Provide oversight for system migrations, new client implementations, client expansion projects, and new process implementations
  • Depending on scope and complexity of each project, need to coordinate (PM, OMs) and support the following deliverables: communication plan, resource plan, risk management plan, scope baseline, work breakdown structure, project schedule, cost management plan, quality management plan for each project assigned
  • Manage/compile insightful data if data collection is part of an initiated project
  • Hold periodic project status meetings with internal team and client
  • Ensure all project documentation is maintained in an aligned repository
  • Manage sign-off of key deliverables associated with initiated projects
  • Work closely with Domain leads and functional managers to drive project success
  • Have weekly 1:1’s with the Executive Director of Operations and Strategy
  • Provide Executive Director of Operations and Strategy with updates on timelines, deliverables and budgetary issues for each client project as they are initiated

Job Requirements

Along with demonstrated initiative, uncompromised integrity and a results-oriented mindset, the ideal candidate has:


  • BA/BS or equivalent experience
  • Specific knowledge of pharmaceutical client business and operations
  • Polished and Positive attitude that is focused on results
  • Ability to lead cross-functional teams for high performance with experience in a pharmaceutical commercial operation
  • Knowledge of commercial operations functions and project-management
  • Professional and Courteous communication skills both verbal and written
  • Conflict resolution; skilled in troubleshooting, problem solving and continuous improvement
  • Client management experience  
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with over the top initiative with a self-starter mindset
  • Detail oriented / analytical skills / Planning and organizational skills
  • 10+ years’ experience in a commercial operations/client services/project manager role
  • 5+ years leading teams in a heavy operations type of role


  • Advanced Business Degree
  • Project Management
  • Resource Management including scheduling, tracking, and estimating work effort
  • Strong analytical approach with metrics creation for tracking of project and business results
  • Good group facilitation skills
  • Leadership and training skills
  • Knowledge of information systems & logistics as it relates to client needs
  • Pharmaceutical industry knowledge
  • Customer Service skills
  • Skill in Microsoft Office programs
  • Excellent Presentation skills
  • Ability to translate customer needs into technical requirements.

Full Syneos Health Selling Solutions benefits which include:

  • Generous paid time off and company paid holidays
  • Domestic Partner Coverage for: medical, dental, vision, and voluntary life insurance
  • Medical – Cigna; Dental – Delta Dental; Vision - EyeMed
  • Company Match 401K - $0.50 per dollar up to 9% of salary
  • Eligible to participate in Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  • Flexible Spending Accounts: Health Care and Dependent Care
  • Company-paid Basic Term Life Insurance at 2x base salary
  • Optional Supplemental Term Life Insurance (100% employee paid): for employee, spouse/domestic partner, and children.
  • Company-paid Short and Long Term Disability
  • Optional Supplemental Short and Long Term Disability (100% employee paid): employee only
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Referral bonuses
  • Dedicated training and support

Make your work matter everywhere. Be a driving force in a rapidly evolving healthcare industry.

Syneos Health companies are affirmative action/equal opportunity employers (Minorities/Females/Vets/Disabled)

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