Improving pharma efficiency: From isolated applications to unified way of working
Sometimes, life in a life sciences company feels like juggling data and documents across a dozen different applications while trying to get a bit of work done. It’s not just inefficient but can also be a compliance liability. See why replacing the silos with a unified platform should be a top priority.
Have you ever stopped to count the number of different applications and systems involved in getting your company’s products from clinical trial to regulatory approval and product launch – not to mention doing variations? In the worst case, you’ll run out of fingers on both hands before you stop counting.
The list quickly grows. And while the individual applications may be robust and well suited for that specific task, they are often not designed to work together. That hurts your organization’s efficiency, time-to-market, and ability to compete.
Track the wasted time
As an eye-opening exercise, try mapping out the individual steps and time spent on relatively simple tasks – like verifying that your Submission Report was sent on schedule, creating a Health Authority Contact Report or indexing a document file.
First off, check whether you can accomplish the task on your own, or if you need to contact someone else, inside or outside your organization. If you are lucky, the communication can be handled with a quick email, phone call, or just a question to the person sitting across from you. But what if that person is stuck in a meeting or your email sits unopened in an overstuffed inbox? Suddenly, what should have taken no more than a couple of minutes can take hours, sometimes stretching over several workdays.
Next, keep track of the different steps involved in what you’re doing. Do you find yourself moving data from one application to another, entering the same meta-data multiple times or saving your work locally to make sure you don’t lose it in the process? How many times have you had to open or close a window or type something manually? How many different applications did you use?
Apart from the time that is lost due to inefficiency, there is also another aspect to consider when working across multiple applications – compliance!
Can you ensure that any changes you might have made have been updated consistently across applications? And if your clinical trial manager changes something in the eTMF, will those changes affect the work your Quality Control staff is doing, the application your Regulatory Affairs is preparing or the claims your marketing department included in the latest content? Without a unified system acting as a single source of truth, how will you know which information to trust if conflicts occur?
Reinventing the wheel
A final aspect to consider is the loss of efficiency due to inefficient reuse of content. Experience shows that countless hours and resources are spent producing material that could easily be assembled from existing data or content. But due to a lack of transparency and cross-application functionality, the people doing the work rarely realizes that the information is already available.
So, what can life sciences companies do to improve efficiency?
Fortunately, today there are unified cloud-based systems available that can handle all the needs of the life sciences company, from clinical operations and data management to quality and regulatory affairs. This means that the technical barrier is gone, and the right tools are available to enable greater efficiency across the entire organization.
To learn more, join our session “Continuous Improvement with a Unified Cloud Platform” from 3:45 – 4:40 p.m. on September 9, 2019 at Veeva R&D Summit.