FlowForma® Process Automation enabled a global pharmaceutical body to streamline their artwork process, delivering numerous benefits back to the business.
The Pain Points:
The Next Steps:
Our client is a global manufacturer of healthcare products with 18 facilities on six continents and employs over 8,000 people. Their IT department was asked to look at ways of improving its product artwork management process, a hugely complex part of a heavily regulated business.
The client confirmed that artwork error is the biggest reason for product recall in the pharmaceutical sector. Changes to artwork have to be approved by regulatory authorities and there’s a finite amount of time to do this. Not only do product changes have to be clearly marked on the carton or label, the pressure is on the manufacturer to meet different timescales in different countries.
Prior to our solution, artwork was approved through lots of telephone calls and emails, typically involving up to ten people across multiple countries. At any given moment in time it was unclear how advanced the process was. There were no timelines, no alerts and no traceability giving very poor management and group oversight. With more industry spot checks and increasingly rigorous inspections, our client needed to get some sort of control and view of the process.
Part of an ongoing challenge for our client’s IT Manager was to find ways of delivering better quality connectivity and applications to a highly distributed, fast-growing global business. Microsoft SharePoint® had already been rolled out to improve document processes and it was during this experience that our client was introduced to FlowForma.
Ironically, the FlowForma Process Automation deployment took longer than planned because the company kept discovering more things they could do with it. FlowForma Process Automation was used to provide two workflows. One to push through an artwork mock-up to present to the regulatory authority for pre-approval. The second was the actual production of the finished artwork with change requests. It has two prongs, one for new products and another for updates to existing products.
The design studio, based in Europe, creates the artwork and shares documents for approval with different parts of the world. The forms-based solution goes through an iterative process where people in other territories input their changes via automated workflow. The artwork co-ordinator uploads the final version and makes it available to each market where the product is scheduled to launch.
An interesting by-product of introducing FlowForma Process Automation was discovering how complex the process had become. The mock-up artworks process included 10 steps, 80+ questions (around 15 repeating tables) and around 150 business rules in FlowForma BPM. The change requests process had 25 steps, 570 questions (170 repeating tables), 860 business rules and spans nine documents.
Unlike other labeling solutions, FlowForma Process Automation continues right up to the point where a product is released to the manufacturing site at the end of the audit trail. Our client wanted to stabilize the business and put some structure and controls into the artwork process. This has been achieved with FlowForma Process Automation.
By taking emails out of the process, eliminating phone calls and automating workflow, the process of artwork management has seen a 50-60% efficiency improvement with FlowForma Process Automation. It’s not unusual for over 100 workflows to be running concurrently, each typically involving around ten people and handling hundreds of change requests.
Artwork is cleared and released much faster and for the first time the company has the visibility it needs to prioritize projects. Streamlining the artwork process through FlowForma Process Automation has delivered numerous benefits.
FlowForma trained our client’s personnel to use the platform and we continue to provide support, but the point of our self-service solution is that it encourages organizations to build out and automate their own business processes.
Now that it is established as a global platform, the company is already looking to extend its role into other areas of the business, including supply chain and bill of materials management.
"FlowForma Process Automation is a proven and easy-to-use business process enablement tool that enables power users to quickly create and publish workflows on SharePoint Online, ranging from simple every day workflows to more complex workflows. With Microsoft offering no recommended migration path from InfoPath, this is where FlowForma shines, with its usability and rich feature set.
FlowForma Process Automation also offers a migration tool that organisations can use to migrate business process steps and fields into the FlowForma system and apply business logic required."