Bringing Mobility into IT Strategy

Flexibility of operations and performance agility add new dimension to Pharma IT strategy

By Chetan Pathak, corporate operations director, Tectura India

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Pharma is undergoing tremendous changes on many fronts. Stringent regulatory hurdles, evolving health care programs and faster delivery are putting more pressure on pharmaceutical companies to adapt to new technologies to mitigate the current and future challenges. Increasingly these companies are fine-tuning their IT strategy to build up a seamless operational ecosystem in which transparency in operations becomes key driver for enhanced productivity. As technologies evolve, the pharmaceutical companies look into the latest trends in IT innovation and aspire for bringing them into practice.

As mobile adoption progresses, pharmaceutical companies are leveraging the technology to empower their employees with smart mobile apps to work with greater flexibility. The frontline workers of a company have already experienced the maximum benefits of enterprise mobility. As innovations in mobility space are evolving faster, the transition from a desk-mode job to mobile workers has captured the imagination of pharmaceutical companies. Today, these companies are briskly moving into mobility ecosystem to engage employees with a seamless work culture that never stops after office hour. Even in production, inventory, warehouse, and quality control mobility plays a major role by bringing in flexibility in decision making system.

Today, with the pressing needs of business, the pharmaceutical companies are bracing themselves up for developing seamless technology capability. With disruptive innovations in mobility space, the pharmaceutical companies are ready to integrate mobility into their enterprise solution. Agility of business communication, minimized or zero paperwork, increased employee productivity, augmented operations, improved production control, and data-driven business decisions are the key benefits that compel pharmaceutical companies to “go mobile” at the enterprise operations level.

While mobility becomes priority in IT strategy, the pharmaceutical companies ensure that the mobility strategy gels well with their core enterprise-level applications such as ERP and CRM. Developing a mobility strategy on ERP and CRM can facilitate efficiency in the operations. When mobility enters into the IT strategy, the pharmaceutical companies enhance the process automation, increase the agility of operational workflow, shorten process cycle, and help managers take intelligent decisions faster. For instance, in operations, mobility solution built upon ERP can reduce the time lag in decision making process.

Integrated messaging is an indispensable part of CRM system. With advanced mobile messaging, personalized communication with customers can be more pertinent from a business point of view. Businesses can focus on data driven mobility services on top of CRM. Customer intelligence can be prime driver for the pharmaceutical companies to concentrate on their mobile strategy. Better customer analytics derived from customers’ collective knowledge and understanding can notice a sea-change in the real-time services. Mobility can expand from the organizational silos to seamless customer engagement thereby bringing in more value to the overall customer strategy of a company. With mobility in place, consumer needs can be more predictable. Pharmaceutical companies realize that mobility can drive better customer engagement and deliver powerful insights into customer preferences and can help them deliver better products with faster market turnaround time. Pharmaceutical companies can adopt mobility to devise an integrated approach to drive sales efficiency, improve customer experience, increase productivity and optimize ROI. Mobility on CRM provides huge opportunities for pharmaceutical industry to improve sales and increase productivity. For example, the field forces gather market information and forecast demand based upon direct interaction with doctors, retailers, and distributors, which can provide instant insights to the production staff via a mobile solution.

From drug discovery to manufacturing to distribution of drugs, the pharmaceutical value chain is quite complex. Each stage has its own challenges. Mobility has a great potential to improve the pharmaceutical value chain. Pharmaceutical companies can achieve operational agility and lower operational cost by introducing mobile technologies in enterprise operation. Mobility can “smarten” the decision making process in pharmaceutical business by providing real-time insights. It can improve the productivity on shop floor as well as in the field operations. For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturer can analyze why a particular drug is selling better in a specific location and not selling in another location by engaging the stakeholders in value chain – distributors, retailers, doctors, and patients – through a mobile application. Similarly, a pharmaceutical manufacturer can compare the performance of two different plants on the fly by connecting the employees via a mobile app integrated with ERP. The information agility can help pharmaceutical companies to take decisions faster and build a collaborative ecosystem to improve operational excellence. Operational excellence brings in competitive advantage to the company.

Traditional business applications inherently carry the limitation of space-time availability, which restricts the companies to leverage the full potential; whereas the enterprise-level next-gen business solutions such CRM and ERP having mobility capabilities can offer a wider platform for pharmaceutical companies to access information anytime, anywhere. Having access to critical business information, executives of different departments can take faster decisions. Most importantly organizations banking on mobile CRM have improved customer relationships. A 360-degree view of customer interactions can lead to superior customer engagement. It’s not only the customer-centricity that drives the benefits, but also the collaboration among employees and other external stakeholders offers a powerful ecosystem for improved visibility across the organization. Similarly, a mobile ERP can allow the stakeholders in extended supply chain to access the real-time information on the fly. An improved visibility can help pharmaceutical companies to take right decisions at the right time.

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