In recent years, operational efficiency and excellence have become the cornerstones on which the foundations of successful organizations are built.
With the Omicron variant, the COVID-19 pandemic has refused to subside and continues to wreak havoc around the world. The fallout of the crisis has impacted a multitude of industries but few have absorbed blows like the pharmaceutical sector. As the virus has evolved over the last twelve months, the pharma industry has not only been burdened with the responsibility to continue operations but deliver exceptional results that allow healthcare professionals to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. This cannot be achieved without streamlining business operations, optimizing processes, and ensuring top-notch collaboration throughout the company.
When we talk about operational excellence, we are referring to seamless business processes that are enabled by high work visibility, informational transparency, robust security, and brilliant work management and progress tracking. As there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, it has become more and more challenging for pharma companies to bring operational efficiency to their different teams and departments. More often than not, the technological infrastructure and frameworks are absent that are required for streamlining business operations and procedures. That’s why many large-scale pharma enterprises are currently searching for solutions that can help them beat these challenges.
KanBo software is a comprehensive work and business process management platform that allows large enterprises such as pharma organizations to lay the infrastructure for introducing operational excellence. With its basic building blocks, any company can develop and optimize a work process and progress monitoring framework that ensures seamless operations at all levels.
Understanding Operational Excellence
It has to be kept in mind that operational excellence constitutes of multiple aspects and each aspect plays a crucial role in terms of developing streamlined business procedures that can be optimized and adjusted in compliance with the organizational goals and requirements. Three of the key factors operational excellence is built upon include the following.
- Operational Efficiency – All the strategies, processes, and procedures that are put into place to deliver products and services to customers utilizing the most efficient ways possible. This includes efficient utilization of resources, time, and labor so waste can be reduced and even eliminated in the long run.
- Smart Operations – Every business including pharma organizations have internal processes that lead to ‘work about work’. These include meetings, emails, and the use of other communication channels along with clerical work that doesn’t add to the productivity of the company. Optimization of internal operations to reduce work about work is referred to as smart operations.
- Operational Optimization – As the name suggests, it is the method used for improving, optimizing, adjusting, and enhancing business operations that have a direct impact on organizational stakeholders. Optimization of operations doesn’t only ensure better product or service delivery, it also improves employee satisfaction across all departments.
Achieving Operational Excellence to Meet the UN’s Sustainability Goals
Successful organizations don’t only care about the bottom line but our planet as well. They are responsible in terms of the consumption of resources and production of goods and services. Against the backdrop of global warming and climate change, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has issued targets and indicators that large-scale enterprises should achieve to be more inclusive and sustainable. That’s why any pharma organization today that’s looking to improve operational efficiency should align its objectives with the UN targets.
- Support Economic Development with Resilient InfrastructureThe first sustainability target set by the UN requires organizations to create high-quality, sustainable, reliable, and resilient infrastructure. This should include transborder and regional infrastructure so the required support can be provided for economic development and general well-being by focusing on equitable and affordable access across the board.
- Raise Industry Employment Share with Inclusive IndustrializationThe second goal is about enhancing the pharma sector’s share of employment along with gross domestic product by 2030 by promoting sustainable and inclusive industrialization. The goals need to be aligned with regional circumstances so the least developed countries can double their share.
- Improve Access to Small Scale Industrial and Financial ServicesThe UN wants organizations to improve the access of small-scale enterprises, especially in underdeveloped countries, to financial services. This should include affordable credit and its integration into markets and value chains.
- Enhance Resource Consumption Efficiency with Infrastructure UpgradeOne of the key targets set by the UN for large enterprises is to retrofit industries and upgrade existing infrastructure by 2030 so they can achieve sustainability goals. This should be done with improved resource consumption efficiency and by embracing clean and green technologies and processes.
- Encourage Innovation by Enhancing Scientific ResearchMany developing countries don’t have the resources and infrastructure to promote scientific research. That’s why the UN has also set the target for organizations to improve their research and implement technological upgrades in industrial sectors by 2030, particularly in underdeveloped countries. This will help encourage innovation and increase the per capita number of research and development workers.
Embracing Operational Excellence – What Does It Mean for Pharmaceutical Organizations?
We should not forget that operational excellence is an umbrella term that’s used for defining a diverse range of processes, requirements, expectations, goals, and targets. Generally, the primary objective is to deliver the same level of productivity with fewer resources but how an organization can get there differs from one company to another. That being said, if we take a look at how some of the major pharmaceutical organizations explain their operational excellence goals, we can identify many common features that include the following.
- Automation and Digital TransformationWhat many large-scale pharma businesses have realized over the course of the last few years is that operational excellence cannot be achieved without investing heavily in automation and digital transformation. The need for digitalization has become more crucial for these organizations as the pandemic continues to impact their operations. Through adequate digital transformation and automation strategy, pharma organizations can organize, manage, and streamline their operations ensuring sustainable continuity during these tumultuous times. It will also bring job satisfaction to the teams and employees who are currently relying on dated traditional business processes that are one of the main hurdles in the way of achieving operational excellence.
- Identifying and Investing in Growth DriversThere are many pharma organizations that are currently in the process of launching and optimizing excellence and performance indicators for their growth drivers. They are looking to identify weaknesses and bottlenecks within a multitude of processes including product launches so they can achieve consistency across multiple markets. Since the end goal is to consume resources effectively, pharma organizations are now choosing to invest in pre-launch preparations which include engaging with the industry stakeholders such as insurers, patients, and doctors so their needs and expectations can be better understood. This has also paved the way for data science and analytics as they enable pharma organizations to evaluate and learn from innovative commercial models and deploy real-time analysis of marketing data. This further enables them to target customers in a more personalized way through numerous marketing channels.
- Optimized Asset Utilization & Embracing InnovationAs discussed earlier, the transformation of business processes is no longer an option but a requirement for every major pharmaceutical company. This means that businesses need to deliver consistent productivity gains without compromising the integrity and quality of their products and services. This involves consolidation of manufacturing so organizational assets can be better used and the focus can be shifted towards research and making new medicines. For many pharma companies, operational efficiency in the current pandemic-ridden business world simply means operational continuity and an uninterrupted supply of medicines. That’s why it has also become essential for pharma organizations to invest in innovative technologies and new ideas so they can support their product launches and growth drivers relying on committed product management. Manufacturing processes can be further optimized using digitization and leveraging data analytics that can predict demand and supply dynamics.
- Focusing on Sustainability, Value, and ResiliencyThe pharma industry has realized that they need to shift the healthcare focus from cost efficiency to cost-effectiveness that aligns with their sustainability goals. It’s not just about reducing cost but doing so in such a way that business stays resilient and continues to provide value to all of its stakeholders including insurers, patients, and physicians. This has led to the formation of partnerships and the forging of new relationships so that industrial collaboration can be leveraged to achieve sustainable growth. These new relations can also be used to provide better healthcare and fight against one of the biggest health challenges that we have faced in over a century. The help shouldn’t be limited to privileged areas but should be expanded into communities that are underdeveloped.
- Rapid Response to Emergencies and Crisis ManagementWith the pandemic dictating terms, businesses have been forced to evolve and adapt. Almost all pharma organizations have decided to enable remote work and work from home so the operations can continue even during lockdowns. Border closures and travel restrictions have also had a major impact on supply chains which has caused the pharma industry to find better and more effective logistics strategies. All of this means that operational excellence isn’t just about cutting down costs but ensuring operational continuity even in the midst of emergencies and crises.
- Improving Coordination and CollaborationIf there’s one factor that cannot be ignored for achieving operational excellence, it’s coordination and collaboration between teams and individuals. Regardless of how innovative your procedures are, if your employees are not communicating with each other, there will always be dependencies, bottlenecks, and blockages that can curtail both the speed and quality of work. That’s why it is imperative for pharma organizations to enhance coordination, communication, and collaboration between departments so everyone in the organization is on the same page working towards shared goals and objectives. The companies need to ensure that there are no information silos that are responsible for isolating key information that’s necessary for getting things done in a timely manner.
How KanBo Helps Pharma Organizations Achieve Operational Excellence
KanBo software brings an agile and adaptable working environment that enables pharma organizations to accumulate information, visualize data analytics, collaborate in real-time, deliver enhanced work visibility, and manage a diverse variety of business processes across different teams. This allows a large-scale enterprise like a pharmaceutical company to ensure operational excellence.
KanBo Enables Pharma Companies to Focus on What Matters
If a report by Owl Labs is to be believed, in a large-scale enterprise, employees spend 80% of their time on work that adds very little value, and only 20% of the time is consumed on work that actually matters. KanBo allows pharma organizations to reduce and even eliminate these barriers with a range of features.
- Introduce Social Collaboration between TeamsUsing KanBo, pharma companies can engage all of their departments bringing all the conversations, documentation, and business processes together in a focused central hub. This enables employees to collaborate in real-time which leads to innovation and new ideas that have the potential to translate into efficient performance and a seamless workflow.
- Enable Coordination between Different DepartmentsAs pharma organizations are managing and handling a heavy volume of complex data and information, KanBo provides the company with the informational transparency required to foster reliability and deep trust within the working ecosystem. The seamless coordination facilitated by KanBo allows every employee to focus on their tasks, identify dependencies before they become an issue, and come together as a team to achieve common goals.
- Facilitate All Types of Work StylesSince the situation related to the pandemic is changing all the time, pharma organizations have to adapt on a regular basis. With KanBo, processes and projects can be adjusted in real-time enabling teams to deploy the most effective methods that align with the project goals and their work style regardless of whether they are in-house or working from home or different time zones. KanBo offers a user-friendly and intuitive UI that can be learned and customized with almost zero supervision and training.
- Combine Planning and Execution for Better ResultsKanBo is a comprehensive planning hub that doesn’t only give pharma organizations an overview of their recent business circumstances, it also allows them to make informed decisions and implement them in an efficient way. The software brings intuitive visualizations and meaningful insights to assist organizations in tracking and developing response plans to changes as they occur.
- Rely On Data-Driven High-Performance Decision-MakingWith pharma organizations being under pressure to deliver results in these tough times, there’s a critical need for visual insights and data analytics. KanBo brings live dashboards and reports enabling top and middle management to have quick access to all the data they need for better strategic planning and high-performance decision-making.
- Go Mobile to Enhance Operational EfficiencyWhether your pharma company’s employees are traveling, in between meetings, or commuting to work, KanBo offers offline features that enable employees to stay productive on the go.
- Support Your Agile Scrum Teams and ProjectsAs modern teams are often spread across multiple locations, KanBo’s Scrum features enable pharma companies to overcome departmental and geographical hurdles to promote both horizontal and vertical communication across different departments. This enables agile Scrum teams to collaborate, adjust, create, and optimize in a timely manner to deliver final products and services with great operational excellence.
- Bring Seamless Operational Efficiency with KanbanUsing Kanban, large organizations including pharma companies have the option to monitor and supervise the progress of all projects and business processes and ensure enhanced productivity across different teams. While Kanban cards provide workflow visualization, data analytics give meaningful insights and metrics for a streamlined and operationally efficient workflow.
How KanBo Helps Pharma Organizations to At Every Management & Operational Level
Any business that’s attempting to drive operational excellence requires a digital infrastructure that works at all levels. When the infrastructure is fragmented across teams and departments, it makes it difficult and more challenging to track work and information leading to inefficiency and redundancies. KanBo, with its basic building blocks, helps managers, team leads, executives, and employees in the same way as they can build and optimize their work processes and project plans accordingly.
It doesn’t matter if you are an executive or just a part of a team, KanBo offers all the building blocks you need for different types of hierarchical setups.
For C-Level Executives – As Digital Headquarters
For top-level management, the overview of the business and bird’s eye view holds all the importance. KanBo provides them with a digital headquarters they need with quick and convenient access to strategy, tasks, projects, information, knowledge, documentation, internal communication, and organizational community along with integral applications. This means that they can make important decisions on the go without having to hold meetings and video calls every other day.
For Citizen Developers – As a Low Code Platform
When we talk about low code platforms, we refer to a visual approach in terms of software development that allows swift delivery of applications without manual coding. Low code platforms exist to make app development more mainstream, especially for citizen developers who are basically business users with very little professional coding experience. These may include project managers and business analysts. As a low code platform, KanBo enables employees to make a significant impact in a multitude of ways such as getting rid of IT department backlogs, eliminating shadow IT, and taking ownership of business process management (BPM) workstreams.
For Citizen Developers – As a No-Code Platform
No-code development platforms (NCDPs) enable coders and non-coders to create application software through GUIs and configuration features. They don’t use conventional computer programming which can be more complex. No-code development platforms like KanBo are closely related to low-code development platforms as both are designed to make the application development process quicker. These platforms have both increased in popularity as companies deal with the parallel trends of an increasingly mobile workforce and a limited supply of competent software developers.
Information Workers – As a Work Organization Platform
A process is a procedure that constitutes a sequence of steps that need to be deployed to produce a certain outcome. On the other hand, a project is a temporary course of action that aims to deliver a distinctive product, service, or result. To manage these processes and projects seamlessly, KanBo provides a central hub with all the features required by the employees, managers, and executives.
For pharma organizations, operational excellence isn’t just about cutting down costs and expenditure but ensuring operational continuity while meeting their sustainability goals. Having said that, there are a number of challenges and bottlenecks that stand in the way including lack of digitalization, absence of collaboration and software infrastructure, adequate crisis management, and more. That’s why most pharma organizations require a central focused platform for work and business process management.
KanBo software acts as a central hub for organizations and brings everything together. It delivers all that’s required for operational excellence including informational transparency, work visibility, robust security, and project tracking and monitoring. With KanBo, pharma organizations can overcome all the challenges and be more operationally efficient.
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