One-stop request shop

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Pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), realized that the methods it was using to process requests for IT equipment and service were too diverse and disjointed. Individual IT departments within the company were developing their own methods and interfaces without following a standard template or system. The situation was confusing for users and redundant, so management sought a better-organized, more efficient method.

GSK wanted to find a request management system that could be implemented by all its IT departments worldwide, providing a single, familiar interface. It also wanted to reduce the costs incurred by the IT groups who were using outside consultants to develop request processes. Furthermore, it sought a solution that could work across the multinational company’s numerous business units and legacy systems, that would build on existing systems and databases, and that would be easy to implement and easy to use.

GlaxoSmithKline decided to install Integrify’s iApprove business process management software in 2003, enhancing the packaged solution with several custom functions to match its requirements. GSK had already been using the solution as one of many components to its IT systems.

“We wanted to build upon our existing iApprove system to standardize and centralize,” says Neil Weitz, director of IT Help in the Process and Service Improvement Organization End-User Advocacy Group at GSK.

The company now uses iApprove to handle more than 175 different types of requests and will probably surpass 200 by the end of the year. The system processes almost 10,000 requests each month, up from the 2,000 processed in April 2004.

Weitz says, “As we get service owners to use the solution and we are developing these request types, we’re able to identify areas where we can eliminate redundancies, consolidate services and improve our process workflow. It’s likely that through process improvement initiatives we will reduce the number of request types.”

One of the most immediate benefits of the installation was providing a universal interface to users who previously were confused by the varied “looks” they found when trying to make a request online.

“On our existing Web site, we now have a one-stop shop for service requests that really simplifies the user experience, cutting in half the time it takes them to find what they need,” says Weitz. “It has increased our success rate dramatically by creating just one place for users to go.”

The solution has also helped Weitz’s team handle requests more efficiently. For example, before the new system, if a request was routed to a U.K. team and their offices were closed, the request would sit until they re-opened and could sort through accumulated requests. Now, the system can automatically route the request to a location where IT team members are in the office and able to address it immediately.

GSK was also able to more effectively assign staff; eight employees were repurposed to other areas within the company where they could be more productive. All of GSK’s core IT groups are now using the system, including the Identity Management Group, Desktop Services Group, E-Mail Operations Group and Security Services Group, and many others.

After the daily user experience had been improved, the IT team was able to turn its attention to issues such as service management, more analytics on the back end, and other long-term issues.

“We’ve got a laundry list of things we want to look into and now we have the time to do it,” says Weitz. “The solution allows us to move a few thousand feet above the day-to-day. It automates the day-to-day so we can focus on improving service management.”

GlaxoSmithKline upgraded to iApprove 3.0 in 2005 to improve its workflow mapping capabilities. “As we move to Version 4.0, it will bring the capability to bundle multiple individual service requests into a single process request,” says Weitz.

 

(Originally posted on KMWorld.com)

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