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Custom Applications Make Life Easier

Custom Applications Make Life Easier
Customer Returns Portal

Every company has at least one complicated, labour intensive process that creates an atmosphere of nervous exhaustion just knowing it has to be done! You know the ones … multiple spreadsheets passed between departments and many users; fraught with the potential for errors and missteps.

There is a better way. Integral Group can develop a custom application to automate the process, relieve staff of burdensome tasks and ultimately save you time and money.

One of our long-time Pharmaceutical customers has a taxing process dealing with customer returns. Even those of us on the outside of the Pharma industry can envision the legal strictures surrounding the sale and return of controlled substances. Their challenge was the return of expired products; by law this needs to happen, but the reality of managing the process through the supply chain is onerous. They had a manual process not unlike one we described in the first paragraph.

Wanting to improve the process, they turned to Integral Group for help. We developed a custom application to organize and standardize the process and remove many of the manual elements. The result is that it is now easy for the Pharma company to know the status of the returned merchandise: The automated process is trackable with custom reporting and integration.

We created a portal to house and track all of the detail surrounding this process. It is an overarching system that pulls together the customer’s planned and actual returns, the Pharma companies’ authorizations, the details about the physical returns and ultimately the Pharma ERP and financial department that issues the customer credit.

From that summary alone, you can probably get a mental picture of the number of people, time, spreadsheets, emails and Post-it notes that were required when this was a manual system. As you can see in the Customer Returns Portal graphic at the end of this post, our application distills this complex process into something pretty simple.

A custom application isn’t just for huge conglomerates – it is an affordable option for all companies. Smaller companies – with limited resources and people – can actually reap great rewards from software written to address their specific needs:

  • Automated repetitive tasks: People’s lives made easier by minimizing cumbersome, mechanical, manual tasks with associated reduction of time spent on these tasks
  • Triggers are programmed to automatically invoke the next step in the process; completion of one activity drives the next step to begin
  • Increased productivity – focus staff on high value tasks
  • Resident specialized knowledge becomes a centralized knowledge base
  • Collaborative workspace is created – allows staff to post, update and track in a common place, eliminating documents created and stored on local machines
  • Everyone has access to the same information in real time – and potentially remotely
  • Allows for the creation of a process that will have familiar elements to ease the transition for staff and enhance adoption
  • Results in a better, more consistent experience – in the case of this example – for the customer
  • Process becomes easily scalable; adding additional customers/functions to a manual process can be arduous but is relatively simple in an automated system

Do you have an unwieldy process in your organization? Our Director of Sales, Lee Mrkonjic, can help you streamline the process with a custom application: Give Lee a call at 905.947.1774 x 110 or send him an email.

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