Fujitsu RunMyProcess provides a range of application solutions to medical equipment manufacturer.
“We don’t have unlimited resources, but now we can use our resources for maximum potential returns.”
– Richard Thomas, business application manager, Welch Allyn
Welch Allyn Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of medical diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. Founded in 1915 and headquartered in New York, U.S, Welch Allyn operates in 26 different countries and employs more than 2,500 people. Welch Allyn’s customers include physicians’ practices, community clinics, skilled nursing facilities and emergency departments.
Problem – product registration
Recognizing the particularities of each market and the need for adaptation, Welch Allyn employs a large international marketing team who are in charge of product adaptations for their local markets. These marketing teams can request a certain product to be added to their product range. To do this, the marketing team used to contact the managers in the U.S. headquarters office and submit their demand in various formats. “They would call their managers, send emails… it wasn’t very official,” explained Richard Thomas, business application manager at Welch Allyn.
Because of this unofficial request process, the demands were not always backed up by a strong business plan. Furthermore, due to this confusing request process, the global marketing departments often felt disconnected from the HQ team, complicating the internal relationships within the company.
Once approved, the new product request was sent to the registration office of Welch Allyn. The registration office reviews all legal aspects required for selling a product in the specified country – submitting a license, providing label translation, making sure that the product corresponds to the country’s legislation. “Getting the product sale validation for a country is a long process that requires a lot of communication by post with the country and can take between three and five months,” explained Richard Thomas.
“Our process involved a lot of turmoil and confusion, and it used to take much longer than we wanted to get a product available for sale in a specific country.”
The registration office often submitted registration demands for products that did not, in the end, meet the country’s requirements, and were not introduced into Welch Allyn’s country’s product range. This happened due to specific local requirements, often relating to translation or medical norms that should have been indicated and taken into account by the local marketing managers before submitting the request.
The Welch Allyn team were looking for an application that would be able to manage the submission of the new product demands. It needed to be something that could be easily accessed by international teams and could be customised to their exact needs. Since 2012, Welch Allyn has been working on migrating its Lotus Notes applications towards the cloud. It had previously worked with Fujitsu RunMyProcess and decided to search for a similar cloud-based solution to manage their latest requirement.
Solution – product registration
Fujitsu RunMyProcess developed the application in one week. The process is launched when the local marketing manager opens the user interface of the application. They are then required to fill in the information on the product and assign managers from different departments to approve the request. In order to submit the product request, the manager is also required to complete and attach a Product Registration Request – an Excel form with further information on the product and its business opportunity. Once completed, the manager can submit the request, which is sent to the assigned reviewers for validation. Following approval, the manager is notified of the outcome and the request is sent to the registration office to start the product registration.
Benefits – product registration
The developed solution went live in June 2013, and today is used by Welch Allen’s marketing managers globally. Since its launch, more than 100 new product registration requests have been submitted. The application helped Welch Allyn achieve a more accurate new product requests submission workflow. As Richard Thomas described it: “We now have a more sophisticated process.”
The marketing team now has an official procedure that must be completed and approved before submitting the request to the registration office, reducing the number of unjustified demands. “Before the demand is submitted and we invest the resources, we now have complete information on the request and the potential return on sales,” said Richard. “We don’t have unlimited resources, but thanks to this application we can use our resources for maximum potential return.”
Like other applications developed for Welch Allyn, this solution integrates Google Apps and the users can access it through their Google accounts. This cloud-based solution allows Welch Allyn managers to access the application from any location and device. “This is one of the reasons why the application was so well received, because it’s web-based and universally accepted,” said Richard Thomas.
The transparency of the process also helped to improve the communication between the marketing teams and the rest of the company. “RunMyProcess has been very good at bringing everyone together in a simple method and in an accessible manner”, concluded Richard.
Welch Allyn has already deployed 14 Fujitsu RunMyProcess-based applications, ranging from HR to finance and logistics solutions. Today, Fujitsu RunMyProcess applications are used by more than 1, 500 employees of the company, and, depending on user rights, are accessible from a single dashboard. Further applications are already planned for future development.
Problem – access termination
With more than 2, 500 staff, Welch Allyn had to ensure that when their employees left their employment, access to systems and resources was ceased as soon as possible. Previously this process was managed using Lotus Notes, but recurring bottlenecks in the system meant that Welch Allyn needed something more streamlined. They approached Fujitsu RunMyProcess to build a new termination application.
Solution – access termination
Built in just two months, Welch Allyn’s new termination application is launched when their HR team creates an access termination request for a departing employee. This then sets the individual’s finish date and assigns the request to the appropriate manager.
Once the request is submitted, the application simultaneously launches two processes. The first process prepares a notification to be sent to the IBM helpdesk once the termination date is reached. This ensures that an individual’s network and SAP access can be disabled immediately once they leave Welch Allyn. The timer-based nature of the process ensures that the helpdesk does not disable the individual’s network and SAP access prior to their finish date.
The second process emails the individual’s manager a link to a form for gathering additional data about the termination. In this section, the manager is asked to answer a number of questions to determine whether any changes need to be made in terms of additional company assets or access privileges such as phones, email accounts, PCs or facilities access. Once the manager has submitted this information, the application notifies the helpdesk so that the additional assets can be accounted for.
Benefits – access termination
The access termination application developed by Fujitsu RunMyProcess has greatly improved the speed and accuracy of these activities for Welch Allyn.
“The new termination application ensures that the critical part of the process [disabling the individual’s network and SAP access] is done as soon as the termination date is reached and is not contingent on the manager completing their portion of the termination form,” said Colleen Carroll, HR manager at Welch Allyn.
The manager can now complete the termination form prior to the individual’s termination date since no changes are made until the termination date is reached. “The process is much more efficient as managers can complete the form as soon as HR submit the request,” added Colleen Carroll.
The new application also helps Welch Allyn improve the transparency of the employee departure process, by providing the HR team with the capability to track termination request statuses at all times. As a significant additional benefit, the success of the first project gave Welch Allyn the appetite to try Fujitsu RunMyProcess in other areas of their HR work, including onboarding, name changes, non-employee maintenance requests and employee move requests.
The resulting migration to the cloud from Lotus Notes yielded a range of significant benefits, such as lower infrastructure costs, easier updates and maintenance, and secure Google Open ID-based access from any location and device. Most importantly, Welch Allyn noted that the applications were exceptionally well received by the whole organization, a key success criteria in any change initiative. “We have had very positive feedback, the applications and the online forms are easy to understand and fill out,” Colleen Carroll confirmed.
Welch Allyn were pleased with the level of support they received from Fujitsu RunMyProcess. “The development and support that RunMyProcess provides is excellent: when we ask for a modification to an application or help with troubleshooting a request, an hour later everything is done,” said David Best, business application manager at Welch Allyn. “This allows us to have a quicker turnaround.”
Welch Allyn has already deployed 14 Fujitsu RunMyProcess-based applications across a range of functions throughout its organization including HR, sales, marketing, purchasing, finance and logistics.