The health and life sciences industry has undergone tremendous innovation in this digital revolution. But this rapid innovation brings in a variety of challenges. Against changing regulatory and compliance issues, the medical device and diagnostics companies are under severe pressure to release new products more frequently, along with supporting a larger backlog of existing product lines. A healthcare supplier automation technology can be beneficial in this hour of need.
According to the data from BioPharmaDive in the last 15 years, the number of sales reps in the industry has decreased by more than 20%. This means, sales teams today are under tremendous pressure to maximize deal efficiencies. They need to find better ways to reach their customers and spend more time on high-value activities to generate more leads. Moving between disparate data systems, doing manual data entry means losing precious hours of real-time sell, and are definitely obstacles to success.
Here’s how we helped a US-based pharma company deliver exceptional experiences to its customers while helping its sales team do the job they are hired for to sell more. Using the power of automation and salesforce technologies, we lifted their mundane work and ensured customer experience and employee emancipation are not at stake.
Automate and make as efficient as possible the order process of supplying diabetes test strips to customers who are on Medicare. Growth in orders was expected to rise 10 fold within 4 months, and we do not have the time to build a huge team, so we need automation. Phone orders are taken where the patient needs to be qualified for Medicare, their doctor identified, their doctor must sign a work order for the patient and supplier, and the order must be shipped. Then a renewal process is needed to send more supplies depending on their prescription.
We implemented Salesforce to manage and automate the entire process. The time-consuming aspects of taking and preparing to ship a qualified order are to confirm the customer is qualified for Medicare and get a signed work order from their doctor.
First, we integrated with a healthcare insurance platform using their API, so we could check the customer’s Medicare eligibility while creating the order record in Salesforce by clicking a button and waiting a few seconds for the response. If passed, the next step was to get the customer’s doctor, who often was hard because the customer didn’t remember or have handy the full information about the doctor. The information needed was the Doctor’s name, the phone number was helpful, but most important was getting their fax number so a work order could be faxed to the doctor. Also, the doctor’s NPI number (government-issued id) needed to be obtained.
A government website allows you to look up a doctor in the database using their web form one at a time. But it is external and, once found, needed to be copied over to Salesforce. The government website offers a full CSV download of the entire registered doctor database in the USA and updates it once a week. We built an integration to retrieve the CSV every week automatically and import/update all the doctors in the USA into Salesforce.
We then built a custom search interface while creating the order record in Salesforce so that the customer service rep can type in any combination values including * ending search of first name, last name, phone, city, state of the doctor and search from Salesforce while on the phone with the customer than see the matching results and can confirm the doctor’s full name and address with the customer, then select the correct doctor who would then populate the salesforce order record with all the information. This made identifying the doctor much faster and also much more accurate. Another huge advantage of having the whole doctor database in Salesforce was that the fax number is included in this database.
Once the order form is completed, the customer service rep could hit save. The system would do a validation check to populate the required information to send the work order to the doctor via fax. We configured a work order template using Conga to auto-generate the PDF of the work order with all the patient information and doctor information automatically. Then using our RS Fax app, we sent this PDF via fax automatically to the doctor’s fax number and updated the Stage of the Opportunity/Order.
All this is done automatically, whereas previously staff filled out order forms in word manually, then printed, then faxed. RS Fax includes a unique barcode on the fax so that when the Doctor faxes the filled out form back, we created a queue for these work orders to be viewed inside the Salesforce console in a very efficient manner allowing you to view the fax document in one area of the window and the Opportunity/Order information in the sidebar so that you can update the order record with the information being viewed on the fax very efficiently and thus confirming the order for shipment. Once the order was ready for shipment, it went into the shipping department queue in Salesforce.
Integration to make shipping easy
We then built a custom integration with shipping carriers USPS, UPS, and FedEx to click a button on the Order record in Salesforce, which then returns the exact shipping rates for this exact order based on origin zip and designation zip code and the weight of the order. A shipping person can select the cheapest option, and a shipping label is automatically generated and printed with the postage paid. Also, the tracking number is updated on the Salesforce record in this single step, and the Order Shipping Status is set to Shipped. We set up custom alerts using the RS Alert app at key moments in the order process. The alert will either email, send an SMS to the mobile phone, or actually call the person on the phone with an automated voice recording that provides an update on the status of the order when the system received the doctor’s work order and when the order was shipped, including the tracking number.
For Medicare compliance, we also needed to save proof of delivery to the order record. So we developed an integration with USPS to check the delivery status of each tracking number for each order shipped until it is delivered, then download and save a PDF of the proof of delivery to the Salesforce record. In addition to all this, we also created a phone tree for the company using Five9 and a custom solution where the caller can check their order status, and the system asks them to enter their medicare number. The system looks up the most recent order and speaks the order’s status by looking up the current status in Salesforce.