Healthcare Supplier Automation with Salesforce

healthcare supplier automation

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.

Solution Implemented

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.


Custom Application:

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.

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Brion Schweers, Board Observer

Brion Schweers is a Senior Vice President of Product Management at Salesforce, currently managing the Revenue Cloud Solution Excellence team. During the past 30 years, Brion has assisted enterprises around the world in transforming their business by focusing on their Product-to-Cash processes. Prior to joining Salesforce Brion was VP & GM, CPQ at Apttus, VP, Sales & Success at A5 Consulting, served on the OAUG ConfigSIG Board and spent 15 years at Oracle in various roles related to their CX and CPQ products. Brion is also the executive Sponsor of Vetforce – Carolinas and is actively involved in the Salesforce Military program where he mentors Veterans and their spouses with actionable, personalized career advice.

Joseph Truhe, Board Member

Joseph Truhe has over 20 years of investing experience. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital in 2013 Joseph was a Portfolio Manager with Whitney Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he oversaw the company’s Trust accounts and served as the Energy sector analyst for the Hancock Horizon Funds. Prior to Whitney, Joseph worked as an analyst and member of the investment committee at HFR Asset Management, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund platform in Chicago, Illinois. There, Joseph reviewed and maintained investment discretion over the firm’s Event Driven and Asia-focused hedge fund allocations. He was also responsible for the expansion of the firm’s Asia-focused fund offerings.  Joseph holds a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Steve Swartzman, Board Member

Steve Swartzman is a Principal and co-founder of CPC. Previously, as a co-founder of C3 Capital, he helped originate and manage over 35 investments, including national brands such as American Apparel, Traeger Grills, and Grunt Style. Steve’s chief focus remains consumer brands and e-commerce enablement businesses, and he currently serves on the boards of Grunt Style, Accel Clinical Research, Spoke Custom Products, Warne Scope Mounts, and New World Natural Brands.

Prior to C3, Steve structured and managed subordinated debt investments at KC Venture Group, and he spent 7 years as a Vice President with Citibank in New York, managing client relationships for emerging markets clients and structuring over $1 billion in complex trade financings. He is a past President of the Midwest chapter of the Small Business Investment Alliance, and he serves on the board of the International Center for Music at Park University in Kansas City.

Steve received a MBA from Columbia Business School and an AB in History and Literature from Harvard College.

He resides in Kansas City, where he was raised, with his wife Evelina and two sons, Harrison and Zandy. When he’s not working, his favorite activities are fishing, golfing, and eating.

Charles Scripps, Board Member

Chad has over ten years of experience investing in dynamic, growing businesses in diverse industries and geographies. His private equity experience includes HIG Capital, which has over $12B in capital under management, and AEA Investors, which manages over $3B of invested and committed capital. While at HIG and AEA, Chad led diligence, structuring, and financial analysis of potential and existing investments, and completed transactions in the industrial products and consumer services industries. Chad also has experience investing in the public equity markets, most notably as a Managing Director at Fox Point Capital, a $1B fund seeded by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management. He invested across a number of industries, including industrials, financials, technology, and consumer products, and led Fox Point’s international research. Prior to focusing his career on investing, Chad was a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, solving strategic problems for the world’s leading companies. Chad earned an MBA with Honors in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS with Distinction in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lester F. Alexander II, Board Member

Les Alexander is a partner with Jefferson Capital Partners where he provides mezzanine and equity capital for growth and buyout transactions. Mr. Alexander is a member of the firm’s investment committee and serves on the board of directors of several portfolio companies where he is actively involved in strategic planning and corporate governance. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital, he worked at Advantage Capital Partners where he completed several portfolio company investments and served on the investment committee. Before becoming a private equity investor, Mr. Alexander served as president of Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc., a leading fire truck and emergency vehicle manufacturer. At Ferrara, he was responsible for managing a workforce of 450 employees producing over 300 vehicles annually for its domestic and international customers. As an investment banker for 15 years with such firms as Howard Weil, Southcoast Capital, and J.C. Bradford & Co., Mr. Alexander completed over 50 public offerings of debt and equity securities, private placements, and merger and acquisition transactions totaling more than $7 billion for public and private companies in a variety of industries. Mr. Alexander is an adjunct professor at Tulane University and Loyola University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in investment banking, private equity & venture capital, advanced financial management, investments, and entrepreneurship. He is also the board president for Benjamin Franklin High School, a public charter school in New Orleans. Mr. Alexander is the former Chairman Finance of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and served on the global Board of Directors. He is a founder of the Louisiana chapter of ACG and was a recipient of the ACG global Meritorious Service Award and the Louisiana chapter’s Outstanding Service Award. Mr. Alexander received his bachelor of science in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1989 and his MBA from the University of North Carolina in 1993.

Patrick F. Healy, Board Member

Based in Kansas City, Mr. Healy is a co-founder of C3 Capital. He has been an active private equity investor since 1985 and was a co-founder of C3 Holdings in 1994. Prior to this time, he sponsored and structured equity investments in real estate. He gained extensive workout and restructuring experience as chair of the creditor’s committee of a $1 billion bankruptcy and from being called upon to rescue a publicly-traded company from a major fraud. Mr. Healy was a senior tax partner at Mayer Hoffman McCann, a regional CPA firm, for eleven years. He received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Kansas.

Chris Waters, VP of Strategic Sales

As Vice President of Strategic Sales, Chris guides and influences all strategic sales activities at A5 , starting in presales activities, successful sales methodology, sales process, and continued revenue generation and expansion opportunities. Furthermore, he will provide oversight in strategic sales function for the company and develop strategic sales plans that will promote growth in sales and customer satisfaction. Chris has proven his commitment to sales leadership and organizational success through field leadership as National Sales Manager at Deluxe Corporation, Field Sales Manager within the Social / Analytics Cloud at Oracle, US Regional Manager for CPQ Major Accounts at Oracle and now as Vice President on Sr. Leadership Team at A5.

Keith Fox, GM Salesforce Canada

Keith Fox is a software and consulting veteran for the past 34 years. Keith started his career at EDS which was followed by 4-year stint offshore in Bermuda. Keith then returned to Canada where he held a number of progressive sales and technical positions with software companies such as Sybase, BEA, and Oracle. After his stint with Oracle, Keith founded Cloudware Connections, a premier Salesforce consulting partner. 11 years down the line, Cloudware was acquired by A5, and Keith joined as GM for Canada.

Tarun Sharma, Vice President Delivery

Tarun Sharma is Vice President Delivery at A5 and is responsible for customer success, project operations, recruitment, resource utilization, and sales operations functions for Oracle practice. As a business and technology leader Tarun helps businesses develop solution strategies to streamline the sales process and improve customer relations to drive revenues, profits, and build brand loyalty. Tarun has led customers through digital transformation journeys. He has commanded strategic and tactical initiatives to shorten sales cycles, increase deal values and productivity, improve brand awareness and help organizations become easier to do business with. He has helped customers modernize their sales enablement tools and present a single source of information to support an omni-channel sales approach. This includes global roll-out for multiple business units included multi-currency and multi-language. Tarun graduated from Texas A&M University with a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

Adam Rosenfield, VP of Salesforce Practice

As Vice President of A5’s consulting practice – Adam is responsible for both strategic alliances with partners and expanded sales growth through the entire portfolio of A5 services. With over 20 years of Sr. level management consulting expertise – Adam has worn multiple hats in his career including practice development, sales, and client advisory. He has sold & delivered countless enterprise transformational initiatives creating a measurable competitive advantage for his customers. In addition to various technical software certifications, Adam holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in Accounting & Information Technology from the University of Texas at Austin and resides in El Paso Texas with his wife and 3 children.

PJ Alfrejd, CFO

As the CFO, PJ is responsible for all things financial at A5. With over 20 years of experience in financial leadership positions, PJ has worn all the hats required of a growing tech business. His extensive knowledge of the consulting industry, experience with M&A, and strength in operational finance is another catalyst to take A5 to the next level in its growth trajectory. PJ is a CPA with a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has held various finance leadership positions at Exodus/Savvis (acquired by Centurylink), Neohapsis (acquired by Cisco), and mFoundry (acquired by FIS).

Vinay Kruttiventi, President & CEO / Chairman of the Board

As the CEO of A5, Vinay plays an active role in all aspects of day-to-day business operations. He is also actively involved in establishing a strategy and vision for the company. As a true customer advocate with Salesforce and Oracle product development, Vinay is actively engaged in various industry user/special interest groups. Since founding the company in 2004, Vinay has grown the business into a leading Salesforce, and Oracle partner focused on multi-cloud transformations.

Vinay has successfully implemented and architected CPQ solutions and multi-cloud complex transformation projects for various Fortune 500 companies since 1996. He has a strong authority over industry, process, and technology in Configure-Price-Quote and ERP applications. Vinay graduated from Osmania University with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and JNTU (Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University) with a Master in Technology degree.