How GE Healthcare Found LogiNext For Their Field Service Management and Route Planning Optimization
-By Sagnik Ghosh
The Pharmaceutical Industry has grown legions over the last decade. It has been a pioneer in serving people at affordable prices. The organizations have been nothing short of revolutionary in churning out life-saving drugs that do not clear out the entire life-savings of regular people. With the advent of technology, the industry has evolved and so have the complicated molecules that go into making drugs that cure dire diseases. Yet so advanced a field service witnesses a sales force management yet leaning on medieval technology.
Salesforce or sales reps, who are better known as Medical reps in the Pharma industry have to visit doctors individually and pitch their products and solutions. This requires multiple visits in a day to multiple doctors, hospitals, and events. Dealing with the complicated chemistry of medicine, the product in no way makes the life of a sales force rep any easier. It becomes very difficult for the companies as well to accurately maintain data for the number of doctors or hospitals visited and process information that gives insights and accurate forecasts and analysis. A proper field service management software can not only cure all the ills but also completely automate the entire process.
Riding the wave of mobile revolution and the surge in availability of reasonably priced, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, field service management software’s have been aggressively growing its following. According to some estimates, the overall market could be approximately valued at $3.52 billion by 2019. Yet certain organizations are still committed to paper-based field service management and many are yet oblivious to accessible solutions.
To gather an overall understanding of the term, field service management is a system for synchronizing on field processes through a mobile workforce. At a rudimentary level, this requires scheduling service orders, forwarding field workforce, tracking vehicle positions and job status. The correct field service software solution not only helps in automating these tasks but also provides mobile access.
General Electrical has been a pioneer in leading the way for technological adoption. When GE went looking for a solution to effectively manage, automate and optimize their entire field service, they simply did not want a system that would just be effective functionally. GE wanted a system that would enable their field workforce to operate in the most efficient manner possible.
Over the years, GE has not only been one of the greatest innovators but also connoisseurs and early adopters when it comes to aligning their organization with the latest technological advancements. Hence, it was not a surprise when they wanted to associate with an organization who could not only give them the most advanced technology but also would be mature enough to provide a product that has been consumerized based on the needs of the field workforce. This ultimately led to GE finding LogiNext, and as for the rest, we are looking to create history.
How Did LogiNext Hit the Right Chords With GE?
Higher Visibility: It is not always possible to check with doctors or hospitals and confirm if they have been visited as scheduled. At times, too much leniency on the honesty of humans may not be the wisest decision. Field service management solutions with mobile tracking competencies keep managers as well as sales force updated on vehicle locations and job statuses. This, in turn, empowers the whole sales force with the ability to manage unexpected delays or problems and maintain higher accountability. You can easily keep track of the visits made by your medical reps and dynamically update them in case of an emergency.
Lower Outlays for Fuel Expenditure: Pharmaceutical companies generally reimburse medical reps on distance traveled. With multiple doctor visits scheduled in a day, it becomes almost impossible for a medical rep to accurately carve out a route that would not only pave the way for minimal fuel consumption but also lead to time-bound visits. Through route planning optimization and dynamic scheduling, pharmaceutical companies can radically cut down on distance driven and consumption of fuel. Optimized routes not only result in shorter distances but also help in accurate ETAs.
Dynamic updates and mobility: A medical rep is almost entirely on the move for the duration of his job hours. In almost all cases, a medical rep has to physically visit a doctor in order to pitch a product or solution. He also has to keep a track of stocks, raise invoices, collect payment, and carry out a multitude of other tasks. Instead of re-entering data at the office, medical reps can now update job statuses on the go, print invoices or even obtain digital signatures and feedbacks from doctors, hospitals and vendors on their mobile devices. This would drastically cut down on the manual hours spent on piles of paperwork.
Accurate data points: Paper-based reporting approaches generate a large number of openings for error by means of redundant data entry. It may also make an organization vulnerable to fraudulent. A field service management solution lets your medical reps record doctor visits, log hours, job data and complete proofs of the visit while they’re still in the field. Real-time data collection will lead to improved accuracy and security for future audits.
Seamless Integration with backend and database: The job of the medical rep is one of the most difficult in the world. He must sell MEDICINE to DOCTORS and medical equipment to HOSPITALS! If your medical reps don’t have access to the right information, visual aids, and back-end systems, they can only do part of the job, which can cause a serious dent in company reputation. Companies must adopt solutions with built-in access to a central database from where all the medical reps can avail necessary tools required for the perfect pitch through mobile devices. With better integration, these medical reps can truly harness the potential of your brand.
As doctors grow technologically smarter and more selective about the products and companies they associate with, an automated field service management software will become an integral part of the mobile sales force in a highly competitive industry. An organization’s capability to deliver fast, effectual solutions through a mobile sales force with a seamless workflow may be the differentiating factor between leading the pack or following the herd. A fully automated field service management is no longer a clandestine weapon wielded by enterprises; it’s a necessity for survival.
Times are truly interesting for the Pharmaceutical Companies. With the rise of a technology that looks to drastically change the age-old ways of doing sales and keeping the account, the industry is in for a big shakeup. It is a time when small, medium as well as budding enterprises can quickly cover ground. It is a mad race to the finish. Better not get left behind!