Pharmaceutical firm finds cure to manual workflow woes

Pharmaceutical company streamlines financial investment approval workflow with RunMyProcess


The customer is a specialist pharmaceutical company with over €1.1 billion in sales and presence in nearly 50 countries. It had recently moved from Lotus Notes to Google Apps for messaging. Although the company used SAP for their ERP system, one important business process was still very manual: the financial investment approval process.

The manual workflow was slow and cumbersome. The process required the requests to be sent from one site to another in order to obtain the requisite number of approvals. Requests were sent by fax or by mail. It would take up to three weeks for a purchase to be approved.


The move to Google Apps was spurred by a desire to start using Software as a Service (SaaS) based solutions. The company had never been a big user of the workflow solutions offered by Notes and had only developed a small number of Lotus applications. Now that the company was using Google Apps, it was a logical next step to add workflow functionality. That’s when they turned to RunMyProcess

The implementation team worked directly with the business users to define the scope and specific needs of the project. Using RunMyProcess the development team was able to build, test and implement a Google Apps workflow.

The RunMyProcess workflow uses tight Google Apps integration for authentication; the end user doesn’t have to manage any additional passwords. Users can raise purchase requests easily by filling out the appropriate form and attaching any required documents. The system then automatically routes the request to the right people based on the pre-defined set of criteria. It automatically handles archiving approved requests and attached files. The solution can be used securely on any device, including home computers and tablet computers.

Benefits – Reduced process time by more than 85%

The new RunMyProcess-based workflow has met with widespread approval from all users, including requesters, approvers, management and financial controllers. Because it is form-based no training was required. Most importantly, however, the solution drastically reduced approval time, from weeks to just 2 days, even if the request requires multiple signatures. By making the purchase request process more responsive, the company can now take advantage of time-sensitive offers for goods and services. Before, the company would often miss out on limited-time deals. This first RunMyProcess project has proven to be a conclusive proof of concept. The company sees many other areas where they will benefit from RunMyProcess which they see as a key platform to improve the governance of the business processes that are not supported by SAP or Google Apps.