Instead of a top-down approach, the firm trains staff at every level to propose and execute automation ideas with low-code solutions

The pharmaceuticals industry continues to face challenges in developing valuable drugs that meet the needs of patients, and the development of new treatments has become more difficult over the years.

However, operational efficiency is one area that pharma firms can use technology to improve. This is what a firm in Japan did, reaping benefits that could also boost innovation in new drug development.

By implementing enterprise automation, the firm has reportedly saved a total of 70,000 labor hours and achieved better operational efficiency. For example, the human resources teams has adopted software bots to automate regular correspondence with prospective retirees that need guidance in preparing for their next phase in life.

In other business operations, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation has used automation to free staff from manual processes. For example, a bot is now used to monitor important industry websites for information updates and inform the relevant staff in a timely manner. Another bot workflow extracts necessary information from multiple reports and aggregates the crucial information needed for researchers in their paperwork.

Throughout the enterprise and its subsidiaries, all administrative tasks, including pharmaceutical information, accounting, general affairs and HR have been merged into a single point of contact. Additionally, in anticipation of an era of no-code/low-code development, the firm’s automation journey involves a “self-driven” approach, where employees are encouraged to identify and automate repetitive  tasks on their own.

According to their spokesperson, the goal is to “develop a wide range of citizen developers, including those who can develop workflows and determine which operations are suitable for automation.” The firm has also been developing and operating a new learning curriculum for training advanced developers. As a next step, the business is planning to expand this program and its digital human resources further, as well as create value-added operations to provide reskilling opportunities for senior personnel.

Said Rob Enslin, Co-CEO, UiPath, which provided the enterprise automation solution: “Today’s automation goes well beyond robotic process automation. By augmenting their automation program with citizen developers, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma can future-proof their business and build a hybrid human-digital workforce of the future.”