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AstraZeneca is an international innovative biopharmaceutical company, aimed at researching, developing and commercializing prescription drugs in such areas of medicine as cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, respiratory and inflammation, infections and psychiatry. The company operates in more than 100 countries and millions of patients are treated with its medicine. Head of the department of compensation and benefits, HR management and personnel records systems Yulia Kukankova and acting personnel director Alina Mantseva talk about implementing processes in the company.
AstraZeneca
Biopharmaceutics
More than 100 years in business
More than 20 years in Russia
4 business processes
3 118 transactions
Have been using ELMA since 2015

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– What place does the Russian market take in the company’s operation?
Alina Mantseva: Russia is one of the key, high-priority markets for AstraZeneca. Despite the intricate economic situation, AstraZeneca holds by its investment strategy “In Russia – for Russia”.

Today, AstraZeneca Russia is one of the most dynamic companies, both in terms of sales growth and the number of patients, treated with innovative medicine. The company is represented in more than 70 cities in Russia. About 40 original drugs are registered and released in the country. AstraZeneca offers modern, high-quality medicine, whose effectiveness has been proved by numerous clinical trials. In Russia, the company employs more than 1000 people.

On October 20, 2015, AstraZeneca officially launched a plant in Kaluga Oblast. It will make innovative medicine more available to Russian patients and contribute to developing pharmaceutical industry in Russian Federation for the period until 2020.

– How management approaches are different in Europe and Russia?
Alina Mantseva: Process management is popular both in Europe and in Russia. Of course, they started applying it much earlier in Europe, than here. That is why foreign companies, who implemented process management, have already passed the stages of creating processes and are now reengineering and improving them. As for Russia, many organizations actively describe business process now. A reason for that was the emphasis on operational efficiency, cost management, and information technologies.


A reason for switching to process management in Russia was the emphasis on operational efficiency, cost management, and information technologies.

– At what point has the company decided to implement process management?
Alina Mantseva: One of the company’s priorities is to establish a great work environment. That is why we create flexible conditions for our staff and achieve high business indicators, which draws the attention of best specialists. Automating business processes for personnel management helped in achieving these goals. It is important to provide your employees with simple and effective tools, which minimize time and effort required for routine procedures. At the same time, the tools have to be multi-functional, i.e. work well with any strategic initiatives and key processes.

– Which processes have you configured first, and why?
Yulia Kukankova: First of all, we have automated processes for handling vacations, evaluating performance, giving bonuses to business units and for corporate recovery of expenses on sports, education, health care, mortgage loans and insurance. We chose these aspects since they are critical in terms of incentives and employee retention. Moreover, these processes affect almost every employee in the company, they are difficult to administer and support. Earlier, all these processes were described in Excel documents. A single person was responsible for keeping databases up to date, which influenced the result, speed, and quality. There will be errors in any manually maintained complex process, but in this case, the price of such errors may be too high.

– How do you evaluate effectiveness of ELMA?
Yulia Kukankova: To evaluate the system’s effectiveness we use several factors and indicators. We consider key indicators of the system in general and of the service support, as well as how intuitive and adjustable the system is for our employees. It is important, that the personnel have good experience working with the system and consider it convenient, simple and flexible. Of course, the priority is correct data loading, operation speed and no errors in transactions. We also evaluate supporting processes – incident response time, knowledge base updates.

– How do you develop the system within the company?
Yulia Kukankova: We see how prospective it is to use the platform. It will help the HR and other departments to achieve their goals. In our company, we involve in-house developers as well as contractors. At this point, we have completed a project for the commercial department and this is only the beginning. We receive initiatives on business process automation from other departments as well.

It is important to provide your employees with simple and effective tools, which minimize time and effort required for routine procedures. At the same time, the tools have to be multi-functional, i.e. work well with any strategic initiatives and key processes.

– What advice can you give to those who think of business processes implementation in their company?
Yulia Kukankova: To those, who want to switch to process management we would recommend to implement the project systematically. First, define, how the company can benefit from implementing the system. Second, get the support of the top-managers and involved business units, since automating business processes is aimed at increasing the company’s performance. Third, audit the existing business process and identify which ones are critical for the organization, and which are not useful anymore. Regular auditing allows increasing effectiveness of all the processes. You also have to spot the most labor-consuming processes and describe their every step. This will help you find bottlenecks and correct process maps. Fourth, select a platform for implementing process management. Practice shows, that one of the success factors is using business process management tools. And finally, select the project team, which will implement process management in the company.

- There will be errors in any manually maintained complex process, but in this case, the price of such errors may be too high.