Those in the animal health industry are extremely familiar with the terms VFD and FDA. Effective January 1, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration mandated a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) to provide proof that medicated feed is part of a veterinarian’s prescribed treatment plan. Purina Animal Nutrition chose RxExpress, a cloud-based application built on the innate.ly® platform, as their regulatory software solution.
The FDA’s new regulations demanded a solution that was adaptive, intuitive, and secure. Facilitation of effective communication between veterinarians, distributors, and producers was also a high priority. Additionally, the solution had to interface seamlessly with the organization’s existing order management system, inventory system, and daily business processes.
“Purina chose the innate.ly® platform for it’s flexibility and simple configuration.”
“After reviewing the available options designed to help meet VFD requirements, we chose RxExpress,” said Dan Moran, Senior Director, Product and Brand Management, Purina Animal Nutrition, and a member of Purina’s VFD compliance team.
“Partnering with the developers of RxExpress allowed our team of nutritionists to focus on what they do best: providing our customers and their animals with unsurpassed animal nutrition.”
With experience in the animal health market, the Innately Solutions and Engineering teams have worked to create custom business process applications with a spectrum of organizations that range from large protein producers to smaller veterinary practices.
PLANNING STAGES & COLLABORATION
Purina mobilized a task force represented by their operations, compliance, IT, and marketing divisions to customize the regulatory software. Innately’s Solutions and Engineering teams worked with Purina to assess the organization’s immediate and long-term needs.
“Of the three solution providers we interviewed, only Innately was willing to partner with us to build the product we envisioned, rather than trying to make our problems fit within the parameters of their existing platforms,” said Chuck Smith, senior IT project manager, Purina Animal Nutrition.
The Innately team recognized that it was critical to understand Purina’s specific needs and worked to provide a solution that was customized accordingly.
“We partnered closely with the Purina team to understand the regulatory software requirements, their unique business process requirements, and the needs of their customers and partners,” stated Jill Kahkoska, Chief Operating Officer, Innately.
“Our close working relationship allowed us to quickly add valuable features to the application and adapt to the changing business environment while implementing RxExpress.”
AN ADAPTIVE SOLUTION
Because the FDA’s directive was not clearly defined in the earliest stages, both teams acknowledged that Innately’s regulatory software solution would need to be adaptive to changes as the regulation became more clearly defined.
“As we worked to develop the pilot, the language of the regulation continued to be defined, clarified, and redefined,” noted Chris Franklin, Customer Service Manager, Purina Animal Nutrition.
During the process of gathering Authorization of Distribution signatures from cooperatives and independent retailers in their distribution network, Purina realized they needed a simpler method to increase adoption. The Innately engineering team created a new email based method that simplified the process, reducing it from 4 steps to just 1.
Intuitive software is the cornerstone of the innate.ly® platform. It streamlines business processes with an intuitive design the engages employees and motivates them to adopt the technology.
Therefore, this is at the core of what Innately delivers—solutions that are innate to the way users work, simply and efficiently.
The platform’s user interface has been intentionally designed to feel intuitive with highly visual elements that are straightforward and easy to navigate.
CUSTOMER CENTRIC APPROACH
In the initial stages of project management, custom application developers often begin the process by building an application with the primary focus of streamlining a business process.
Developers then move towards the next stage, engaging employees to begin user testing to sort out the bugs. Lastly, they strategize ways in which to improve the end user’s experience in order to deploy the product and move onto the next.
Innately turns this upside down by analyzing the end user’s experience first and then working towards creating workflows that are intuitive to the user. The simplicity of the process encourages users to adopt a rapid prototype that is developed in the first few weeks of the process. Unlike most application development processes, this approach encourages every stakeholder to actively provide feedback during every stage of development, not just during a “user testing” phase. The end result is increased efficiencies, streamlined processes, reduced costs, and stellar adoption rates.
“During the selection process, Innately brought forth a need-based regulatory software solution that was not one-size-fits-all,” said Matt Hareldson, marketing manager, Purina Animal Nutrition.
An out-of-the-box software cannot easily integrate into an existing enterprise resource plan and often times creates more work for users. By customizing applications to fit an organization’s individual needs, the innate.ly® platform is able to interface it’s applications with the existing software solutions in the company’s ecosystem.
All-INCLUSIVE SUPPORT INCLUDED
The Innate.ly Customer Success team maintains a close working relationship with clients to ensure integration is seamless. Most importantly, this support comes at no additional cost. It is built into the all-inclusive pricing model outlined in the project’s planning stages.
Innately’s Customer Success team members are highly accessible to clients. This is a unique approach compared to the traditional custom application development experience.
“We appreciate Innately’s continued efforts to troubleshoot issues and formulate solutions to meet the requirements of the new regulation, and their efforts to listen to our concerns and address our requests as they arise,” notes Zong Her, Business Information Specialist, Purina Animal Nutrition.
BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT AT IT’S FINEST
To summarize, when faced with a complex problem that had the potential to have a significant impact on the bottom line, Purina Animal Nutrition chose RxExpress (powered by innate.ly®). The customer-centric solution was adaptive, intuitive, and fully supported by a team of experienced developers.
Furthermore, the solution seamlessly integrated with existing operations to provide accurate and secure real-time data that not only allows the organization to meet the VFD regulation but increases efficiency in the process.
Smart technology, as it was meant to be, should make life easier. Custom application development can and should be simple, affordable, and create killer results that companies can use to analyze data, track trends in their industry, and meet compliance standards.