One challenge, two industries, a similar solution!

Posted in Process Improvement

One challenge, two industries, a similar solution! As a parent who recently partnered with her child on the college applications process, I had a moment of insight, relief and gratitude.  Thank goodness for the Common App. Before the mid-90s, students had to fill out individual applications for each college, write essays for each application, answer the same questions about classes taken and accomplishments rewarded about 10 times over.  Just thinking about the time and effort saved, not to mention the better quality of the applications made me feel very grateful for the Common App.

Gratitude and relief are probably the right words to express how the 17 Early Adopters to Avoca’s Diligent platform are feeling about the task of prequalifying vendors.  Much like student experiences in the pre Common App era, providers in the biopharmaceutical industry have had to fill out pre-qualification surveys, i.e. Requests for Information, each time a company wanted to work with them.  Like the Common App, many of the questions these organizations were answering were repetitious, leading to inefficient resource utilization.

Diligent was created in response to this pain point plaguing drug development – prequalifying vendors in an efficient, streamlined and high quality manner to enable timely clinical trial execution.

With Diligent, service providers complete pre-qualification surveys just once.  On the recipient end, companies now have the ability to get data on each of their providers in a common format and they do not have to go through the arduous process of requesting that their providers submit completed RFIs and handle the inevitable back and forth that goes with it.  Today, we have companies representing large pharma to small biotech using the Diligent platform to access provider RFI’s.

As we look at the parallels between the Common App and Diligent, we see that inspiration for process improvement and streamlining can come from within and across industries.  As an industry which struggles to adopt and proliferate creative solutions, we need to look beyond the boundaries of our day to day existence.  What are other regulated and unregulated industries doing to change the status quo?  What are the sparks of process change and solutions that we can adopt and tweak to solve our own challenges?

If you have taken an example of process improvement from another industry, technology or work area and applied it to streamlining vendor prequalification, we’d love to hear from you.

Until next time………


Lakshmi Sundar has spent two decades in the pharmaceutical industry, leading teams across sponsors and CROs in multiple functional areas to spark innovation, manage risk, and lead change with a sense of purpose and fun. At Avoca, Lakshmi partners with members of the Avoca Quality Consortium and industry innovators to deepen the dialogue on building a quality culture within and across organizations to mitigate risk, advance drug development, and bring treatments to patients in a more effective manner.