Managing internal processes can be challenging in any industry, but when your business involves developing products for the medical industry it requires a whole new level of effort. Medical device manufacturers navigate an incredibly detailed, often changing regulatory process before any product can go to market, a reality that places huge demands on their resources.
R&Q is a company that takes the burden off them, providing expert regulatory and quality consulting to medical device companies across the United States, helping them usher products through the required legal and safety processes. R&Q stays current on all aspects of these regulations so companies can focus on product development. It’s a model that works well. In 2014 R&Q doubled in size, and so did their information management needs. They needed a new system for managing client needs, as well as helping their own employees stay in tune with company news. They found a SharePoint solutions provider called Aerie Consulting, and embarked on developing a platform that would transform the way they communicated with clients and each other.
Members of R&Q’s management team had some experience with SharePoint in the past, and they had a sense of what the capabilities are. “We knew that SharePoint would be the perfect tool to create a ‘One-Stop Shop’ for employees, providing them with access to company and client information,” said Maria Fagan, President. The challenge was implementing SharePoint from the ground up while also getting acquainted with new versions that offered very different features than what they were used to. Given the scope of the project in front of them, they recognized the need to bring in some help.
“Project managers needed to get status updates on the projects quickly- but it also had to be very controlled. Every site and project needed to be permission-based. Aerie customized all of that for us.”
Manager of Finiancial Analysis
“We knew this was going to be a large undertaking, so we split it into phases,” said Julie Rodgers, Manager of Financial Analysis. “We reached out to Aerie Consulting and described our vision for SharePoint,” Rodgers said. “They met with management and provided us a presentation that clearly explained the process and showed us a mockup of what they could do for us.” Shortly after, the two companies partnered up and got to work.
Solution & Results
Aerie developed a template and reviewed it with R&Q’s internal team, tweaking the customization based on their feedback. Then they started building the project pages. One of the biggest requirements was data integrity. Strict guidelines dictated who would have access to different pieces of information. “Project managers needed to get status updates on the projects quickly,” Rodgers said, “but it also had to be very controlled. Every site and project needed to be permission-based. Aerie customized all of that for us.” Once the sites were complete, the R&Q team was using the interface to manage their projects from beginning to end by using a dashboard-driven template where information is easy to access, navigate and manage.
The second phase of the project was to create an intranet where R&Q’s employees could find location-based company information, as well as download documents and forms that are relevant to all staff. “Now that they’ve seen what SharePoint can do, our employees send a lot of requests for our own intranet,” Rodgers said. Aerie Consulting helped them build a structure where staff can download forms and documents, stay informed about company news, and contact other staff members.
According to Julie Rodgers, working through the process with Aerie has been rewarding. “You might think that your internal procedures are refined, but this project forced us to reexamine how the details of each process: how it worked, how we wanted it to be displayed, and how employees want to get this information.”
The next stage of the project will focus on the navigation, allowing employees to seamlessly jump from the R&Q intranet to client project pages, integrating the two platforms into one system that manages both client and internal needs. It’s a strategy for growth that makes sense for a company that is already seeing remarkable success. Rodgers is certain Aerie Consulting will play an integral role in this next stage. “They are great to work with,” she said. “They are open, honest, and always willing to jump in to help deliver great enhancements to our system within short timeframes.”
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