Illustration of the wiewelhove logo

Expansion of the existing eQMS to include simple applicant management

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Wiewelhove saves time and nerves thanks to digitalized applicant workflow

Prin­ting hund­reds of ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons and sen­ding them back and forth via in­ter­nal mail: The phar­maceu­ti­cal ma­nu­fac­tu­rer Wie­wel­ho­ve has re­pla­ced this ana­log and time-con­suming old-school pro­cess with a di­gi­tal and par­ti­al­ly au­to­ma­ted ap­p­li­cant work­flow which was de­si­gned in coope­ra­ti­on with d.velop Life Sciences.

Whenever a cap­su­le or a su­gar- or film-coated ta­blet lands in someone’s mouth the­re is a good chan­ce it came from Wie­wel­ho­ve — a spe­cia­list in the con­tract ma­nu­fac­tu­ring of so­lid do­sa­ge form drugs ba­sed in Ib­ben­bü­ren near Müns­ter. Foun­ded in 1957 as Stern-Apo­the­ke and trans­fer­red to Wie­wel­ho­ve GmbH in 1976 the com­pa­ny has de­ve­lo­ped ra­pidly over the de­ca­des. Over 4.5 bil­li­on in­di­vi­du­al do­ses are pro­du­ced in Ib­ben­bü­ren each year in­clu­ding 800 mil­li­on cap­su­les, over 600 tons of su­gar-coated ta­blets and over 500 tons of film-coated ta­blets pro­du­ced with sta­te-of-the-art equip­ment by vir­tue of con­ti­nuous in­vest­ment. Howe­ver, as an in­no­va­ti­on-dri­ven ma­nu­fac­tu­rer the phar­maceu­ti­cal spe­cia­list is not only con­stant­ly mo­der­ni­zing its pro­duc­tion pro­cess, but also its ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­on. The most re­cent ex­amp­le: the ap­p­li­cant work­flow which Wie­wel­ho­ve di­gi­ta­li­zed and au­to­ma­ted with sup­port from d.velop Life Sciences.

Production - Success Story Wiewelhove

Further expanding the digital platform

Ex­cept for the new ap­p­li­cant work­flow, di­gi­ta­liz­a­ti­on at Wie­wel­ho­ve was al­rea­dy well ad­van­ced at this point. For some time, the com­pa­ny has been re­ly­ing on the d.velop do­cu­ment ma­nage­ment sys­tem (d.3ecm) which has ex­pan­ded into a com­pre­hen­si­ve eQMS plat­form for many re­gu­la­ted GxP pro­ces­ses in ye­ars of clo­se coope­ra­ti­on with d.velop Life Sciences.

The­re­fo­re, work and pro­cess in­st­ruc­tions (QM ma­nu­al), pro­cess de­scrip­ti­ons, test spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons and ope­ra­ting in­st­ruc­tions are al­rea­dy being crea­ted, che­cked, ap­pro­ved and re­leased as con­trol­led do­cu­ments. Using the Em­ployee Qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on Ma­nage­ment (EQM) soft­ware, em­ployees are suc­cess­ful­ly trai­ned and qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons are log­ged. The chan­ges are ma­na­ged di­gi­tal­ly via work­flows of the Chan­ge Con­trol so­lu­ti­on mo­du­le, plus con­tracts are now ma­na­ged di­gi­tal­ly, mo­ni­to­red in terms of dead­lines, and ar­chi­ved in an au­dit-pro­of man­ner with the d.velop Life Sci­en­ces solution.

Some time ago, the IT de­part­ment al­rea­dy crea­ted an en­cryp­ted ser­ver on which the HR de­part­ment and ma­nage­ment store per­son­nel data — e.g. in­for­ma­ti­on for each em­ployee about the em­ploy­ment con­tract, sa­la­ry do­cu­ments and trai­ning cour­ses is stored in an en­cryp­ted ar­chi­ve. “We then had the idea of using this se­cu­re ser­ver to di­gi­ta­li­ze ap­p­li­cant ma­nage­ment as well,” says Ste­fan Et­ge­ton, IT ma­na­ger at Wiewelhove.

At this sta­ge, d.velop Life Sci­en­ces left its fa­mi­li­ar ter­rain and thought out­side the box, joint­ly with Wie­wel­ho­ve as a long-stan­ding part­ner, and fur­ther ex­pan­ded the eQMS plat­form for a cus­to­mer-spe­ci­fic project.

We are pre­sen­ting the im­ple­men­ta­ti­on of the la­test di­gi­ta­liz­a­ti­on pro­ject in more de­tail below.

The original state: Human resources staff had to print out laundry baskets full of applications

And this was the ori­gi­nal sta­te: The up-and-co­m­ing com­pa­ny Wie­wel­ho­ve is re­cei­ving many ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons, both un­so­li­ci­ted ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons and re­spon­ses to ad­ver­ti­sed po­si­ti­ons — from phar­maceu­ti­cal tech­ni­ci­ans to me­cha­tro­nics en­gi­neers and sci­en­tists to ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­ve staff. “The­re was a time when re­crui­ters had to ma­na­ge hund­reds of ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons that would have fil­led several laund­ry bas­kets,” Et­ge­ton re­calls. The chal­len­ge: The hand­ling of the­se re­quests was not yet di­gi­ta­li­zed and au­to­ma­ted, but most­ly ana­log. This me­ans: First of all, the em­ployees had to collect and print all sub­mis­si­ons that had reached the com­pa­ny by e‑mail, on their home­page or via tra­di­tio­nal mail. Sim­ply for­war­ding the ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons via e‑mail was not pos­si­ble at this time due to data pro­tec­tion regulations.

Yet, prin­ting was not en­ough. The HR ma­na­gers had to ca­te­go­ri­ze the ap­p­li­cants sub­se­quent­ly, send di­gi­tal or ana­log re­jec­tion let­ters, and pass the phy­si­cal do­cu­ments of pro­mi­sing can­di­da­tes on to the heads of de­part­ments in­clu­ding the re­quest that the phy­si­cal do­cu­ments had to be de­s­troy­ed af­ter the end of the ap­p­li­ca­ti­on pha­se in com­pli­an­ce with data pro­tec­tion re­gu­la­ti­ons. “In to­tal, the pro­cess was stress­ful and un­sa­tis­fac­to­ry for ever­yo­ne in­vol­ved,” Et­ge­ton says. In the­se cir­cum­s­tan­ces, the com­pa­ny con­si­de­red out­sour­cing ap­p­li­cant ma­nage­ment to an ex­ter­nal ser­vice pro­vi­der. “Howe­ver, this op­ti­on tur­ned out to be too ex­pen­si­ve for us and too com­pli­ca­ted in terms of data pro­tec­tion. We the­re­fo­re de­ci­ded to keep the data in-house and de­ve­lop our own au­to­ma­ted so­lu­ti­on for the ap­p­li­cant workflow.”

In their long­stan­ding part­ner d.velop Life Sci­en­ces, the IT ma­na­ger found sup­port for this pro­ject in immedia­te vicini­ty. “We knew how Wiewelhove’s IT land­s­cape works from ex­pe­ri­ence and the­re­fo­re we were able to pro­vi­de high­ly tar­ge­ted sup­port for this di­gi­ta­liz­a­ti­on pro­ject,” says Rene Schü­ring, Se­ni­or Pro­ject Con­sul­tant at d.velop Life Sci­en­ces. “Tog­e­ther we de­ve­lo­ped a stra­te­gy, de­si­gned the so­lu­ti­on on the customer’s sys­tem, ve­ri­fied in a test sys­tem and fi­nal­ly de­ploy­ed the pro­duc­tion sys­tem.” As part of the de­ve­lo­p­ment team Wiewelhove’s HR ma­na­ger was in­vi­ted to ex­press wis­hes re­gar­ding func­tion and de­sign any­ti­me to en­su­re the sys­tem meets the re­qui­re­ments of ever­y­day life to a tee. Et­ge­ton: “We did­n’t buy a pro­duct off the shelf but de­ve­lo­ped a re­al­ly cus­to­mi­zed so­lu­ti­on. d.velop Life Sci­en­ces once again pro­ved to be a com­pe­tent, hel­pful and open partner.”

“The HR managers were very enthusiastic about the new solution.”

And this is how the new so­lu­ti­on works: As soon as a can­di­da­te fills in the ap­p­li­ca­ti­on form on Wiewelhove’s web­site, the sys­tem ge­ne­ra­tes a do­cu­ment and im­ports it to the en­cryp­ted ser­ver. At the same time, an au­to­ma­tic con­fir­ma­ti­on e‑mail is de­li­ve­r­ed to the sen­der. The em­ployees at the HR de­part­ment re­cei­ve the ap­p­li­ca­ti­on as a task to-do via an in­ter­face to the DMS. The re­spon­si­ble per­son starts the new work­flow. Be­fo­re, the pre-selec­tion was per­for­med ma­nu­al­ly but now clas­si­fi­ca­ti­on into A‑, B- and C‑candidates is done with just a few mouse­clicks on the com­pu­ter — wi­thout any prin­touts. The ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons of the pre-selec­ted can­di­da­tes are then de­li­ve­r­ed to the HR ma­na­ger who then sends in­vi­ta­ti­ons for the interviews.

Re­jec­tion is also par­ti­al­ly au­to­ma­ted. “HR staff had to draft each re­jec­tion e‑mail ma­nu­al­ly. To­day, they save a lot of time be­cau­se the sys­tem is ta­king over”, says Et­ge­ton. His col­leagues just have to press the but­ton “Wri­te re­jec­tion”. This opens up an email tem­pla­te with pre­con­fi­gu­red text mo­du­les that can be mo­di­fied in re­spect of the can­di­da­te. And ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons that re­ach Wie­wel­ho­ve by e‑mail? This pro­cess works ali­ke. In or­der to store the ap­p­li­ca­ti­on do­cu­ments on the en­cryp­ted ser­ver, the re­ci­pi­ents only need to press a but­ton wi­t­hin their e‑mail pro­gram. Scan­ned ap­p­li­ca­ti­ons can be trans­fer­red from the DMS to the en­cryp­ted ser­ver just as ea­si­ly. “HR staff were en­thu­si­astic about the new so­lu­ti­on, be­cau­se now the pro­ces­ses around the ap­p­li­cant work­flow work much fas­ter and more securely.”

On top of that, Wiewelhove has digitalized the requisition workflow

As part of the di­gi­ta­liz­a­ti­on pro­cess, Wie­wel­ho­ve has not only di­gi­ta­li­zed the ap­p­li­cant work­flow, but also pro­ces­ses re­la­ted to re­qui­si­tio­ning. This has eli­mi­na­ted ano­t­her time-con­suming pro­cess. In the past for in­stance, em­ployees nee­ding a new lap­top had to en­ter the pri­ce and other spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on into a Word file, print the do­cu­ment and for­ward it by in­ter­nal mail — for in­vest­ments of up to 200 eu­ros di­rect­ly to purcha­sing or to di­vi­sio­nal ma­nage­ment or the exe­cu­ti­ve board other­wi­se. This pro­ce­du­re was not only time-con­suming but also error-prone.

Et­ge­ton de­ci­ded to au­to­ma­te this pro­cess as well to save time and im­pro­ve the qua­li­ty of this pro­cess. “In col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with d.velop Life Sci­en­ces we built a mask with selec­tion fiel­ds in which the em­ployee can spe­ci­fy his or her re­quest — in­clu­ding in­for­ma­ti­on on the ar­ti­cle, ma­te­ri­al num­ber and pri­ce”, ex­p­lains the IT ma­na­ger. When the ap­p­li­cant sub­mits this form via the DMS the do­cu­ment au­to­ma­ti­cal­ly finds its way to the right con­ta­ct per­son — i.e. to purcha­sing, di­vi­sio­nal ma­nage­ment or the exe­cu­ti­ve board — thanks to the in­te­gra­ted lo­gic wi­t­hin pro­gram. “The­re­fo­re, the re­qui­si­ti­on has be­co­me much fas­ter and much more re­li­able. d.velop Life Sci­en­ces was exact­ly the right de­ve­lo­p­ment part­ner for us in this respect.”

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