Gathering momentum with agile development
Today, ‘LPC Express’, Bayer’s new branded service unit, provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ in more than 90 countries. Bayer employees can request services regarding the areas of compliance, data privacy, and legal.
ServiceNow App Engine is the digital platform facilitating LPC Express services and the communication between LPC Express and the requestors.
“We considered three vendors. The thing that was most critical to us was the ability to customize,” says Thomas. “ServiceNow enables us to build our own use cases and establishes a means to scale.”
Bayer worked alongside smartvokat to build the platform architecture and service applications. Ignaz at smartvokat says flexibility was essential. Processes that were expected to be straightforward were revealed to be more complex. To maintain the project’s momentum, feature prototypes were designed, tested, and in production in as little as four weeks, he says: “The low-code aspect of ServiceNow was critical, we could customize and move quickly. These sprints have introduced agile development to Bayer’s legal function.”
Automated workflows resolve standard requests faster and a smooth-running, end-to-end self-service portal is available 24/7 to Bayer’s workforce.
“It was important to me that we had a user-friendly interface,” says Thomas. “To win over users, it had to be appealing. Compared to the others, the ServiceNow platform, offering broad capabilities to customize as well as establishing out-of-the-box functionalities, is just more enjoyable to use.”
Freeing resources to focus on service innovation
The impact is transformational. Since the first service was rolled out to the organization in the last year, close to 40,000 requests were handled via the LPC platform. Among other activities, more than 4,600 general legal requests, 3,400 third-party due diligence assessments, and close to 20,000 Fair Market Value checks (a requirement according to pharmaceutical industry codes) were processed via the LPC platform, with an automation rate as high as 80% for some processes. There have been nearly 10,000 users with a rapidly growing adoption rate within the organization of 100,000+ employees.
By freeing legal and compliance professionals from mundane and repetitive manual processes, there is a greater opportunity to explore new ways of working, including a substantial part of automated workflows replacing single, manual advice. Quantitative SLAs become measurable, and user engagement is being tracked. Long term, the move is expected to attract new talent to the business. Cost savings could be as high as 30%, while maintaining strong governance and leveraging harmonized processes in a digital environment.
Thomas says this is helping attract new talent and that the LPC Express centers in Costa Rica, Brazil, Poland, the Philippines, and China are proving to be exciting areas of innovation and fresh thinking.
“Data and analytics are now built into our processes. This allows us to track progress and to find new opportunities to improve. This data never existed before,” he explains. “Without this, we’d never have generated the traction and acceptance we need to drive such fundamental transformation.”
User engagement can be tracked via growth in the knowledge database, the number of questions being submitted, and the speed at which queries are closed. Current user satisfaction is running at 4.1 out of 5, adds Thomas: “More importantly, we have the trust of Bayer operations around the world.”
Bayer already uses ServiceNow to orchestrate cybersecurity operations.
For LPC Express, the challenge through the next phase is to add new processes, refine existing services, and bring new countries into the scope of shared services, including the U.S. organization and China. Evidence of success and the rapid adoption of LPC Express service in other regions will help win over all remaining countries.
“We want to be bold, but we have to be respectful,” Thomas adds.