Creating a Competitive Advantage Through Collaboration

BrandPost By Smartsheet
Sep 07, 2017
Cloud Computing

For AMAG Pharmaceuticals, a new work management platform changed their view of project management – and delivered real ROI.

In the fiercely competitive pharmaceutical industry, the most successful companies are  highly collaborative, coordinating  development, testing, production, and education teams and processes  to launch new drugs. Increasingly, organizations are turning to enterprise work management platforms to make this kind of coordination possible; in fact, in a recent survey of IT decision makers, 84% said that companies that do not strategically deploy a work management platform will be at a competitive disadvantage.

Managing Core Business Activity with Cloud-based Collaboration

To orchestrate its complex business activities, AMAG Pharmaceuticals uses cloud-based Smartsheet software, which enables it to keep critical drug trials on track by streamlining and integrating processes and teams. Meeting the timing and enrollment benchmarks of clinical trials for new drugs is vital to the company’s business growth. “If a trial’s schedule slips even by a week, it can be catastrophic for our plans to release the drug,” says Nate McBride, AMAG Pharmaceuticals’ CIO. Smartsheet provides AMAG executives and project managers a single, dashboard-style view into the schedules and status for all current trials, enabling real-time visibility of–and accountability for–the status of business-critical tasks.

“We couldn’t function without Smartsheet, because the collaboration it enables has become part of our daily lives,” says McBride.

The cloud-based work management platform offers more than centralized information. By integrating Smartsheet with the company’s ERP system, AMAG has eliminated productivity killers such as extensive email exchanges and version-control issues, and simplified tasks such as onboarding new production vendors.

A Cloud-Only Design for IT

AMAG previously used on-premises systems for project management and file sharing, but wanted a new, cloud-based solution that would offer more flexibility and wouldn’t constrain the company’s other application choices to a particular operating system. .

“Smartsheet met our needs for a platform that would serve the whole company, including support of BYOD and mobility for employees,” says McBride. “We’ve also proven that you don’t always need a large-scale project management system. A spreadsheet-based system becomes powerful because it is easy for employees to use.”

AMAG’s IT team has integrated Smartsheet with a variety of IT tools and business applications, including a planned integration with Salesforce, the company’s CRM system. The efficiencies gained from these integrations–and the ability for team members to update their own project plans–pays off by savingprecious management time and resources. For example, only one project manager is needed to monitor the 18 current projects in the IT department, which has a staff of 40 employees.

Collaboration as a Way of Daily Life

Because Smartsheet runs in the cloud, AMAG employees can seamlessly and securely share documents, data files, schedules, and other materials with external vendors and project team members. This ease of external collaboration has d resulted in Smartsheet adoption by employees and partners. And with partner involvement in activities ranging from research to IT to marketing, everyone benefits from avoiding the version-control issues often caused by emailed attachments.

“As more companies move more of their work to the cloud, collaboration tools such as Smartsheet can be the catalyst for changing how you do project management,” says McBride. “It all comes down to looking beyond Gantt charts to the speed you can actually get things done for gaining a competitive advantage.”

Read more in the full Smartsheet report: 2017 State of Enterprise Collaboration