UPDATED 11:39 EST / OCTOBER 28 2021

EMERGING TECH

Healthcare giant Merck implements automation solutions across organization

Gone are the days when time was not a crucial resource in organizations. The proverbial phrase “time is money” has accelerated the need for automation in businesses because it helps optimize the limited resource of time. 

By leveraging the automation expertise of IT consulting and systems integration company CGI Inc. — a UiPath Inc. partner — Merck & Co. Inc. has automated various healthcare areas that have maximized results. For example, automation helped the company save time and revamp a customer portal where clients needed near-real-time access to invoices.

“Initially, it was estimated at approximately 2,500 emails per day with these invoices,” said Daniel Boyd (pictured, left), automation leader at Merck. “The estimate was to take about 125 hours of people’s time to do that manually. So that’s what we automated.”

Boyd and Bill Engle (pictured, right), senior automation architect at CGI, spoke with Dave Vellante and Lisa Martin, co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during UiPath’s Forward IV conference. They discussed how automation saves time, how it’s changing the healthcare industry, and its role in end-to-end processes. (* Disclosure below.)

Solving the end-to-end process with automation

Automation boils down to individual use cases, according to Engle. Complex use cases require more advanced capabilities, machine learning models and leveraging artificial intelligence within the UiPath robotic process automation platform.

Even though automation prompts a seamless end-to-end process, Engle believes understanding the use case is extremely vital.

“It comes down to what is the end-to-end process … RPA is great where we need to interact with user interfaces, but if we can interact with APIs, we would do that preferably over a UI to keep it more of a seamless integration,” he explained.

With automation falling under Merck’s strategic plan, this approach optimizes RPA and makes the company more efficient, according to Boyd.

“We do automations for all the functions across Merck … from the shop floor and manufacturing sites to the labs in various capacities.” he explained. “The use cases and adoption continue to grow.”

Automation plays a critical role for highly skilled workers because it makes their life easier, Engle pointed out.

“If something failed with a test that was happening, they wouldn’t know about it, and they lose critical data for these early tests that they’re doing in the preclinical cycle,” Engle stated. “So, we actually put in UiPath robots to monitor and send alerts and provide recovery to make their lives a lot easier.

When an organization wants to automate, Engle believes there are various angles that can be used, such as bottom-up, top-down or middle-out. 

“If you’re just starting out in your automation journey, start with those use cases that you can quickly prove value for, and then tackle the more complex ones,” he concluded. 

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of UiPath’s Forward IV conference(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the UiPath’s Forward IV conference. Neither UiPath Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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