5 Reasons Why a Customer Portal is a Must

For streamlining customer processes, and maximizing productivity for end-users, a customer portal is a must-have tool. Your ultimate goal is getting life-saving and life-changing medicines to your patients with more efficiency and speed. When it comes to making submissions, tracking orders, and ultimately – helping your patients, that’s exactly what a customer portal can help you to achieve.

Here are 5 reasons why utilizing a customer portal will revolutionize the way you do business in generic drug manufacturing, and when working with an active pharmaceutical ingredient supplier.

An Always-On Level of Support

One of the best things about an online portal is that it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means that even if you’re in a different time zone from your vendor, or your customer experience representative or account manager is taking a vacation day or feeling under the weather, you have the answers that you need, when you need them. When the platform is well-built, it should be intuitive enough that you can navigate to the information that you’re looking for, such as product details, documentation, service requests made by other members of the team, order tracking and more.

This is also great for troubleshooting. According to the Harvard Business Review, 81% of users start by trying to figure out a problem for themselves, before they turn to a customer representative. Self-serve is therefore an essential offering. A robust customer portal can give you access to Frequently Asked Questions, a searchable knowledgebase, and an archive of the communication you’ve had up until this point, all in a single view. If you still can’t find what you need, the portal should also be the place that you reach out to get added support, with the ability to approach your account team with a query, and get a quick and accurate response.

Documentation at Your Fingertips

In generic drug manufacturing, the need for documentation is a daily companion! A self-service library is therefore a great addition to a customer portal, and one you should ask your vendor about. Some examples of documentation that you can find in the Teva api Connect library are:

  • GMP certificates: GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice, and these are provided after various regulators have inspected and certified that the pharmaceuticals fit their regulations for safe use. Certification varies between countries and regulators, so you may have multiple certificates for each product. The same applies for Manufacturing Licenses and Written Confirmation.
  • Certificates of Analysis: These are known as CoA, and are an essential part of working with APIs. The certificate will likely include details such as the batch number, release dates, product specifications, and a list of the tests performed and their results. You may also need representative CoAs for different markets, based on your requirements.
  • Product Information: Any other general or often-requested information on the API such as Allergen statements, Safety Data Sheets, GMO information, Product Stability information, TSE/BSE, and more.
  • Nitrosamines Statements: These are an example of essential information that may be needed due to new regulations, showing that impurities have been controlled according to law. This and other risk assessment statements help you to plan effectively when working with highly-regulated materials and products.

In our own customer portal at Teva api, there are more than 6,000 documents available from the self-serve library, allowing our customers to get what they need, when they need it.

Enhanced Collaboration Across Teams

Another huge benefit of a customer portal is the ability to see immediately what communication has been started about any particular product or matter. With user accounts organized and personalized under a common customer account, you can simply search through previous correspondence or via a specific member of your team, and follow a chain of communication through to its conclusion or escalation. According to McKinsey Research, organizations with more connected employees see productivity gains of as much as 25%.

This correspondence should be accessible at all times, even if a colleague is out of the office, or after a particular member of staff has left the company, and provide a complete view of any open, on-going or closed communications. It’s also helpful for ensuring that staff members can collaborate easily, and so that even if a particular employee is unavailable (either internally or on the side of the vendor) business continuity remains at a high. In a remote-working reality, these benefits are more important than ever.

Stay on Top of Orders and Queries

A customer portal will also be the place that you can track and follow any service request, open orders, or regulatory announcements. Feature-rich customer portals will include notifications, so that you never miss an update. No more scheduling face-to-face syncs to get the answers that you need – your account manager can reach out directly and you can check for new notifications at leisure.

When you’re waiting for an order, having a centralized place where you can see real-time information is also a real game-changer. Imagine the following customer journey, all from a single digital dashboard.

You start by browsing products to see what APIs suit your current needs, checking for the documentation that you’ll require ahead of time, or asking for samples. Next, you send in your purchase order through the secure messaging system. Once accepted, you can track your shipments, see where your orders are and follow the timeline, and even download all your shipping documents from the same user interface. Any problems? Just continue the same conversation with your account manager, or delegate to a colleague.

Keep Up to Date with the Product Pipeline

In Pharma, your attention needs to be firmly future-focused. Not only do you have your eye on open projects and the latest innovation, but you also need to have a full understanding of what’s around the corner. A customer portal should be able to show you a clear view of which products are in the pipeline, allow you to download relevant information as necessary, and see the availability of regulatory files for different regions.

In this way, a customer portal becomes more than just a centralized place for all of your own individual information. It becomes a powerful dashboard that can maximize your productivity, speed up support, enhance collaboration, and provide answers to questions exactly when you need them.

Teva api’s customer portal is called Teva api Connect – and it’s easy to log in securely and get started! Get in touch to sign up, or login now if you are already registered, and start making Teva api Connect part of your daily working life!

About the author

Liron Shimrich-Bahir is Director of Global Customer Experience. She leads the global sales Customer Experience (CX) team, who provide personal and professional support to all of Teva api's customers, more than 1,000 customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. She also heads up Teva api's digital customer portal, Teva api Connect. Liron joined Teva api in 2007, starting out in Customer Service, and has held many local and global roles in the company. She has a Chemistry Degree from Tel Aviv University, and an MBA from the College of Management Academic Studies.