Marken plays a vital role in the clinical trials that help bring life-changing, and often life-saving medicines to market. Marken’s mission is to always find a way to connect patients with new medicines, in all corners of the world. Its worldwide network of logistics hubs handles the highly specialised storage and distribution of trial products for global pharmaceutical companies. Over 1.4M clinical trial shipments were managed by Marken in 2021, including 140+ COVID-19 vaccine and treatment trials.
Service quality through automation
The company is also a world leader in direct-to-patient and home healthcare services, biological sample shipments, cell and gene supply chain services, and biological kit production. Part of UPS Healthcare and headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Marken manages 120,000 temperature-controlled drug product and biological sample shipments every month, in 220 countries.
In a highly regulated and protocol-driven industry, huge investments are made to research, develop, trial, and confirm the efficacy of new drugs and treatments. As a result, specialised businesses like Marken must constantly demonstrate the highest operational standards and product knowledge on a global scale, while ensuring the delivery of their products and services with speed, agility, and innovation.
Quality is at the core of what Marken does - it permeates every business process and activity and is woven into the DNA of the organisation. Everyone at Marken understands that the lives and well-being of patients around the globe depend on the safe and swift arrival of critical healthcare products. Delivering high-quality services in a consistent and repeatable manner is a key characteristic of a quality-driven organisation. Marken wished to embrace automation to deliver fast, streamlined, consistent, and cost-effective IT services to its people, wherever they are in the world, freeing them to focus on their customers’ needs and development of market-leading products and services that will maintain Marken’s reputation for excellence.
Durham, North Carolina, United States
Helped Marken deliver on their automation-first culture leverage IntegrationHub to automate business processes and establish a single system of action and intelligence for IT.
ServiceNow® IT Service Management Professional
ServiceNow® Customer Success
“It’s great when someone follows up an IT request to check on progress and we’re able to tell them it’s all been done, it just happened automatically through ServiceNow.”
Tony Clarke, VP Information Security and IT Operations, Marken
Revolutionising IT service delivery
Marken had already implemented ServiceNow IT Service Management, and when Tony Clarke, VP of Information Security and IT Operations, joined the company, he and IT Systems Engineer, Oliver Kelsey, recognised the huge potential for the Now Platform and its workflow automation capabilities to revolutionise the way Marken’s 2,000 employees consumed IT services. This potential was verified when ServiceNow used Predictive Intelligence to perform a clustering exercise that identified the top automation candidates for IntegrationHub and deflection candidates for Virtual Agent conversations.
After viewing this data, Marken sought to validate this information with the views and requirements of IT service users throughout the business. Tony and Oliver worked closely with ServiceNow implementation partner, Velocity Consulting, to maximise the value of automation across the enterprise, in all its geographical locations, and to ensure seamless connections with Marken’s other core systems and third-party platforms through ServiceNow Integration Hub and Flow Designer, using and extending out-of-the-box integrations. A ServiceNow Customer Success Manager also met with Marken regularly throughout the process to check on progress and ensure the company was getting maximum value from the solution.
“Velocity provided an independent voice, that kept everyone focussed on the bigger picture and striving for the best possible outcome,” explains Tony.
“This ensured that automation wasn’t seen as a project driven solely by the IT team, to make life easier for IT, this was something that would benefit everyone in the business. Taking everyone with us on our ServiceNow journey was the key to the transformation. We wanted everyone to think deeply about their needs, now and in the future, to see the bigger picture and to be ambitious.
“Once colleagues grasped the tremendous value to them personally, they couldn’t get enough of it. ServiceNow has driven us to critically review all our business processes and improve wherever possible, so that good processes are being automated, not bad ones - that discipline has provided tremendous added value.”
Instant value with ServiceNow Integration Hub
Now 85% of IT requests are automated, with thousands of simple tasks taking minutes to complete rather than hours or even days. The burden on Marken’s IT team to manually handle so many routine requests has been lifted, unlocking extra time to innovate and to focus on higher value tasks, with the potential to deliver significant benefits and personal successes for colleagues, reflecting brightly on the business as a whole.
As automation enables Marken’s teams to be even more efficient and productive, additional time can now be devoted to meeting customers’ needs with speed and agility.
“The way we now handle the onboarding of new recruits, setting up their accounts, providing access to the systems and tech they need, is a great example of how ServiceNow has transformed the way we do things,” explains Oliver.
“Recruitment decisions are sometimes made very quickly, and highly skilled people need to get productive very quickly. Previously we worked around a five-day turnaround for a new employee, now tasks are completed automatically.
“Every component of what they need to get started is automated and can be completed within minutes. Laptops and mobile devices are in place, pre-provisioned and ready to go.
“It’s great that our HR team knows that they don’t have to sit and wait for new people to get going. They just open up a ticket and everything is done automatically.
“This enables our IT colleagues to concentrate on larger projects, to be more progressive and ambitious, because they’re no longer bogged down by these mundane tasks.”
Automation is now a strategic pillar
Automation through ServiceNow is not only good for Marken, it's great for customers too. Take invoicing, for example. Previously in many cases, data was drawn from many different sources and systems, with manual tasks built-in to bring everything together, before waiting for an IT team member to make a secure transfer of the compiled information in a timely manner.
For some of Marken's customers, all these steps are automated and error-free. From these successes, Marken continues to expand this seamless functionality to more customers. As a result, invoicing is fast and accurate, benefiting cash flow, while customers can request real-time invoicing status updates at any time.
“There's no longer any need to factor in time for IT to complete manual processes,” says Oliver. “Colleagues know these things will be completed automatically once the request has been submitted and it's been approved by a line manager. They have certainty and see IT as a reliable, proactive service, that adds value. People reach out to show their appreciation, which is great.”
Tony believes that ServiceNow has helped galvanise a new mindset and enthusiasm around automation, throughout the business.
“Automation is a pillar of the businesses strategy – our philosophy is to pursue automation at every opportunity. Teams are now coming to us, seeking our support and we have a pipeline of very exciting automation projects for the rest of the year and beyond, including rolling out Virtual Agent, Performance Analytics, and Predictive Intelligence.
“It's really exciting to see our teams resolving difficult process automation challenges, and high-fiving, knowing that it's going to save colleagues valuable time every single day. Those are very rewarding moments. Essentially automation is making it much easier for us to scale with agility, it's completely transformational.”