A global pharmaceutical company needed records retention consulting and a new retention management tool when they met Zasio at an industry conference. Impressed by Zasio’s team and their industry-leading retention management solution, Versatile Retention™, the Company hired Zasio for a small consulting pilot. This pilot led to reoccurring consulting engagements and the purchase of Versatile Retention. Over nine years later, the relationship between the two companies is more than just business, it’s a true partnership.
Engaging the Experts
For the pilot, Senior Records Manager, “SRM”, asked the Zasio team to review 20 retention codes in 12 countries to ensure the regulations and retention periods were correct. She had no history with this retention schedule because another group had managed retention at the Company but was disbanded during an organizational restructure. When this happened, the background knowledge and retention schedule history was lost, leaving SRM with little to work with and in need of expert help.
The Zasio Consultants delivered the pilot results in an Excel spreadsheet, per SRM’s request, and she uploaded it into her system. “They gave us exactly what we were looking for, and it was understandable! We’re not lawyers and we’re not experts in these regulations so the way they worded things was extremely helpful,” said SRM.
After the pilot, SRM hired Zasio’s Consultants to review the rest of their 300-code retention schedule. They reviewed all codes across 12 countries, consolidating many of them, and reformatted the retention schedule into a “big bucket” format. This was a huge project, but SRM was pleased with the results. “We saw a reduction of about 100 codes, which made the retention schedule simpler for our customers (other departments) to use. They had fewer questions, and it was easier for them to find specific retention codes,” she said.
Today, the Company’s global scope is 34 countries. Even with the larger scope and several country exceptions, the Company’s retention schedule is manageable and kept up-to-date by Zasio’s Consultants who review it every 3-5 years. Being experts in regulatory, clinical, and manufacturing record types, Zasio always delivers the information the Company needs for the pharmaceutical industry, in the format they need. “We’ve worked with other vendors on projects who provide deliverables in one format regardless of our requests and we have to make it work. We’ve never had that with Zasio,” said SRM. “It’s a great partnership we’ve had over the years.”
Implementing Versatile Retention
Once the Company’s retention schedule was updated, SRM needed to address her other retention challenge — the outdated retention management tool. The IT Department would no longer support the existing tool so she needed something new. She selected Versatile Retention International because of the expansive international research database of over 130,000 international citations, and the fluidity of updates between the tool and Zasio’s Consultants. “It saves me so much time making updates or additions to the retention schedule, especially after a big review, because all updates are done within the system,” said SRM. “Zasio still provides a spreadsheet outlining the changes, but I don’t have to manually update each code. We just send over a data file, the consultants make updates and send it back, all through the Versatile Retention system. It’s so easy.”
In addition to reviewing regulations and retention periods every 3-5 years, Zasio’s Consultants review for privacy and data localization. They share this information in reports that are easy for SRM and her team to understand. “They articulate areas of concern and things we should address, and compile it a way that’s easy for us to digest so we can discuss and make our decisions based on their suggestions and expertise,” said SRM.
The Customer Support
Zasio’s Customer Support was instrumental during implementation, but it goes further than that. “When we implemented Versatile Retention, they were so helpful in answering all of our questions,” said SRM. “We would have biweekly meetings where they would go over different sections of the tool, showing us how it worked and ways to customize it.” For example, during implementation, they spent a lot of time teaching her how to create and customize reports but their help has never been limited to one-time training. Today, SRM will occasionally run into a new or complex report so she contacts Support and they show her how to do it, or if it’s time-sensitive, they’ll offer to do it for her. “It’s the extra touches and handholding like this that are so great. People on our team work with other vendors on projects and always tell me I have it so easy because I get to work with Zasio.”
Projects Beyond Scope
When the Company’s IT Department launched a new risk management initiative, they wanted to tie the retention schedule into a new risk management system. This required a printed copy of the entire 34-country retention schedule, inclusive of all country exceptions. “I said, I don’t think we can do that, that is a huge report,” says SRM, but she contacted Zasio to see if they could help. Zasio’s Product Development team met directly with the Company’s IT and Risk Management teams and developed a report to provide the necessary information with an agreement to refresh it every 3-5 years. “Zasio supports us so well as a records management group, but then they’re willing to help other departments within our company. It’s above and beyond the scope of consulting or Versatile Retention,” said SRM.
Since meeting Zasio in 2012, the Company’s results are significant. They have an up-to-date global records retention schedule that is reviewed every 3-5 years by experts who know the pharmaceutical industry. The reviews include privacy and data localization so the Company can feel confident knowing they’re compliant with applicable privacy regulations around the world. Changes and updates to the retention schedule flow directly from the Zasio Consultants into Versatile Retention saving SRM an estimated 40% of time she used to spend making changes manually, and they have access to a U.S.-based customer support team they can call directly. Results like these are what Zasio aims for when it comes to customer satisfaction and retention. “I am always willing to recommend Zasio, the true partnership our company has with your team is phenomenal,” said SRM.