Business Process Mapping: 3 Steps to Simplify Data Integration

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, efficient data integration is crucial for streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, and ensuring compliance. Business process mapping (BPM), also called business process modelling, is a powerful tool that can help supply chain professionals visualise and optimise their workflows, making data integration more manageable and effective. In this article, we look at how you can leverage BPM to simplify data integration in your pharmaceutical supply chain.


What is Business process mapping?

Process mapping is a technique commonly used for capturing how a business process works. A process map is often visualised in the form of a flow chart, which highlights every step, decision, and task involved in a process. They help organisations get a high-level overview of how every process works and identify improvement opportunities.

1. Define Clear Objectives

Effective business process mapping can lead to increased clarity, reduced errors, improved compliance, and enhanced overall efficiency by providing a clear depiction of who performs each task and at what stage. Start by establishing the purpose of your BPM initiative. Are you aiming to boost productivity, reduce costs, or improve data accuracy? Clear objectives provide direction and focus, ensuring that your efforts align with your overall business goals.

Recognise all parties involved in or impacted by the process, from frontline staff to managers and customers. Their insights are invaluable for a comprehensive understanding of the workflow. Engage stakeholders in meaningful discussions to gather insights into the current state of the process. This step helps identify pain points, inefficiencies, and areas ready for improvement. Understanding the existing workflow and how it can be optimised is crucial for creating an accurate process map.

2. Define Process Mapping Rules

To ensure accurate and standardised process documentation, define rules and standards for process mapping. Following globally recognised standards, such as BPMN 2.0, ensures consistency and ease of understanding across the organisation.

  • Map the Current Process: Utilise the gathered information to create a visual representation of the existing process. This map should outline each step, decision point, and interaction within the workflow. A clear and detailed current state map is essential for identifying areas for improvement.

Once the current state map is complete, obtain feedback and approval from upper-level stakeholders. This ensures accuracy and alignment with their perspectives, paving the way for smoother implementation of any changes.

  • Design the Future State Map: Develop a future state process map that addresses identified areas for enhancement. This map should reflect the idealised version of the process, incorporating efficiency gains and best practices. A well-designed future state map serves as a blueprint for your data integration efforts.

Transparent communication is key throughout the mapping process. Engage stakeholders in discussions about proposed changes, solicit feedback, and secure buy-in for seamless implementation. Effective communication helps in managing expectations and reducing resistance to change.

Process mapping is an ongoing endeavour, fostering a culture of continuous improvement by regularly revisiting and refining process maps in response to evolving business needs and feedback will ensure that your processes remain efficient and effective over time.

Watch our webinar recording to discover how robust business process modelling and streamlined integrations can facilitate supply chain operations. 

3. Leveraging Technology for Data Integration

Incorporate advanced data integration tools and technologies to streamline your processes. Cloud-based data integration solutions offer scalability and flexibility, allowing you to handle growing data volumes and evolving business needs. 

Partnering with a supply chain integration specialist like Veratrak, means we take away the burden of custom development, data mapping, and systems maintenance, so you can focus your IT resources on manufacturing and delivering drugs to patients in need.

How Veratrak can help

At Veratrak, we help our customers build their supply chain network with their partners in-house systems giving them a single Business Process implementation with ‘plug and play’ connectivity.

When a pharma company integrates directly into the Hub, the data sent from their ERP system to the Hub is first mapped into Veratrak’s standard, where business logic and translations are performed. The Hub's agnostic approach supports any file format from CSV, to XML, EDI or JSON, and any industry standard communication protocol from SFTP, to AS2, or API.

The Hub transforms the message into the appropriate outbound file format and protocol of the receiving partner. All of these transactions for a given business process are logged in Veratrak’s Audit Log, which ensures ironclad data integrity and traceability across all parties’ activities.

Once the data integration is mapped out with your partners, the Hub harmonises data across all all supply chain partners, enabling insightful performance analysis and reporting. Veratrak maintains the connectivity between all integrated partners, and customers benefit from the removal of internal message mapping and translation efforts, as well as significant cost and time savings per connection. 


By following these best practices for business process mapping, pharmaceutical supply chain professionals can simplify data integration, enhance operational efficiency, and drive productivity. BPM not only provides a clear outline of responsibilities but also ensures that every team member understands their role within the broader workflow. 

Embrace BPM as a strategic tool to unlock the full potential of your data and achieve operational excellence. By adopting these strategies, you can transform your data integration efforts and stay ahead in the competitive pharmaceutical industry. 

At Veratrak, we understand the unique challenges of the life sciences industry and are committed to helping you succeed. Get in touch to discuss how we can support your data integration project.