Field Service Lightning: Enabling Cyclists and Pharmacists to Team Up

May 28, 2020 Lia Parisyan

Transformation is at the Intersection of Individual and Community Interest 

Ray Holder is a principal consultant who’s been with Appirio for 10 years.  COVID-19 had disrupted the way he lived, worked, and interacted, but instead of getting bogged down by this unprecedented situation, he created a unique solution that solved two pressing problems.

Ray is the Chairman of his cycling club in Royal Leamington Spa, UK. He enjoyed organizing group bike rides and the post-ride socialization at pubs and cafes. It was a great way to get in some exercise, commune with nature, and meet up with friends. However, as COVID-19 emerged, he decided to cancel group rides for everyone’s safety. The cyclists were frustrated, missing their sense of community.

In the club’s Facebook group, one of the members asked if anyone knew of any local Covid-19 volunteering opportunities. Another mentioned that the healthcare center where his wife worked was in need of help delivering prescriptions to older citizens, and Ray decided to get involved. As the first cyclist to volunteer, he anticipated he’d be delivering a few prescriptions over the course of a week or so, until he realized the scope of what the center was dealing with. 

Prescriptions were being delivered late, pills were piling up in one central area, and the phones were ringing with angry customers. It was a chaotic situation despite the health workers’ best efforts. Ray, seeing these problems, had a eureka moment. He took what was a logistical nightmare and combined his cycling group's passion and his Salesforce background to create an agile solution to a novel problem. 

Bikes, Healthcare, and Salesforce Field Service Lightning 

Field Service Lightning gave cyclists unprecedented flexibility to choose how to be part of a solution. However, it also gave the people coordinating healthcare efforts visibility into cyclist availability, reliability, and skill level, along with multiple detailed list or calendar views. The solution also enabled the volunteer cyclists to be proactive and make changes on the fly, update things offline, and see those changes reflected when they were back online. 

It empowered everyone to actively learn and make smarter decisions. Moreover, Field Service Lightning made it easy for cyclists to get directions, thanks to in-experience apps like Waze and Google Maps. It provided insight into what work was done, how long it took a cyclist to get from Point A to Point B, and much more. Over time, this ever-growing data would be used to help set prescription recipients’ expectations and reduce their frustration by providing more accurate delivery timelines.  

The Benefits of Field Service Lightning: 

  • Optimize processes with multiple views of data
  • Keep track of what’s working and what isn’t
  • Recalibrate in near real time 
  • Easily make changes on the fly

From the cyclists’ POV, Field Service Lightning helped them gain a deeper understanding of their speed, skill level, and performance. It also enabled them to communicate, share knowledge, and make changes to their availability. They could also provide updates, such as “not delivered,” so that the people who needed their prescriptions wouldn’t be significantly disrupted by changes in the volunteers’ schedules. When someone dropped the ball, someone else could pick it up. 

Creative solutions for serving communities and businesses

Even as things slowly begin to normalize, disruptive change will be ongoing. A solution like Field Service Lightning enables users to be agile and to quickly respond. What is really inspiring about this solution is that Ray took something that was broken in the prescription delivery process and the frustration in his cycling community, and combined the two to create something new. 

Using his Salesforce expertise, business strategy experience, and personal interests, he helped his broader community. It’s a wonderful case study for how we can all be change agents and take our own experiences and our compassion toward our community to help solve problems greater than us. This is just one of the many ways we, at Appirio, inspire agility and transform experiences with one of the most incredibly flexible platforms, Salesforce.

To learn more about how Field Service Lightning can transform your operations, with minimal disruption, contact us


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